2 Main Categories Of Wall Cracks & How to Solve Them.
Wall cracks can be a common problem in buildings of all ages and types, and they can indicate a variety of issues. In this blog post, we will discuss the types of wall cracks and their causes and the steps you can take to solve them.
Wall Cracks Types.
We will categorize the wall cracks depending on their severity into two types:
- Non-Dangerous cracks, under this category we have two types which are:
- Vertical cracks.
- Cracks under windows and doors.
- Dangerous cracks, under this category we have two types which are:
- Horizontal cracks.
- Diagonal cracks.
1. Non-Dangerous cracks.
Not all wall cracks are dangerous or indicative of a serious structural problem, these types of cracks are not indicating any structural problem, as a result they are safe on the people living inside the facility, there are two main types which are:
- Vertical cracks: These cracks are common in walls and usually run straight up and down. They , and it can be caused by the different thermal expansion/contraction coefficient in the different structural elements. This crack can be avoided by applying steel mesh during the plastering stage between different type of structure elements to avoid such crack.
- Cracks around windows and doors: These Vertical cracks can be caused by Thermal expansion and contraction, as extreme temperature changes can cause the materials around the windows and doors to expand and contract, leading to cracks. They can also be an indication of poor installation or maintenance of the windows or door.
It is important to keep in mind that while these types of cracks may not be dangerous, they should still be monitored and repaired if necessary to prevent them from worsening over time.
Solving Non-Dangerous Cracks.
The appropriate solution for these cracks depends on the cause and the level of the crack impact. Here are some general steps that may help solve vertical wall cracks:
- Identify the cause: Before repairing the crack, it is important to identify the cause of the crack. If the cause is not addressed, the crack may reappear or worsen over time.
- Prepare the surface: Clean the area around the crack to remove any loose debris or dirt. Use a wire brush or scraper to remove any loose paint or plaster.
- Fill the crack: Fill the crack with an appropriate filler, such as joint compound or epoxy. Use a putty knife to apply the filler, making sure to fill the entire crack.
- Sand and smooth the surface: After the filler has dried, use sandpaper to smooth the surface. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper and gradually move to a finer grit.
- Paint or finish the surface: After the surface is smooth, it can be painted or finished to match the surrounding area.
2. Dangerous cracks.
Dangerous wall cracks are those that indicate a structural problem in the building, as a result they are unsafe on the people living inside the facility, there are two main types of these cracks which are:
- Horizontal cracks: These cracks run parallel to the ground and can be an indication of serious structural issues in the building. Horizontal cracks can be caused by soil pressure, water damage, or overloading (deflection).
- Diagonal cracks: These cracks are usually found in corners of walls and can be caused by settling or shifting of the building’s foundation (especially in single footing foundations). Diagonal cracks may also indicate a problem with the roof or upper floors.
If you notice any of these types of cracks in your walls, it is important to take an immediate action to define the root cause and take the appropriate action accordingly.
Ignoring these warning signs can lead to further damage to the building and potentially compromise its structural integrity.
Solving Dangerous Cracks.
Here are some general steps that may help solve these wall cracks:
- Identify the cause: as mentioned above, the horizontal and the diagonal have different root cause that should be tackled.
- Stabilize the structure: If the horizontal crack indicates a serious structural problem, it is important to stabilize the structure before attempting any repairs. This may involve installing support beams or column jacketing (if the cause is deflection) or reinforcing the foundation and injecting the areas beneath the foundation (if there is settlements) and stopping the cause of settlement (if it is a water leak).
- Repair the crack: Once the structure is stabilized, the crack can be repaired. The appropriate repair method will depend on the severity of the crack and the materials used in the building. A professional may recommend using epoxy injection, carbon fiber reinforcement, or other specialized techniques.
- Finish the surface: After the crack has been repaired, the surface can be finished to match the surrounding area. This may involve applying plaster, paint, or other finishing materials
In conclusion, wall cracks can be a serious problem for buildings of all ages and types. Understanding the causes and types of wall cracks, as well as the steps to solve them, can help you maintain the structural integrity of your building and prevent further damage.