Home » Out of Sight, Out of Mind – How a Broken Drain Can Cause You Major Headaches

Out of Sight, Out of Mind – How a Broken Drain Can Cause You Major Headaches

(February 15, 2024)

Most people don’t give much thought to the drains and pipes underneath and around their property. However, if they become damaged and start leaking, this can cause major issues and damage, namely in the form of subsidence. You may not be able to see them, but broken drains can pose a real problem. 

How Does Broken Drain Cause Subsidence?

A defective drain near your property can cause a number of things to happen that result in subsidence.

The ground beneath the foundations washes away

If a drain is broken, water from the ground above can leak into the drain and cause some of the ground beneath the foundations of the building to wash away. This naturally causes the foundations and the property above to sink.

Water from leaking drains softens the soil

The biggest problem with a broken drain is that water will leak from it. As a result, the subsoil underneath a property can soften and is no longer able to hold the foundations in place and support the weight of the building.

Tree roots are attracted to the area

Water leaking out from a drain into the soil is likely to attract tree roots. Tree roots close to foundations are a common cause of subsidence.

Sulphate ingress takes place

In certain types of soil, leaking drains can encourage sulphate attacks on concrete foundations. The sulphates found in the ground attack and erode the foundations, which can cause structural damage and subsidence.

What Causes Broken or Leaking Drains?

Broken drains can be caused by various different things:

  • Poor drainage design
  • Significant traffic over shallow drains
  • Tree root damage
  • General ground movement
  • Additional building work such as an extension – or even a fence or wall

Whatever’s behind the broken drain, the resulting subsidence needs to be treated right away to ensure it does not worsen.

What’s the Solution?

If a broken drain has caused subsidence your property, fear not: this can be rectified. 

First of all, the drain will, of course, need repairing or replacing. However, the damage caused by the broken drain also needs to be remedied, otherwise, subsidence will persist.

Geobear’s patented technology presents the perfect solution. Expert engineers inject a special geopolymer resin into the ground, which follows the path of least resistance, expands and quickly hardens to offer stability to the weak ground and support properties and foundations.

In the case of soil that has softened and become unstable, the geopolymer resin expands to compact the soil and fill any gaps, creating a stable substratum. The resin is injected until monitoring indicates the soils are stabilised, this is completed using extremely precise laser measurement technology.


The good thing is that, unlike traditional underpinning, which has been used to treat subsidence in the past, Geobear’s innovative technology requires no excavation. This makes it much less costly and disruptive and means you can stay in the property while work is carried out.

If you suspect that your property may be experiencing subsidence caused by a broken drain, then get in touch with Geobear today. We will assess the problem for you and if subsidence is present then we can correct it in no time with our unique and innovative techniques. Give us a call on 0800 084 3503 or fill out our contact form.

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Please use this contact form or navigate to the contact us page and send us a message. We will respond to you within 24hrs.

Alternatively please call us on 0800 084 3503 and speak to our customer services team. Calling from Ireland please go to the contact us page.

We deliver projects on any sort of building or structure – from conservatory extension problems to 80,000m2 warehouses and road infrastructure. In most cases we will have the best solution, so get in touch today.

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