Cracks in Australian Homes: What to Do?
Pests in any property, especially in your home, can be very problematic. As a homeowner, you could go from putting your DIY hat on and eliminating them to seeking professional help. Yet while that’s troublesome, there’s something even more daunting, and that’s when cracks start to appear in the house.
Cracks at home can come in different ways. They can be small, inconspicuous ones, while there are those that are so noticeable and gnarly, it gives the impression the walls are about to fall apart. And nobody wants that for your home.
What Causes Cracks?
There are many reasons why these alarming lines appear at home, sometimes causing doorways to shift out of proportion and making cupboards difficult to close. For Australian homes, the main cause has been known to be the lack of moisture, which can be brought about by a lot of things.
One of which can be due to summer or an extended hot weather. That can easily dry up the foundation of the land, especially clay soils. This event can directly affect your home due to shrinkage, resulting to what you see as cracks & lines. Pair that with lack of rainfall and it becomes even more problematic.
Another factor is the proximity of the house to tree or shrub root systems. Just like sun exposure, the roots can take in water from the soil, which can rob the house’s foundation of moisture. And that, as well all now know, can bring about the cracks that could make you worry. Tree roots can also damage slabs and underground pipes as they can grow quickly and can raise your slab.
Should You Be Worried?
There are cracks that mean trouble, but some are fixable. Some lines show up as a the house settles in the soil, so a few small ones can be normal. There are those that are superficial, although it is hard to say for sure without the aid of a professional. Either way, here’s how you can determine the seriousness of the issue.
As far as cracks on the wall are concerned, when you see a vertical one where the ceiling and the wall meet, that’s most probably where the foundation settled upon construction, so it might not be urgent. If you see a jagged, 45-degree crack, then it may be a moderate to severe problem. Stair-step cracks, meaning those that look like stairs going upwards, are usually those that follow the grout, especially on brick walls. Only an expert can determine the level of seriousness and what can be done to remedy the problem.
When it comes to windows and internal doors, try to swing them open and close them to check if they stick. If they do, check if there are any obstructions. If there’s none, then that may be a sign of damage.
The best way to really check the seriousness of these cracks is to hire a professional. Brent Heness Inspections can definitely help you spot these problems early on, to avoid a more costly repair later.