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Wall Cracks

 

 

 

Wall Cracks

Do wall cracks indicate a
structural problem
in my home?

Wall cracks inside and around your home could mean a lot of different things.

Sometimes, wall cracks can be a superficial, cosmetic issue. But other times, they can indicate deeper structural problems caused by shifting ground, failing house foundations or even poor design and construction.

Seeing wall cracks around your home and concerned if there are deeper issues in your home?

Read on to learn how to identify the specific wall cracks that indicate structural problems as well as their causes.

Do wall cracks indicate a structural problem in my home?

Wall cracks inside and around your home could mean a lot of different things.

Sometimes, wall cracks can be a superficial, cosmetic issue. But other times, they can indicate deeper structural problems caused by shifting ground, failing house foundations or even poor design and construction.

Seeing wall cracks around your home and concerned if there are deeper issues in your home?

Read on to learn how to identify the specific wall cracks that indicate structural problems as well as their causes.

What do structural wall cracks look like?

Stepped Wall Cracks

If you have stepped cracks over 5mm, it’s highly likely your house foundations are no longer stable. Stepped cracks usually indicate a large part of your home is moving due to unstable brick house foundations or unstable soil below ground.

When you have stepped cracks, it’s likely you’ll also have cracked walls in other parts of your home. Stepped wall cracks definitely aren’t cosmetic or superficial. They should be investigated as soon as possible.

Wall crack

Internal and External Wall Cracks

If light travels through your cracked walls or if you have cracks sitting above your doors and windows, your home is experiencing significant movement. Movement of your home can be caused by foundation failure, soil failure, additional loads and extensions to your home or even expansion of the actual brick.

If you observe light travelling through your wall cracks at any time of day, your home definitely has a structural problem.

Horizontal Wall Cracks

Horizontal cracks are a tell-tale sign of localized movement in your home. While stepped cracks are usually an indicator of mass movement, horizontal cracks are an indicator of a foundational failure directly beneath the cracked wall.

Sometimes horizontal cracks just stop which means the wall is dropping down at a very localised and specific location. While horizontal cracks are a localised issue, the remainder of the structure will continue to sink and break apart if they’re not fixed.

Wall Cracks in Corners

Over extended periods of time, clay bricks (natural product clay) expand. Some can even expand up to several millimetres per year. This may not sound like much, but over decades this expansion of the clay brick can create lateral force. This force drives the ends of walls into each other causing cracks to appear in the corners of your home.

Left untreated, lateral force can destabilise your home to the extent the walls can become free-standing and ready to fall over.

Seeing wall cracks in and around your house?

Do you need a permanent wall crack repair solution that’s non-disruptive and cost effective?

What are the leading causes of wall cracks?

Reactive Clay Soil

Reactive Clay Soils

A major cause of wall cracks is reactive clay. Reactive clay soils expand or contract as seasons change throughout the year. They expand in the presence of moisture and contract as they dry up during hotter months.

If the soil under your home expands and contracts evenly, you may not get wall cracks in your home. But if the soil under your home expands or contracts unevenly, your home’s foundations may undergo an immense amount of stress. In turn, your home will develop internal and/or external wall cracks.

load

Additional Loads

Wall cracks appear when a home’s weight goes beyond what it was constructed to take. As a home gets heavier with additional loads (such as wall extensions), the force upon the structure’s foundation and the soil upon which it sits increases.

If this force happens to be unevenly directed or distributed, it can have a devastating impact upon the structure. Wall cracks are just the beginning.

water-erosion

Poor Drainage

Poor drainage is a major cause of wall cracks. Unconnected pipes, broken drains and leakages allow water to find its way into the soil under your home. Over time, the ground becomes unstable due to soil erosion.

Voids in the ground and aeration of the soil may have developed underneath your home. They cause instability in your home’s foundation and in turn, cracks in your walls.

work

Poor Workmanship

Wall cracks can appear when your home’s been poorly constructed. If builders and contractors have built your home in a hurry, they may have cut corners and used a lot of shortcuts.

They may have neglected to compact the ground on which your home was built or neglected to install quality drainage which leads to soil erosion. Unstable ground means an unstable foundation resulting in wall cracks.

expand

Expanding Materials

Wall cracks can appear when brickwork expands. Some clay bricks can expand up to several millimetres per year as they age over time. This expansion creates lateral force and if it isn’t controlled correctly it causes wall cracks to appear.

Wall cracks can also appear in concrete walls. As concrete ages, it can shrink and deflect.

Wall Cracks Icon

Poor Design

In the fast paced modern construction environment, walls can be designed incorrectly. Wall cracks can appear when forces haven’t been account for and structures move.

In years gone by, no standards existed at all, and builders and contractors could only follow the common practices of the time. If you live in an older building, walls cracking is very common because of this reason.

Need your wall cracks repaired today?

If you have cracked walls that look just like the ones on this page, or cracks you’re just not sure about, we highly recommend that you get in touch.

We’re happy to take a look at your home for FREE.

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