Cracks on your walls

Should you worry when cracks appear on your walls?

It may be easy to try to ignore the appearance of cracks on your walls, but it could actually be the first warning signs of serious and ongoing structural damage caused by subsidence. Cracks on the walls of buildings are not uncommon; although some may be relatively harmless, others may be signs of a foundation that is sinking or has been damaged (subsidence). In so far as problematic cracks on walls are not taken care of, the damage to the foundations can greatly decrease the value of the property.

 

When may cracks on a wall be signs of a problem with the structure itself?

In so far as there are larger cracks that display the following characteristics, the foundation of the building may be weak:

large wall crack indicating subsidence

  • The two sides of a wall are at different heights
  • There is a gap between doors and windows and their frames
  • Any cracks are wider than about 5mm

Cracks on walls that may be problematic usually originate at windows, doorways or the corners of buildings. Generally, smaller cracks that are hairline in nature are harmless. The appearances of these such cracks are commonly due to seasonal expansions and the contraction of soils beneath the building that take place over time, and can be easily patched and re-painted.

Why do larger cracks appear on walls?

Large cracks may appear on walls when the foundation of a building shrinks or becomes weakened, allowing the entire or a section of the building to sink downwards- known as subsidence. This usually occurs when the soil beneath the building has become either too dry or too wet.

Likely causes:

  • Shrinking clay
  • Excessive water due to broken pipes
  • Floods
  • Fillings that have been compacted poorly
  • Tree roots drawing water from soil

How can the cracks be treated?

The best solution for correcting large cracks on walls in the long-term is to lift, re-level and strengthen the ground under the building. This process to correct the levels is called underpinning. As the building is re-levelled, the cracks on walls may close together or become smaller (allowing the fine patching and repainting of plaster or render walls). It is common for windows and doors to once again function normally. Traditional underpinning or level correction methods involve the excavation of parts of the foundation, whereupon concrete can then be poured in, allowed to set, and the building can be raised up from the concrete blocks.

However, this traditional method may take a great deal of time (weeks or months). As a result of the work, residents may have to vacate the entire building, or a section of it. Therefore a Geobear solution, which is founded on the original Uretek injection process, has many beneficial aspects, namely time and convenience.

crack in brickwork measured to check for structural issuesHow Geobear can help?

Geobear ground engineering solutions are effective for cracks on walls in buildings of any size, including residential homes.

We will first visit your home, assess the damage, and discover the cause. Our experienced engineers and technicians will establish the underpinning approach that will be required and create a plan that will be location specific to your property.

Cracks often appear on walls on buildings that require a relevelling- these can occur both inside and outside. The foundations of such properties will need to be raised and re-levelled. When the buildings are re-levelled, the cracks on the walls will unusually close up, leaving a mere trace that is hairline in nature, requiring a simple repair through patching and painting. Most importantly, the damage to the structure will be corrected now and into the future.

The modern solutions Geobear team applies are vastly more effective and efficient than the traditional concrete underpinning.  Our solutions do not just apply to concrete slab floors; we can also lift and relevel strip footings, ‘waffle-pod’ slabs, and raft slabs, whilst we can also fill in gaps on paths and driveways.

Benefits of Geobear´s ground engineering solutions:

  • Cracks on walls generally close up
  • Doors and windows will be freed up to function normally
  • We will not make a mess: there will be no dust, water, etc, to clean up
  • There is minimal disruption
  • No further damage will be caused to the house or the landscaping
  • With simple jobs, residents may remain in the building undisturbed
  • Our techniques are non-invasive: no floors will be removed or ground excavated
  • Simple, residential jobs are often completed in one day
  • The methods we use strengthen ground that is weak, thus making your home level, free of cracks, and more stable
  • The products and techniques are environmentally friendly.

 


Contact us on 0800 084 3503 or use the form below.

 

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