Vertical cracking is can be evidence of benign settlement of a property, particularly in the case of newly built homes, or a more worrying sign of foundation movement. Cracks commonly occur where door or window frames, where the wall structure is weaker.
Small vertical cracks which appear in both external and internal walls and which are the result of normal settling can often be simply filled in. New build property developers will often arrange for a builder or other specialist to check the house some months after construction has completed for superficial issues like these, and make good any issues.
Is a Vertical Crack dangerous?
In general, vertical cracking is not an indication of deeper problems unless it is accompanied by lateral movement or bowing of the wall, or the crack is noticeably uneven. A property surveyor will also check that both sides of the crack are on the same plane. If displacement of one side of the crack has occurred relative to the other, a serious structural defect may be the cause. As all materials will expand and contract to varying degrees, it is not possible to entirely prevent this cracking in a new property. Where cracks suddenly appear, or widen, in an older property, the professional advice of a builder or surveyor should be sought immediately.
If the cracking is a result of subsidence or heave, the structure of the whole property is at risk, and may require substantial and costly work to remedy.