It can be very worrying, as a homeowner, when you notice that there is one of more cracks in your property. When you see a crack, you immediately think of subsidence, which as I’m sure you’ll know is a major structural problem that can be pretty expensive to put right!
However, sometimes a crack is just a crack, and it doesn’t mean that subsidence is present. So, how do you know how worried you should be? Well, the easiest way is to call in structural engineers from a reputable firm like Allcott Associates. If you’re unable to do that right now, the read on to find out more about identifying the cracks in your home:
Understanding Cracks in Your Property
Most older properties will have at least one or two cracks in them – they have after all been through a lot, and things like putting in new windows and doors can cause the building to ’sag’ and crack in places. So, if your property is older and cracks appear around doors and windows, there is no reason to panic immediately, especially if the cracks are hairline in nature, which brings us to…
Hairline cracks are rarely a big problem. They could be down to anything from minor problems with the plastering to the settlement of a property (something that is very common with new builds), and they can be very easily patched up with a flexible filler most of the time.
Cracks in the Chimney Breast
If you’re concerned about cracks on the chimney breast, there is no need to panic because they are usually caused by the way your fire cools and heats the brickworks causing it to expand and contract all the time. Having a professional chimney sweep, like the ones at NACS, come in and give the chimney the once-over is a good way to see what’s going on and whether further action needs to be taken.
Cracks That Just Appear
Cracks that seemingly appear out of nowhere and get very big very fast after an obvious concern and could point to you having a subsidence problem on your property. If you notice this, you should call a structural engineer to take a look as soon as you possibly can.
Cracks That Come Back
If you’ve noticed what seems like a fairly minor crack, filled it up or plastered over it, only for it to return, then your concerns may be warranted, and it could be the sign of a serious structural problem too.
How Do You Deal With Subsidence?
First of all, you will need to call in a structural engineer to diagnose the problem, That is the first step to dealing with a serious subsidence problem.You can’t just fill in the crack or do nothing about it because subsidence only occurs when the ground underneath your house is shifting. If you let it keep shifting, then you probably won’t have much of a house left for very long!
The bottom line: Use your judgement, ask for professional help and deal with the problem; don’t stick your head in the sand when the cracks start to appear.