Cracking The Mystery: Why Has Your Home Got Cracks?

Almost all homes have cracks of some shape or form. They could be in the walls or in the ceiling and
they could be straight or jagged. Many cracks are harmless can be more serious, possibly letting in
water or threatening your home’s structural integrity.
Whilst you should get any serious cracks repaired, it’s beneficial to also look into the source as there
could even more severe problems to tackle. Here are just a few of the major causes of harmful cracks
in homes.
Water damage
Water damage can commonly lead to cracks in walls. This is most common around the foundations -
if there is poor drainage, water may pool around the base of your home and start to penetrate the
walls. You may have to look into drainage solutions if this is the case (broken guttering may also be to
blame – so check if this needs repairing too). Internal plumbing leaks can also lead to cracks, which
will likely need to be dealt with by a plumber.
Subsidence
This is another major cause of cracks in walls. Soil beneath buildings can often compact over time,
which causes the whole home to sink (known as subsidence). This may put stress on certain parts of
the home, causing cracks in walls and floors. If subsidence is the culprit, your best option may be to
seek out foundation repair. This is a big job, but it could be necessary for the safety of your home. 
Botched extensions
Sometimes when a poorly-built extension is added to a home, cracks can form in the joints between
the main home and the extension. To stop any further damage, the extension may need to be
underpinned. If the extension was built without planning permission, it could also be a case of
problems with the soil that were never checked.
Tree damage
Tree roots can sometimes disturb foundations. This can lead to cracks forming in basements and
walls too. Such a tree will likely need to be removed by a qualified tree surgeon. Before removing this
tree, you’ll want to get planning permission – some trees can be protected, although generally if it
poses a risk to your building, a planning committee will allow it to be removed.
Nearby construction/excavation work
Construction and excavation work can send tremors through the ground. In some cases, these
vibrations can lead to cracks appearing in walls and foundations. This tends to be a problem largely
in weaker buildings, although it can also be down to the soil quality. Also, the closer the work is to the
house, the greater chance cracks may appear.

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