Why cracks appear in the walls and which ones are dangerous

The appearance of cracks in the walls has a strong visual impact and are of concern to home tenants. But not all cracks appear for the same reasons, nor do they all have the same danger.

In the first place, many cracks do not necessarily appear as a result of the deterioration of our home or due to the poor quality of the materials used in its construction. In fact, one of the most common causes does not even have to do with our own home, since it occurs due to the settlement of the entire building in which our home is located. A) Yes, it is normal for cracks to appear during the first years of a building’s life or microcracks in various parts of it, due to its settlement on the ground. These same cracks can appear in any common space on the property (stairs, facades, walls) due to the expansion of materials.

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But a fissure is one thing and a crack is another. The first should not exceed the opening millimeter or affect the brick, but only the cement coating, plaster or the paint of walls, partitions or facades. The cracks, on the other hand, are the cracks that exceed the opening millimeter. Their appearance can also be more or less dangerous depending on where they appear: it is not the same to detect them in structural elements (beams, joists, concrete walls, pillars …), than in non-structural elements (partitions and cladding).

Observe before repairing

Determining the causes of the appearance of cracks is not always easy. To be able to find out, experts do not repair them immediately, Instead, they write down the date they are detected and then observe them for a certain period of time. With this they can not only find out, for example, if they are static or dynamic, but also observe at what times of the year and in what weather conditions they worsen or if, on the contrary, their opening coincides with the realization of specific works in adjoining plots or buildings.

Only through these observations is it possible to determine if it turns out that our building supports excessive overloads, deformation of materials or suffers from a lack of expansion joints, for example. Yes the building is less than ten years old and the cracks are shown to be structural, the company that built it should take care of its repair.

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It is also advisable to discuss the situation with the rest of the neighbors, to see if it is a general problem of the farm or just a specific problem of our home

In addition to the location and size of the opening, another important aspect in determining the importance of cracks is their orientation. The most dangerous are those that have an inclination of 45 degrees with respect to the ground, and more if they go diagonally up the wall in the form of a ladder. However, it is recommended that an expert assess the severity of the problem.