Not all cracks are cause for alarm

Mention cracks to most home buyers and they are understandably tempted to run a mile.

However all too often the assumption that subsidence, at least to any meaningful degree, is an over reaction.

This Hastings property is a prime example where there has been some movement in the external walls/brickwork which can be seen by cracks in the brickwork on the right hand side and rear corner of the kitchen, front left hand corner of the side bedroom and under the front lounge window.

Although it is difficult to appreciate, buildings move around for a variety of reasons and the majority of these are not serious at all.

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) undertook an extensive research of building defects and found that less than 20% were related to strength or stability.

So in most cases when there are cracks in walls and brickwork the chances are it’s nothing to worry about.

The cracks noted are generally 2mm – 5mm wide which are categorised by the BRE (Building Research Establishment) as “Slight” and “Aesthetic”.

Cracking which is aesthetic purely affects the appearance and whilst it might be unsightly is recognised to not have an effect on the structural integrity.

The damaged sections should however be repaired.

Long term stability can only be confirmed by monitoring movement cracks in a building over a period of time and this is not practical in the home buying process.

However in my opinion of this property, the level of damage is considered slight and not of a degree to indicate anything for the buyer to worry about.

Post Author: Frances Traynor