Building Inspections – Cracking Structures

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Building Inspections Cracking Structures

Building inspections cracking structures. During a building inspection, the inspector should identify any cracking to the structural building elements and report on the severity. Generally the building inspector should categorise  cracking to brickwork as follows:

Cracking – Damage Category 0 – Hairline (less than 1mm).

Hairline cracks are very minor in nature and generally are only ever an appearance defect. While such cracking may be noticeable in some cases it is common and does not indicate any structural damage. Cracking of this nature can generally be repaired with minor sanding filling and/or repainting.

Such works should be performed by a qualified carpenter or a general handyman.

Cracking – Damage Category 2 – Noticeable (up to 5mm).

Noticeable cracks are a common occurrence as a result of many primary defects including age, general wear and tear, expected building movement, general expansion/ contraction of building materials in different weather conditions and / or minor failings in the installation or application of building materials.

Noticeable cracks may result in minor sticking or jamming of associated doors and windows which require easement however cracks are easily filled and repaired.

Cracking – Damage Category 4 – Extensive Repair Required (More than 15mm).

Extensive repair work is generally required when managing cracking of this degree. This may involve breaking out and replacing wall sections especially over doors and windows. Door frames and window frames are often distorted causing windows and doors to jam and stick. The property may already be affected by leaning or bulging walls and loss of some load bearing in the beams.

This may also result if the source of the cracking is unmanaged. Service pipes may already be disrupted or could become disrupted in the future.

The cause and effect of cracking of this degree is almost always structural and related to movement of key structural elements. A structural engineer should be appointed immediately to inspect the structural integrity of the affected areas and to assess the safety of the associated structures.

The engineer can also nominate a scope of works required for rectification.

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