Should you worry when cracks appear on your walls?
Cracks in walls are often the first warning signs of serious and ongoing structural damage caused by subsidence. Cracks forming in walls is not an uncommon occurrence, but where some of them can be relatively harmless, others may be a sign that the foundations are sinking or have been damaged. If these problematic cracks aren’t taken care of as soon as possible, then it could cause further damage, therefore decreasing the value of your property.
When are cracks in walls signs of a problem with the structure itself?
If you’re experiencing larger cracks in the wall, and if that you start to notice the following characteristics, then the foundations of the building may have been weakened:
- 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 around windows, doorways or the corners of buildings. Generally, smaller cracks in walls, 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. Hairline cracks can be easily patched and re-painted, making it a relatively easy and inexpensive issue to rectify.
Why do larger cracks appear in walls?
Large cracks in walls may appear when the foundation of a building shrinks or becomes weakened, allowing the entire building, or even a section of it, 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 of subsidence include:
- Shrinking clay caused by dry spells
- Excessive water due to broken pipes
- Fillings that have been compacted poorly
- Tree roots drawing water from the soil – caused by thirsty trees in dry weather
How to monitor or measure cracks in your walls?
If you have cracks in internal or external walls, it is important to monitor them as they can increase in size which would be a cause for concern. Should you need to contact Geobear it would be helpful if you know the size of the cracks. We can send you a crack gauge card in the post to monitor the situation. Please submit your details below:
Crack Gauge CardIf you have cracks in the walls of your property, we will send you a crack gauge card in the post to monitor the size.
How can Geobear help? – Visit our Home Owners area for a free quote
Geobear ground engineering solutions are highly-effective for ridding your property of cracks in walls, regardless of how big or small the building is. As well as commercial customers, we’re also able to provide long lasting solutions to domestic clients and 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 re-levelling – those specific cracks can form in both interior and exterior walls.
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 the Geobear team applies are vastly more effective and efficient than traditional concrete underpinning methods. Our solutions do not just apply to concrete slab floors; we can also lift and relevel strip footings, waffle-pod slabs and raft slabs. In addition, we’re also able to fill in any gaps that may be present on paths and driveways.
How can the cracks be treated?
The best, most long lasting solution for correcting large cracks in walls is to lift, re-level and strengthen the ground under the building. The process we follow to correct the levels is called ‘underpinning’. As the building is re-levelled, the cracks in 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.
Benefits of Geobear´s ground engineering solutions:
- Cracks in walls, both internally and externally, 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 or mud 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.