Cracks in the walls are arguably one of the most common annoyances faced by homeowners. They testify to a strong contribution to the building and its inability to resist the constraints to which it is subjected. Cracks can have several origins. The most important thing when they occur is to be able to repair them quickly. What are the common causes of cracking? How to remedy these unsightly and dangerous slots? Here is everything you need to know about cracks that appear on the walls of a home.
What causes cracks in a house?
Cracks in the walls of a house can have several explanations. It is possible that they are linked to a gradual loosening of the foundations, for example. This phenomenon called scouring is often the consequence of poor management in the evacuation of rainwater. It manifests itself by a structural deformation of the building.
Another possible origin of cracks in a house, the poor evaluation of the characteristics of the ground before construction. Indeed, it is not uncommon for a poorly carried out soil study to result in a house being built on unsuitable and unstable soil. This situation promotes the appearance of differential settlements and then causes cracks in the dwelling.
It is also believed that poorly made foundations that lack anchorage in the ground can also cause cracks. The absence of an expansion joint or the proximity of trees can influence the differential movements and we can then see the appearance of poor workmanship inherent in the construction or notice water infiltration. Factors related to the nature of the soil also explain the appearance of cracks.
The construction of buildings next to your home, a collapse or an underground subsidence are also other potential origins that could explain the cracks present on your walls. The questions to ask are: when should you worry about a crack in the wall and who can we call? To answer this, it is wise to involve a building professional. He will carry out a diagnosis to identify the type of cracks present on your walls: fine cracks, microcracks, cracks… These are the ones that require rapid treatment.
Who to contact if you notice cracks on your walls?
If you notice cracks on your walls, contact your insurance. Indeed, as a tenant or owner, you necessarily had to take out a Home Insurance, mandatory to be able to occupy a dwelling. To find out if it takes care of this type of problem, call your insurer to ask them the question.
If you have home insurance with coverage for natural disasters, you can call your insurer in the event of cracks. The insurer will have a professional intervene by contacting a building experts office and crack specialist. These are companies with technical skills and in-depth knowledge of construction issues.
In case it is a house built for less than 10 years, you can play the ten-year guarantee if you are the owner of the accommodation. The cracks in the walls actually make it possible to exercise this guarantee. To do this, send a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt to your builder who will have to carry out the repairs.
Note that if the cracks appear within two years of handing over the keys to your accommodation, you can activate the guarantee of perfect completion and the guarantee of proper functioning. They are due by the manufacturer and entitle you to repairs which will be at his expense.
The warranty against hidden defects can be used against the seller if you can prove that he sold the house or apartment to you with full knowledge of the risk of cracks. This solution is possible within the limit of two years after observation of the cracks.
What are the consequences of cracks that are not repaired?
Failure to repair cracks can have serious repercussions on the dwelling concerned and sometimes even on its inhabitants. When caused by water infiltration, you may experience humidity and sealing problems. Without intervention, your walls can become porous and fragile, posing a risk to the structure of the building. In addition, late treatment of cracks compromises the safety of your home. Indeed, in this case, the conformity of the accommodation is no longer guaranteed.
Symptoms of poor workmanship and other malfunctions, cracks reduce the value of your home when they are not repaired in time, because they also affect its aesthetic appearance.
For all these reasons, as soon as the first cracks appear, it is recommended to quickly take the necessary measures to have them repaired by calling on a building professional.