Finishing

Why do walls in a new apartment or house crack?

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Cracks on walls in a new house or apartment often surprise the investor. They are also a source of anxiety about the reliability of workmanship and the future fate of the property. It is very important to quickly discover the reason for the cracks and remove them.

Types of cracks in walls

Emerging cracks are not always a reason to raise the alarm. Of course, we can consult a professional, but sometimes it is not necessary. What is important is the depth and location of the blemishes appearing on the wall

Surface cracks

The appearance of surface cracks on the walls is not a cause for alarm. Small cracks in the masonry are unsightly, but they are sometimes present on new and old masonry, which does not affect its technical condition. If cracks appear, the danger does not exist. Most often, they appear as a result of the stress of building materials – these are the so-called “shrinkage cracks” up to 3 mm wide

Deep cracks

The problem arises when the cracks penetrate the entire layer of plaster or even the masonry. Places with frequent occurrence of dangerous cracks are:

  • the junction of the ceiling and partition walls,
  • lintels,
  • ceiling joists (cracks running transverse to them).

Causes of cracks in new buildings

Why do walls in new buildings crack? In addition to the aforementioned stress of building materials, there are several other reasons.

Settling of the building

Prolonged settling of the building is a natural phenomenon. The structure is very heavy, so it’s good practice to start the finishing works only a year after the building shell has been reached. Then the building settles, which translates into fewer cracks after finishing works. Unfortunately, this is not an economical solution: often the developer is very keen to quickly hand over the building to the owner despite the fact that there will be problems with cracking of the walls.

Incorrect foundation structure

A frequent reason for cracking walls in new buildings is improper identification of ground conditions. Without making test boreholes it happens, that the made foundation will be too weak in relation to the quality of the ground (e.g. because of the presence of weak soil or high ground water level)

Removal of damages is the responsibility of the developer

Before you take action on your own, it is worth knowing about the warranty for physical defects of the property. It is the developer’s responsibility to remedy structural defects in the structure. You can pursue this by reporting the problem to the construction company that erected the property, or by having a professional perform an expert analysis

Ways to remove cracks

Well-chosen crack removal technique and appropriate materials are the key to getting rid of the problem. Some of the actions we can do ourselves – despite the lack of specialized knowledge.

Necessary accessories for crack removal

To remove small cracks, a joint compound is used. The market of repair preparations in various forms (loose or in the form of a ready-made preparation) is very competitive. However, you need to take care to choose the right compound for the type of cracked plaster. For point cracks, easy to apply acrylic putty is used, which forms a protective coating. It works quickly and is not troublesome to apply.

Repairing small cracks by yourself

It is worth putting a protective film on the floor, so as not to damage it. The wall must be cleaned and dry. Beforehand, you should check whether the crack is only in the plaster or also in the wall. Apply the ready to use compound with a small spatula. Wait for the time specified by the manufacturer for its drying. Then gently level the irregularities with sandpaper. Then remove the dust with a vacuum cleaner and paint the wall.

Consult a specialist

In case of deeper cracks you should consult a specialist. It is likely that then you will need the intervention of a renovation company. It is very important to determine the causes of problems with cracked walls. It may turn out that it will be necessary, for example, to strengthen the foundation – it is rather impossible to do it without specialist knowledge

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