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Large crack found in wall
Hi, I need some advice asap please, as I don't know what to do about this situation. I was at my my moms house the other day and for the first time in about 5 years I opened the door to my old bedroom and as I walked in I noticed a small crack above the wardrobe (top of the wall) and as I took a closer look and moved the wardrobe I noticed a large crack about 5 ft long running all the way down the wall as I looked closely I could actually see through to the outside world! The crack is approx 10mm wide, I went outside and looked at the exterior wall and I noticed the extension is coming away from the top and gap is about 1 " wide and runs about 6-7ft down the side of the joining extension. I have got photos that I can send to you as it would make it more easier for you to understand the problem. What I am worried about is that I renewed my moms buildings insurance in May and I declared that the building was in stable condition, obviously we couldn't see the crack in the wall as it was behind the wardrobe and the crack could of been there for months or years we just don't know!! Can I just say that the ceiling is a low ceiling and literally the height of the wardrobe so was merely noticeable. Obviously we would like to go through the insurance, but will they cover us?? What do I do next??? Any help would be most appreciated has my mom lives on her own and she is now terrified that her whole house is going to fall down!!! The extension was built in about 1980 and my dads passed away and the person who built the extension as also passed away, so I cant even question anybody about it. I have however found the planning permission for the extension. Many thanks in advance Craig.
In the first instance you need to have the structure inspected by a qualified Structural Engineer. If you don't know of one either your local Building Control Dept will advise you or you could simply do an internet search for one in your area. It may be that this is historic movement which has now stabilized or it could be a an ongoing issue which now needs attention. In either case the Engineer will be able to advise on the best course of action.
Answered 17th Oct 2013
This is tricky, at the time of obtaining the insurance you were genuinely unaware of the serious crack due to furniture covering the affected wall in a room rarely used. So in your view the structural integrity of the house was fine. I don't see why the insurance won't cover this - maybe a detailed read of the terms of conditions is necessary, the tiny print that no-one reads!
Agree with BC, an engineer is urgently needed to assess the damage and whether there is a real danger of the house collapsing is your first port of call.
Answered 18th Oct 2013