How Much Should You Worry About That Crack?

Cracking in the walls, ceilings and floors of your home is disconcerting. Always.


Cracking is indicative of a structural defect, right? Not always.


Structural intervention is expensive, there is no way of getting around it. Underpinning, reblocking and in the most extreme of cases demolition are sometimes required. 


Sometimes the cracks are not symptomatic of an issue that requires structural intervention. Sometimes all that is required is a patch up and paint as we move in and out of drought cycles. 


Cracks can be caused by a large number of variables, some of which can be readily mitigated through managing the ground our homes are built on.


The suburbs surrounding Melbourne can be built on soils that have a tremendous capacity to shrink and swell with moisture changes. Normally buildings are designed taking this seasonal movement into account – minimizing how much of the soil movements get transferred into your floors, walls and ceilings. 


Sometimes the culprit lies in our garden. Trees, gardens and garden beds close to your home can have a profound effect on the moisture conditions of the soils your home has been built on, same goes for leaking water and sewer pipes. 


Sometimes cracking can be a result of something more sinister – poor workmanship, poor material choices and/or poor design. 


If you have concerns over cracking you have noticed in your home or building, the quickest way to gain an understanding of what could be causing the cracking and how much you should be worrying about them to engage the services of a Structural Engineer.

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