What Cracks Should I Worry About?

How can you tell if a crack is structural?

The common characteristics structural cracks include:Continuous horizontal cracks along walls.Vertical cracks that are wider at the top or bottom.Stair-step cracks.Foundation wall cracks.Cracks in beams, foundation slabs.Angled cracks that form in the corners of walls with a horizontal crack in the center.More items…•.

Are hairline cracks in plaster normal?

All buildings shift slightly over time, which can cause cracks to appear in plaster walls. In most cases, hairline cracks in plasterwork are nothing to worry about and can be fixed with relative ease.

Are foundation cracks serious?

While not dangerous, these cracks should not be left unchecked. Cracks of this type are a sign of differential settlement (horizontal and vertical tension), which can cause serious structural problems in the home. They occur when sections of your home settle faster than others.

What are the signs of a bad foundation?

The 8 Most Common Signs of Foundation Problems Include:Foundation Cracks, Wall/Floor Cracks and Other Types Of Fractures: … Foundation Settling Or Sinking. … Foundation Upheaval. … Doors That Stick Or Don’t Open And Close Properly. … Gaps Around Window Frames Or Exterior Doors. … Sagging Or Uneven Floors.More items…•

Do subsidence cracks look like?

The tell-tale sign of subsidence is a diagonal crack, next to a door or window, which is often narrow at the bottom and wider at the top. Look out for cracks that can be seen on both the inside and outside of the house. If they are underneath wallpaper, they may cause it to wrinkle.

When should I worry about cracks in walls UK?

If the cracks are jagged, are at 45-degree angles or look like a flight of stairs going up your wall, you probably need to get them checked out. They are probably harmless but could be a sign of structural issues that will need addressing, so it is worth making sure.

Should I worry about hairline cracks?

Problematic wall cracks will typically start at windows, doorways or house corners. Generally, smaller hairline cracks are not cause for concern. These are usually the result of seasonal expansion and contraction of clay soils beneath your house over time, and can be easily patched and re-painted.

When should I be worried about cracks in walls?

Measure the width of cracks with measuring tape. Typically, wider cracks signify more serious issues than thinner cracks. Cracks less than 1/8-inch thick are considered stress cracks and are harmless, while cracks 1/4-inch wide and larger are often more serious.

How do you know if a wall crack is serious?

Severe – cracks up to 25mm wide could be a sign of structural damage and should be inspected and repaired by a professional. Very severe – any crack above 25mm in width indicates serious structural damage and will need major repair work, which could include underpinning and rebuilding.

When should I be concerned about foundation cracks?

You can expect to see more as the foundation dries completely. However, brick wall cracks will not be caused by shrinkage and may indicate a structural or support problem. Caution should be used if the bond courses are broken. There is a significant risk of wall collapse, so contact a professional immediately.

Are vertical or horizontal cracks worse?

Vertical cracks are usually the direct result of foundation settling, and these are the more common of foundation issues. Horizontal cracks are generally caused by soil pressure and are normally worse than vertical cracks.

Why do my walls keep cracking?

Why do cracks occur on walls? Here are a few common reasons: Contraction and expansion: The materials (paint, plaster) that make up your wall contract and expand because of fluctuations in humidity levels and temperature changes. … In addition, using different paints for each paint coat can also cause cracks on the wall.

Is it normal for old houses to have cracks?

Cracks are usually caused by settlement, but not necessarily. Expansion and contraction can cause them, as can inadequate framing members. Houses move with the climate: Heat and moisture will make them expand, cold and dryness will make them contract. This movement is normal and in most cases will not cause cracks.

How do you stop walls cracking?

DO place expansion joints at the junction of walls with different environmental or climatic exposures or support conditions. Tip: Use expansion joints to separate adjacent brick walls of different heights to avoid cracking caused by differential movement.