Why do cracks appear in walls

Crack in the masonry: a case for a structural engineering office?

In the kitchen, in the stairwell or at the transition to the extension: cracks can basically appear anywhere in the house. Sometimes they're just a cosmetic problem. In other cases they point to Tensions in the structure down. Then an assessment by a specialist is recommended. Here you can find out more about the different types of cracks and how you can identify problematic cases.

What types of cracks are there in the masonry?

A fundamental difference in cracks is that Depth. It is also crucial whether the length and width increase.

An optical problem: Recognize and eliminate plaster cracks

Fine superficial damage that is not related to the underlying components is referred to as plaster cracks. For example, they are created by Changes in temperature and humidity. They also often occur immediately after renovation, when building materials contract due to water loss. In old buildings and on the weather side, the plaster cracks occasionally show a reticulate course. This is often harmless. You can eliminate the visual problem by repainting or plastering the wall. If the plaster cracks appear again, a fabric filling is advisable.

Deep and long cracks in the wall

It is more problematic when the cracks can also be seen under the plaster or are particularly long and wide. In detail, there are many different characteristics: horizontal cracks, vertical or sloping. In addition, they can be straight or especially with brick walls stepped run away. They all indicate physical stresses in the building. They often occur where two components meet, for example at the gable or at the transition to the garage. Cracks in the wall are also more common on windows.

How do I recognize dynamic cracks?

Are a special form dynamic structural cracks. In contrast to the static cracks, they become longer and / or wider. This change proves that there is currently tension, which in turn should be an alarm signal for property owners. Identifying a dynamic crack is not difficult: use a pencil to mark the ends and see if the crack extends beyond it. This can happen over a period of several months. It is also helpful to photograph the crack at certain intervals. Construction companies often attach a fine plasterboard to the affected area, which is firmly attached to the masonry. If it tears, the crack is dynamic.

Reasons for cracks in the masonry

Why are there cracks in the masonry? There are a number of reasons for this. Often it is Settlement cracks. They arise because the house does not sink evenly after construction. Good to know: It is quite natural that the ground gives way a little. Tensions arise from unevenly acting forces. Other reasons for cracks in the masonry are:

  • Subsurface subsoil, for example as a result of mining
  • Construction work in the neighborhood
  • Lowering of groundwater
  • Earthquake
  • Severe or permanent tremors
  • Incorrect statics

Hire a structural engineer or not?

If you have discovered a crack, the question arises whether it is a case for a structural engineering office. Basically, if in doubt, it is better to check once more than once too little. If the Dynamic crack in the masonry is particularly deep or has arisen suddenly, the appraisal is urgently recommended. An on-site inspection is recommended here.

Refurbishing wall cracks: Various options to choose from

Superficial static cracks can be repaired using simple methods as described. In the case of deeper or larger cracks, it is advisable to commission a specialist company. One common method is that Crack injection by means of injection methods. To secure the structure in the event of dynamic cracks, there is the possibility of Spiral anchor to use. They form a bridge between (separate) components. Proof of stability may be required.

Further information on the existing building