When should you worry about cracks in walls?
Turning a blind eye to cracks in walls may mean you’re missing the warning signs for serious and ongoing structural damage caused by subsidence.
Cracks are a mechanism for releasing stresses which have built up within a structure, and they will naturally exploit inherent weaknesses in your home’s design.
While cracks in walls are common in buildings, and some are nothing to worry about, others can indicate subsidence, sinking or damaged foundation.
Some characteristics of larger cracks that are cause for concern include when two sides of a wall are at differing heights, when doors and windows have gaps around their frames and the cracks in question are wider than 5mm or you can insert your little finger in them.
Zig-zag or stepped cracks in brickwork which usually follow the mortar lines are also indicators of possible structural defects and weaknesses in the building’s foundation. As the subsidence continues the cracks will get wider.
Contact us if you would like an expert assessment.
Mainmark technologies for cracked walls subsidence remediation
Teretek® – Subsidence remediation through resin injection
With over 25 years’ experience, Mainmark has led the world offering some of the most advanced resin injection and grout solutions. Teretek from Mainmark is a new proprietary solution that utilises an injection delivery method developed to raise, re-level, and re-support buildings and other above-ground structure
Subsidence remediation with JOG computer-controlled grouting
JOG Computer-Controlled Grouting is an award-winning grouting technology for strengthening weak ground beneath larger homes and structures such as residential buildings, using a cement grout injected under computer control. It is an extremely precise method for stabilising soils, consolidating weak ground and lifting foundations to deliver specific, engineered outcomes, regardless of complexity.
Before and after treatment
Mainmark solutions to minimise wall cracks and treat subsidence
Mainmark’s subsidence and ground improvement treatment methods effective for fixing cracks in walls in homes and buildings of any size.
The Mainmark team of experts will visit the site to conduct a survey, assess the damage, and ascertain the cause. Our experienced engineers and technicians establish the most approproate method and create a treatment plan specific to the needs of the building
Houses and buildings that develop cracks in walls, which can occur internally and externally, often need to be re-levelled. These structures require their foundations to be lifted. As the building is re-levelled wall cracks generally close, leaving only a little cosmetic crack repair, such as patching and painting, to deal with. Most importantly, structural damage is resolved, to the relief of the building owner.
Individual houses, terraced houses, apartment buildings and commercial strcutures alike can suffer from settlement. Settlement of a floor slab or foundations, supporting the walls or structure of the building, often causes cracking in the brickwork walls.
Mainmark complete foundation and building lifting by using our non-invasive underpinning solutions. By injecting one of our structural resins into the ground under the building’s footings for foundation repair, we can stabilise the ground under foundations and lift the structure back to level, normally closing any cracks in internal walls of house that may have formed.
As opposed to more traditional methods of underpinning buildings, our Teretek resin injection solution is quicker and in most cases done from the outside using 16mm diameter tubes and if interior injection is required, only a 6mm tube is used. The size of the tubes means that there is minimal intrusion into the property.
Another of our non-invasive crack repair methods is JOG Computer–Controlled Grouting which allows our team to inject a property with a cement grout at as many as 128 points to make create a simultaneous, precise re-levelling proces
Mainmark technology benefits
Benefits of Mainmark’s subsidence and cracked wall treatments
Our technologies have fast curing times and treated areas can be used immediately or without the delays compared to traditional repair methods.
Our technologies use an inert material that is non-toxic and does not leach into the environment or affect the treated area.
Our solutions are of surgical nature compared to traditional methods.
Compared to traditional methods, our solutions are more cost-effective, with minimal disruption to the area.
Types of cracks
Often found on masonry walls, they appear like steps in the brickwork / blocks and typically follow mortar lines. The mortar and masonry deteriorates due to the movement of the affected wall.
Found running horizontally between bricks and in some instances, they transition to become a step crack. Internally they typically appear as gaps between skirting board and floor or between the cornice and ceiling.
Articulation Joint Crack
Usually visible in building extensions where two walls join and in modern buildings at the sides of large window and door openings. The gap is often wide at the top of the joint, exposing the lining.
Window & Door Gaps
When footings subside, gaps can open at door and windows.
Guide to wall crack types
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What causes cracks to form in walls?
There are many different causes of subsidence and various contributing factors.
All involve some change in the ground, which, in turn, generates movement of the soil.
As well, different types of ground are more affected by different conditions.
When ground has been affected, building subsidence is common. Foundations or footings are no longer fully supported, sinking due to weak ground.
Moisture levels in the soil affect reactive clays as they expand and contract.
Oversaturated clays lose their strength resulting in footing subsidence. In loosely packed soils, such as sand and silt, the fine particales in the soil can wash away causing the footing to settle.
Neighbouring trees and shrubs absorb water using their roots causing movement in the soil as it soaks up moisture in the ground.
Poor foundation design or inadequate compaction of soil during construction results in movement of the structure as it settles.
Burst or cracked water pipes including blocked sewage and rain gutters can oversaturate clay soils or wash fine particles from sand and silt soils and cause footings to subside.
Extreme or Seasonal Weather
Natural disasters such as flooding, drought and earthquakes affect soil moisture levels in particular clay resulting in excessive foundation movement.
Renovation or Construction
Vibration caused by nearby construction activity such as drilling or piling, or heavy road traffic causes soil particles to shift and settle, resulting in ground subsidence.
Start measuring wall cracks from the convenience of your home.
If you notice wall cracks around your home that are:
Large cracks that start at windows, doorways or corners of buildings
Cracks wider than 5mm
Jagged, horizontal or vertical, zig-zagged, stepped in brickwork or follow mortar line
These characteristics may indicate weakness in your property’s foundation.
To help you discover if the cracks in walls around you home could be due to subsidence, we’ve developed this handy tool. Download our FREE crack gauge and start measuring and monitoring the wall cracks around your home now!
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Get a quote
Arrange a site assessment in 3 simple steps:
Submit your enquiry using our online form. Include a brief message about the type of foundation issues you are experiencing.
Our friendly customer service team will be in touch to schedule a site assessment that suits you.
One of the Mainmark experts will visit your home or property, assess the damage, and ascertain the likely cause. They will establish the approach needed, creating a plan specific to the needs of your building and provide you with a detailed quote.
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Mainmark Ground Engineering (UK) Ltd.