Cracks in walls:
Cracks in walls can appear for a variety of reasons in the UK, ranging from minor cosmetic issues to more serious structural problems. Understanding the cause of the crack is important, as this will determine the appropriate course of action to remedy the issue.
One of the most common reasons for cracks in walls is settlement, which occurs when the ground beneath the foundation of the building shifts or settles over time. This can cause small cracks to appear in the walls, particularly around windows and doors, but may not necessarily indicate a serious structural problem.
Another common cause of cracks is thermal expansion and contraction, which occurs when the temperature fluctuates, causing the materials in the walls to expand and contract. This can result in minor cracks or shrinkage in the walls, particularly in older buildings where the materials used may be more susceptible to this type of movement.
Cracks can also be caused by more serious structural issues, such as subsidence or heave, which can cause the building to shift or move. These types of cracks are usually more pronounced and may be accompanied by other signs, such as doors and windows sticking, or floors that slope or feel uneven.
In order to determine the cause of the cracks and the appropriate course of action, it is important to consult a qualified professional, such as a structural engineer or surveyor. They will be able to assess the severity of the problem and recommend any necessary repairs, which may range from minor cosmetic fixes to more extensive structural work such as underpinning.