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What you should know about cracks in walls.

building and pest Melbourne

If you’ve found a property you want to buy, seeing cracks in the walls can make you feel nervous and a little apprehensive about going ahead with the purchase. It’ll have you wondering why the cracks have occurred and if they are a sign of a more serious problem lurking underneath. 

When you organise a pre-purchase inspection with Building and Pest Inspection Melbourne, our expert inspectors will conduct a thorough assessment of the property and one of the things we will check for is cracks in the walls. 

Types of wall cracks

Cracks in walls can look bad, but they aren’t always an indication of a serious structural problem. Sometimes they are just on the surface and can be repaired easily. 

During a pre-purchase inspection our licensed builder will visually inspect the property you intend to buy and report on how serious the cracks are and what caused them.

There are three main types of wall cracks: 

  • Exterior cracks – in the brickwork, rendering or external walls.
  • Interior cracks – found in the gyprock or plasterboard.
  • Cracks in the foundation walls. 

Cracks are classified as diagonal, horizontal or vertical. 

Diagonal cracks: These types of cracks resemble the shape of steps and can often start in a corner where there is a window or a door. These can indicate wall expansion or shrinking. 

Horizontal cracks: Often horizontal cracks can indicate water damage or the foundation of a property moving. It could also indicate seepage. 

Vertical cracks: Vertical cracks may be a sign of shrinkage or it could be more serious and signs of problems with the foundation. 

Our inspector will check the cracks and make an assessment based on the location of the crack, the shape, the cause, if there’s separation and if it looks like it’s going to reoccur or worsen. 

What causes cracks in walls

There are many different reasons why cracks appear on walls. 

  • Reactive soil. 
  • Climate.
  • Poor building design.
  • Settling and subsidence
  • Construction in the surrounding area. 
  • Damage caused by nearby trees.
  • Water damage.
  • Movement in foundations.

When should you be worried about wall cracks?

In some cases cracks in walls can indicate serious subsidence or structural problems, however sometimes it’s purely cosmetic. 

When other problems are occurring as well as the cracks, for instance doors or windows not closing properly, uneven flooring or nails or screws coming out of the walls, this could be a sign of a serious structural problem. 

Your inspector found cracks – what now?

When we carry out a building and pest inspections our expert inspectors will notify you of any cracks in the walls via an in-depth report to help you determine if the cracks are serious and need further investigation by a structural engineer. 

A structural engineer may recommend underpinning or simply advise to patch the cracks and monitor for further movement. 

How much does a building and pest inspection cost? 

As a first home buyer, you’re probably wondering how much building and pest inspections cost.

At Building Inspections Melbourne, we will carry out building and pest inspections within 3 days, with a same day report. 

$450 + gst for up to 4 bedrooms. 

$500 + gst for 5 bedrooms. 

Would you like to book a pre-purchase inspection in Melbourne? Fill out this online form today or contact Building and Pest Inspection Melbourne on 0408 666 539. 

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