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Cracks in buildings

People buying a house or flat probably worry more about cracks in plaster on walls and ceilings than anything else.

From the moment a building is constructed cracks start appearing, caused mostly by shrinkage on drying out of the building materials but also where stresses have built up during the construction process and initial settlement cracks appear as the building settles down.

On going cracking can occur in older properties, where the building continues to settle and differential. Differential cracking can occur at the junction of old and new buildings and where dissimilar materials are used on internal wall junctions. Quite heavy internal settlement and cracking can occur in edwardian and victorianEdwardian and Victorian houses where timber framed load bearing partitions were commonly in use, supporting to support roofs, box gutters and the floors. Another source Other causes of cracks is are rusting in iron and steelwork and also from sulphate attack in mortar in masonry.

In properties of more modern construction different problems are developing in cavity walls, with cracking and bowing developing in the external brickwork due to cavity wall tie failure. Cracks of this nature often go unnoticed, but remedial work can be extensive and cost several thousand pounds

Most people naturally relate cracks to settlement or subsidence in the building’s foundations.

Cracks in buildings are routinely noted during a Homebuyer Survey on a house or flat or during a Building Condition Survey on all types of property. The causes if known are given, with advice on severity, age of cracks and the likelihood of ongoing movement and remedial works necessary. Occasionally recommendations are made to monitor the cracking, usually following an insurance claim.

If you have discovered cracks in your property and would like further advice or you require a survey please Contact Me.

Residential surveys
Party walls
Insurance claims
Timber decay
Damp issues
Cracks in buildings
General building defects
Commercial property