Diagnosing Building Cracks

Diagnosing Building Cracks

Diagnosing Building Cracks

Discovering a crack in a building is never something that you are going to want to discover, they are not only unsightly (and will require covering) they are also a sign that there is a bigger problem. You don’t only need to fix the crack itself, but, at the same time you need to look into why it has happened and fix that. 

Many cracks that develop in a property will be superficial and they shouldn’t cause too much of a  problem. However, this isn’t always the case and there can be times when a crack is severe and needs urgent and necessary repair work to be carried out, especially before it gets any worse. 

Where can you usually find these cracks?

The reason that a crack will usually appear in a property is because there has been a build up of stress within the structure. The crack is where the weakness is and will be a build up and a release of the stress. They can happen anywhere in your home. 

Diagnosing Building Cracks can be daunting, so why not give us a call to take care of it for you.

Why might they be happening?

As we have already discussed, the main reason that a crack will appear is because there is some element of stress on a property. However, we can dig down deeper into this to identify actual causes of the stress.

The main ones are:

  • Damp damage
  • Decaying or crushed internal timber that is important to the properties structure 
  • Tree roots 
  • Adjacent walls becoming unstable 
  • A lack of good foundation
  • Changes in temperature
  • Issues caused by wind
  • Road traffic vibrations
  • Damaged drains


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How can you tell if a crack is severe or not?

The main way that a crack is diagnosed and its severity identified is by looking at the width of the crack. A crack will usually be split into 5 different groups, each of which will require a different approach or solution to be taken.

  • A negligible crack- this type of crack will be a hairline crack and will have a width that is less than a millimetre. They are not very nice to look at, but they are not too severe and can mostly be treated simply by redecorating the area. 
  • A slight crack- Next up is a slight crack, and this is usually due to structural movement over time. This crack will be between 1mm and 5mm wide and will often be fixed by filling any open voids and then redecorating the interior. The exterior of the property will also need to be repointed too. 
  • A moderate crack- If the crack measures between 5mm and 15mm then it is called as a moderate crack and building work is going to be needed. They will be able to identify the cause of the crack as well as the best way to treat it. There is more likely to be a complex reason behind these types of cracks and they will likely affect a wider area.
  • A severe crack- One thing that you are not going to want to hear is that you have a severe crack in your wall. These will be as big as 35mm wide and there is going to be the need to carry our extensive structural repair work. Usually requiring the replacement of the affected sections within the building. You will often find that a severe crack will also have smaller cracks around them.
  • A very severe crack- Finally you have the highest level that can be given to a crack. If the crack is over 25mm then it fits in this bracket and it means that there is severe structural damage to the property and that there is going to be major repair work. This could be partial or complete rebuilding with structural underpinning to help with any instability too. 

The main thing to keep in mind when it comes to cracks in your home is that no matter how small they seem; you need to make sure that you are getting them looked at by a professional, so that you won’t end up with a much bigger problem in the future. 

Contact London Structural Repairs to Diagnosing Building Cracks and to repair them for you for a hassle free professional service.





subsidence in london

Subsidence in London the common causes

Subsidence in London is an extremely common problem that haunts millions of home owners in London. With significant damages to the foundation of the structure as one of its most common consequences, subsidence can be caused by a number of different reasons. 

Interested in learning more about the natural and man-made causes of subsidence? Read on to find out as we tell you some of the most common causes of subsidence and how our professionals at London Structural Repairs can help mitigate the risk associated with it. 

Natural Causes of Subsidence in London

While there are plenty of different natural causes of subsidence that results in damage to houses in London, the most common culprit remains the expansion of cohesive soils. Clay and other cohesive soils are known to expand and shrink based on their moisture content. This affects the structures that are built on them. Since the weather conditions of London vary significantly, it goes without saying that the composition of these cohesive soils can also change drastically, leaving structures damaged. 

Soil decomposition and washing away of soils is another extremely common natural cause of subsidence in London. Even though non-cohesive soils are not prone to shrinkage and expansion like their cohesive counterparts, they are still susceptible to being washed away causing problems to buildings that may be built on them. What’s more, the decomposition of certain natural soils can cause movement of the ground, resulting in significant problems. 

Other Causes of Subsidence in London

In addition to the natural causes mentioned above, other factors can be involved in subsidence in London as well.  Leaky drains are a common culprit, causing the ground to soften considerably resulting in subsidence. If the problem remains undetected or unresolved for long, the ground may even be washed away, resulting in damaged foundations in buildings. 

Construction work in nearby areas and heavy traffic are also to blame for subsidence in London. Since both construction work and dense traffic can cause the ground to move constantly for extended periods of time, it is common for problems like subsidence to occur. 

While subsidence can cause numerous problems including cracked walls and weakened structures, you’ll be glad to know that most damages are reversible. By hiring the services of a professional service like London Structural Repairs, you will not only be able to assess the damage done, but experts in the field will also be able to present you with a variety of solutions that you can choose from. 

Interested in learning more about the available options to repair damages caused by subsidence? Give London Structural Repairs a call at 020 8936 7699 to find out how we can help with your problem.