If you notice cracks in walls at windows and doorways it is a good idea to investigate further. Usually cracks in these particular areas can point to subsidence but in many cases can also be nothing to worry about.
What Causes Cracks Above Windows And Doors?
Refurbishments can contribute to failings in the building fabric. We have seen cases in Northern Ireland where new uPVC windows have led to failings in the lintel or walls above. This can be down to the fact that some windows are not up to specification for the space they will be fitted into.
Although it is not always the window suppliers fault. It may be that a heavy timber or metal framed window is being replaced with uPVC double glazing. Sometimes this can lead to the lintel above becoming loose and so it can cause some cracks around windows or doorways. Lintel movement can be common.
Other Reasons Cracks Can Appear Above Windows
Cracks are a way for a building to release stress that has built up over time. There are many issues that can cause cracks other than under specified windows or lintel movement. Here are a few that might contribute to cracks above windows:
- Damp problems.
- Timber lintels or load bearing old timbers.
- Clay soil shrinkage.
- Extreme changes in temperature.
- Foundation problems or inadequate founds.
- Transport vibrations.
- Wind force.
- Damage storm drainage.
- Tree root penetration.
As you can see there are many other factors that can lead to cracks appearing in your property. It is always a good idea to check how wide cracks are and monitor them over a period of time. If they get larger as time goes on then it is a good idea to book a structural survey as soon as is convenient.
Structural Surveys Across Northern Ireland
We carry out structural surveys across Northern Ireland. We use a wealth of knowledge and tools during a survey, to determine if the cracks are worth worrying about. There are times that fine hairline cracks on the wall are simply some shrinkage over time. Then there are times that cracks can appear stepped or vertical indicating problems at foundation level.
Either way it is always a good idea to book a survey if you notice cracks around corners of the building or above windows and doors. At very least it will put your mind at rest or it could save you a serious headache if something major is caught early.