Cracked Walls

There are many reasons your property may have cracked walls, some of which are of little concern and are often just cosmetic in the plaster.

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.

Where some smaller cracks are nothing to worry about and could purely be down to the age of a property, some more serious cracks can indicate sinking or damaged foundations including or subsidence.

To help you discover if the cracks in walls around your home could be due to subsidence, we’ve developed this handy tool. Visit our crack gauge page to download our FREE crack gauge and start measuring and monitoring the wall cracks around your home now!

Print-at-home crack gauge

Types of Wall Cracks

Download our Guide to Wall Cracks and learn about the typical type of wall cracks that form in homes and why do they appear?

Guide to Wall Cracks
Click on the tiles below to read more.

illustration of a step crack

Step Crack

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.

illustration of a horizontal crack

Horizontal Crack

Found running horizontally between bricks and in some instances, they transition to become a step crack. Internally they typically appear as gaps between the skirting board and floor or between the cornice and ceiling.

illustration of an expansion joint crack

Articulation Joint Crack (Expansion joint)

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 wider at the top of the joint, exposing the lining.

illustration of a corner crack

Corner Crack

Buildings built using clay bricks are susceptible to cracks in corners as overtime the clay expands creating lateral force pushing against each other. The mortar around the clay brick deteriorates exposing gaps in the brickwork.

illustration of a diagonal crack

Vertical / Diagonal Crack

Evident in both masonry or concrete walls where the crack is wider at the top, indicating the wall settling or heaving. They are normally jagged or zig-zag and don’t follow a uniform pattern.

Photo UK Team Standing With Mainmark Vehicle

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When to start worrying about larger cracks in your home

Cracks in plaster can sometimes be easily over looked but could be the first signs of a major structural issue. If problematic cracks in walls are not addressed quickly, the problem could get worse and could ultimately devalue the property should you look to sell it.

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. These could all indicate weaknesses in the building’s foundation and so you should seek expert advice.

What causes large cracks in walls?

When a building’s foundation shrinks or becomes weakened, large cracks may appear around windows and doors or at the corner of a room. This indicates that parts of, or an entire section of the building is sinking downwards; known as subsidence. This usually occurs when the foundation soil beneath the building has eroded or moved.

What are the likely causes of wall cracks?

Some homes are at a greater risk than others when it comes to subsidence. There are many geological, man-made and seasonal impacts to consider.

Clay soil can shrink, crack and shift during hot, dry weather, and then expand during wetter months

After a drought, a building’s footings can be impacted when sandy or fine gravel soil is much drier

Trees and shrubs can also be a factor, particularly if they’re close to property foundations. Some species absorb a lot more water, making the soil much drier

When the ground is flooded, it can saturate the house foundations and cause them to move

Broken pipes including sewers and drainage

Environmental issues including erosion, earthquakes and other geological activity

How Mainmark can help fix the problem?

Mainmark’s ground improvement and concrete floor re-levelling methods for house subsidence are effective for fixing cracks in walls in homes of any size.

The Mainmark team of experts will visit your home, assess the damage, and ascertain the cause. Our experienced engineers and technicians establish the underpinning approach needed, creating a plan specific to the needs of your home.

Houses that need to be re-levelled often develop cracks in walls, which can occur internally and externally. These houses require their foundations to be lifted and re-levelled. 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, and the future of the house is sound – to the relief of the homeowner.

Individual houses, terraced houses and apartment buildings 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 house 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 process.

Benefits of Mainmark’s methods

Crack fix – wall cracks generally close up

Jammed doors and windows free-up

Mess is kept to a minimum – no concrete dust or water to clean up

Our non-invasive procedures mean there is minimal disruption to the homeowner

No further damage done to the property or landscaping

In most cases, residents can stay in the home and may not even need to move furniture

Many simple, residential jobs are done in a day

The methods we use strengthen weak ground, so your home becomes level, crack-free, and more stable

The products and techniques we use are environmentally inert