No matter where you are from, where your house is located in, or how expensive it is, you will undoubtedly deal with cracks appearing in your walls. Cracks are among common house repairs that you should never delay and this is why in this article we will talk about the seven most notable causes of wall cracks and how to fix them. However, before we go into the most common reasons for wall cracks, let’s briefly cover the types of wall cracks that you can find.
• Vertical Cracks
Vertical cracks mostly appear between the joints of the wall, and they form between the floor and the wall structure. They appear due to the usage of low-quality building materials. While more severe cases are attributed to an awful reinforcement.
• Horizontal Cracks
In comparison to vertical cracks, horizontal cracks appear when you haven’t used enough building materials during the construction phase. A lack of adhesion between the joints of the wall is also known for contributing to this problem.
• Diagonal Cracks
Diagonal cracks are known to be the worst kind of cracks as they can lead to problems for the entire structure of the property. They happen due to damage to the entire structure and cannot be fixed easily. In the situation that you see a diagonal crack, you have to contact an expert immediately.
• Hairline Cracks
Do you know the cracks that you always see in Hollywood movies that look like branches? Those are hairline cracks. They appear due to moisture and humidity. They can, typically, be found in kitchens, basements, and bedrooms.
1) Using Low-quality Paint
Believe it or not, low-quality paint can cause issues down the road for the integrity of the wall. Bad paint adhesion can cause cracks to form in the walls.
Solution: Simply buy higher-quality paint. This might seem too blatant but it’s true. Higher-quality paint will save you from the pain of having to go through constant painting in order for the walls not to get cracks (which will cost you more money in the long run regardless).
2) Settling Over Time
As the house ages, you should expect to see some cracks from settling that appear over time. It will usually be apparent with cracks over windows and doors. Settling is unavoidable. It affects your foundation by slightly moving it with the changes to the weather. Buildings that are located on expansive soil tend to swell when they interact with moisture and shrink when dry. On its own, settling isn’t dangerous, however, over time it does lead to weak spots forming and cracks appearing in them. This process is sped up if heavy rain has access to your house’s foundation, as it causes settlement to start in the soil under the building.
Solution: Because the cracks that appear are small, they can be easily fixed and re-painted to restore them to their original form. Deeper cracks and problems will require an expert’s assistance as they might cause issues with the foundation.
Once a leak happens, it won’t take long for the effects to show. It starts with mold spots and discoloration and ends with cracks in the walls that are a result of constant water pressure and damage to the walls. There are many reasons why a leak can happen. As we have mentioned previously, heavy rain getting into the foundation and a weak roof and windows that let the water go through them are all lead causes of leaks.
Solution: The best way to deal with this is once you have noticed cracks and leaks you need to immediately search for the source. If it is a small leak, you can probably deal with it yourself. However, if you see that the issue is larger than previously estimated, it would be wise to talk to an expert.
4) Damage to the Foundation
Damage to your walls can also be caused as a direct consequence of the damage done to the foundation of the building. You will usually know whether they are correlated. An indicator should be the size of the cracks. If the cracks are significantly larger than normal cracks, it is tied to the foundation of the building. It can be a result of several factors such as inadequate construction, excessive water damage, and possibly even termites.
Solution: In order to deal with these problems you should consult with an expert. Luckily, you can avoid these problems by opting for companies such as Hi Cement Rendering who you know will do a proper job and prevent any faulty constructions from occurring. Foundation problems are serious and they should be dealt with by trusted experts.
5) Changes to the Temperature
Every material that we use reacts differently to different temperatures. This process gets accelerated with faster shifting and unstable temperatures. A sudden shift from -5º Celsius to +15º Celsius will impact your house structure more than a gradual shift from -10º to +25º.
Solution: Design specialized concrete mixes that produce less heat and you might even need to consider some cooling pipes. Afterward, carefully monitor temperature changes after placing the concrete mix.
The expansion of roots can lead to cracks appearing in your house and cause vegetation to occur below the foundation. After the plants take root, they begin to fissure the walls. It can happen either from the roots thrusting upwards to the foundation or due to the growing roots dehydrating. When an old tree gets cut down, the soil where it was located gets dehydrated by the roots and as a result, the swelling from an alternative source of moisture can cause the roots to thrust and crack the foundation.
Solution: Installing root barriers before the roots reach the house foundation or cutting the roots and damming them up so they don’t grow any further.
7) Elastic Deformities
Structural components like beams, walls, and columns built from steel and concrete have a chance of having elastic deformities happening to them. The severity of the problem largely depends on the material quality and their size. The stress these items receive in different parts varies greatly. With this said, the strain that occurs in certain parts has a chance of causing cracks to happen.
Solution: The entire process is reversible if the load that is causing the strain is removed. A quick online search on the problem will lead you to companies that deal with this problem by imposing compressive stresses on the cross-section. Next, the bending of the wall transmits bending intensities to the beams and breaks them.