Does Japanese knotweed cause subsidence? Actually, yes. The most common question about Japanese knotweed is whether or not it will cause subsidence or it will damage your property.

Knotweed can cause both, depending on how it grows. The stemless, underground stems can grow up to thirty feet tall, so they can reach your roof if they break through the surface. But they will not actually move a large amount of soil, since they are not roots.

Even if they did move some soil away, it would only be a very small amount and it would quickly be replaced.

A better understanding

Japanese knotweed is an invasive weed that can cause subsidence. It causes this damage by pulling on the ground and pushing it downwards, causing cracks in the foundation of a building or home.

This plant is hard to get rid of because it spreads through spores and will take over if not controlled.

The spread of Japanese knotweed is attributed to its ability to grow very quickly even when there are only tiny fragments left behind after being cut down or pulled up.

So, why do some people claim that knotweed can and will cause subsidence in your home? That comes down to how you interpret “subsidence” itself.

You might as well not mention it to your mortgage company, because they likely won’t let you talk about it. They don’t want to deal with it.

Your bank doesn’t want to deal with it, either, since it can lead to expensive and complicated repairs that they would have to pay for out of their own pocket, and they don’t want to be liable for the resulting lawsuits that result from your mortgage providing grounds for such damage.

Can Japanese knotweed cause subsidence to a building
Can Japanese knotweed cause subsidence to a building

So what does “subsidence” mean, anyway?

It’s an old-fashioned term that describes any unexpected movement in a structure’s foundation, usually caused by some kind of physical event like a massive ocean wave or ground collapsing.

Usually, this kind of incident causes major damage to homes and businesses, but sometimes it doesn’t.

Whatever the case, though, you shouldn’t be worried if you suspect that your home could be at risk. There are measures that you can take to make sure that it doesn’t cause your mortgage lender to take the traditional route of foreclosing and removing your home from your possession.

Broken pipe due to subsidence in the soil around the house.
Broken pipe due to subsidence in the soil around the house.

Final thoughts

Japanese Knotweed is a fast-growing plant with the ability to cause subsidence. In fact, it can grow up to one foot per day and produce more than 1 million seeds in just two months! Watch out for this invasive species as you move through your yard outside of work.

You should also plan on regular check-ups of the ground for any signs of subsidence, as well as of the foundation of your home in general.

Remember: Prevention is far better than cure, so the sooner you can stop the Japanese knotweed from causing subsidence in your property, the better.

Want to know if Japanese Knotweed causes subsidence?

Knotweed Removal aims to provide the most up-to-date information, help and advice for YOU to make informed decisions. If you are unsure or uncertain about how to proceed, please reach out to us and we will gladly come back and advise you as best we can.

Governmental advice can be found here and the UK law covering the removal of Japanese Knotweed as stated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can be found here.

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Do not forget we have a library of blogs covering many areas relevant to Japanese Knotweed, our free downloadable How-to Guides and Product Reviews on the latest methods being employed to eradicate or remove Japanese Knotweed.

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