Cracking in Walls

There are cracks in all structures, some minor and immaterial, whereas there are some requiring costly repairs and in some extraordinary cases the one and only solution is the complete demolition of the structure.

This article is expected to place cracks into setting:  clearly one of the real worries of house purchasers, “How big of a problem cracks are” is a question I am regularly inquired.

Firstly I think it is essential to comprehend why structures move. The two principle reasons are settlement and subsidence, and these can best be clarified with the pictures shown below.

Settlement happens because of the downward pressure. Subsidence happens because of the elimination of earth underneath the baseline. Settlement is typically without difficulty handled with the help of the cosmetic repair, and where subsidence can show to be difficult and not very economic for repairment.

There is a circumstance in which settlement can lead to subsidence. Drains are attached to a building, and if these shear or crack because of the settlement the succeeding leakage could lead to subsidence by washing away of the subsoil.

All structures settle when they are built, the thing to do is to keep the resolution to an extremely low level. The other reasons of the movement and cracking are because of the not very satisfactory methodologies of construction, maintenance and design.

Types of cracks in wall

In this article we will learn about  with the five most widespread reasons which leads to the cracks:

  1. Expansion Cracks


Walls are influenced by change in temperature and dampness as well.  Materials can experience the ill effects of introductory shrinkage as well as ensuing constriction and development. This kind of development offers ascend to the cracks. The crack appeared in the picture is appeared as vertical, which is frequently the case. Be that as it may, the crack often follows the line of weakest resistance and may end up stepped.

The cracks are frequently observed above window and entryway openings where the opening itself soothes the crack. This sort of crack has a steady width and it is this that recognizes from other more genuine cracks.


When left to its own devices, the crack do not pose great significance, however it can let water into the cavity in houses mainly built with bricks, and subsequence leads to the weakening of the wall ties. For that reason, filling that crack with mastic or selastic compound is very essential. On the other hand, for more rigorous cracking, it is sensible to create an expansion joint. The expansion joint would be cut into wall, filled with a compactable substance with a water-resistant stopper to the exterior. On many modern structures these are created at the phase of construction stage and then camouflaged behind rainwater downpipes.

  1. Cracks above openings

Absence of lintels


In some structures, due to poor decision of the builders there are absence of lintels and rely on the timber frame of window to uphold the masonry above, but when the windows are substituted cracks appear.


The cracks should be repaired and new lintels should be kept.

Insufficient bearings


The accurate overhang (bearing) of the lintels ahead of the openings is 150mm (6 inches) on each side. In cases where the bearings are inadequate, the lintels will drop and the cracks will begin to show. On the other hand, on some older structures, massive stone lintels with only 50mm (2 inches) bearings.


Changing the lintel is suggested. On the other hand, once again repainting will be enough until the window or door is substituted.

Loads applied directly over opening


This usually happens right above first floor lintels where the roof have been put right above of the window openings. The load forced is very high for the lintel to manage with and the downward pressure leads to cracking


In this case as well replacement of the lintel is suggested. The rigorousness and age of these cracks would determine whether mere repainting would be enough until the window is changed.

Elimination of doors and windows without ample propping


The most dominant reason for this kind of cracking is the exclusion of on hand window frames to install the PVCu. In many cases, we have witnessed the absolute collapse of the brickwork above the bay windows.


The most suitable repair for this method is to reset the whole lintel and build the brickwork above again, and refit the window.

  1. Wall Tie Failure


Wall ties refer to the metal ties that are constructed into both solid and cavity walls built in stretcher bond to keep hold of the exterior of the brickwork internally. Breakdown usually happens when rusting occurs in ties. When the metal ties experience rusting they increase leading to the cracking usually seen every sixth course parallel to the mortar joints.


Replacing of the wall ties is vey essential. Cracking is the early symptom of a breakdown. When replacement is not done, there are good chances for the wall to collapse. Removing the existing ties is suggested.


  1. Subsidence


  • Clay subsoil
  • Peak subsoil
  • Tree root activity
  • Mining activity
  • Underground drainage leakage


It usually needs some kind of underpinning. But, advice from specialist like structural engineer will be needed.

  1. Ground Heave


The pattern of this cause is similar to that of subsidence crack. But, the crack will be the widest at the foundation of the wall. The most dominant cause is the amplification the clay subsoils.


In rare cases, underpinning the deeper foundation is the only remedy. For most cases, the ideal solution will be to eliminate the clay from baseline as early as possible and substitute it with hardcore.



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