Causes of Cracks In Walls Of a New Building
The causes of cracks in the walls of a new building are still mysterious to builders and engineers. It has become a great concern as cracks surfaced in a newly constructed building that has not even lasted for a year. Many of the cracks surfaced when the building is still under construction. Below are some of the reasons that explain the causes of cracks in the walls of a new building.
Contraction and expansion of building materials
Due to fluctuations in temperature and moisture content in building materials most especially in concrete, blocks, and mortars, cracks creep into the walls of newly constructed buildings. Such cracks do not represent a structural failure rather gives a sign of shrinkage in construction materials like Concrete, grout, mortar, blocks etc. after construction as these slowly dry off and lose the moisture content. The concrete floor, walls, plaster, and lumber of an average new-construct household around 4,000 liters of water, most of which evaporates as sunshine.
Temperature fluctuations cause construction materials to expand and contract almost daily and seasonally. And due to these regular fluctuations, cracking is expected, this is one major reason why construction joints in materials like concrete, brick, tile, and blocks are used by the builders. The joints permit stress relied in the form of measured cracking along a pre-determined placement. Also note, cracks most often stem from doors and windows, this is because these wall openings act as huge construction joints to release stresses.
Another important thing to note is that all foundations experience a certain degree of movement. Hence soils that support the building foundation may consolidate and settle due to the weight of the structure. Soil moisture fluctuations and heave resulting out of frost activity might also result in swelling and shrinkage.
Improper mortar joint
Many bricks/blocks layer don’t place the mortar joint in the right position and also don’t fill the mortar joint properly. These two actions on the side of the blocks and bricks layer result in early crack in the walls of a new building.
When a building is erected in an area, the soil must adjust to the foundation due to the imposed load on the soil which also alters the soil original profile. This adjust can lead to cracks on the building walls if the building could not follow the adjustment
Most of the building foundations are planned for up to 1 inch of soil movement; but, in highly expansive soil areas, slab foundations can be planned for up to 4 inches of soil movement. When the foundation moves, the entire building structure moved. This can result in some degree of distortion, racking, and cracking in the building walls.
Note: there are two major types of cracks in a building wall. they are;
vertical cracks and horizontal cracks