There is cracking in my house?!?!
Settling in on the couch, flicking on the TV you start unwinding and relaxing in your home when, out of the corner of your eye, you notice something that wasn’t there before – a crack!! You know no one in your household caused the crack- you’re sure it wasn’t there when you looked yesterday and now you’re starting to worry. So, you start google searching reasons as to why your house has cracks, which isn’t settling your anxiety…
What does this mean and how can this be fixed? Is the house about to collapse? Should I be evacuating my family?
First of all, don’t panic! A crack, while it looks very horrible, does not generally indicate a major structural problem and in most cases, it only needs a quick cosmetic fix. To be sure about the severity of the crack, it would help to engage the services of a property inspector or structural engineer, as they can ascertain the cause and extent of the problem and give you some professional advice on the next steps to take.
Cracking or ‘movement’ in a building or in paving can occur because of several reasons. Some of these may include:
- Ground movement and changing conditions in the environment may be attributable to the following reasons:
- Trees and shrubs drawing on the moisture in the foundations which cause the soil to shrink and settle.
- Climate changes creating ‘saucer’ effects in the foundations.
- The run-off from raised street and footpath levels, stormwater, or blocked and leaking downpipes causing washout of the soil or foundation saturation.
- Differential movement of foundations and stress on the building.
- Vibration damage which can lead to moving foundations.
- As buildings age, there is naturally some shrinkage and warping which can cause cracks in plasterboard and minor crazing.
- Poor structural design or workmanship can result in overloading beyond the design capacity of a building.
Engaging an independent building inspector to assess the situation can help put your mind at rest. The inspector can identify any real issues and give you a better idea of the extent of the damage. They can also offer advice or recommendations as to how best to tackle the problems.
If you are at all unsure about the cracking you’re seeing, contact us at SPI Property Inspections. We can help to ascertain the cause and extent of the problem and give you some professional advice on the next steps to take.
Contact us today for a free online quote or phone us directly on 1300 721 032.