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Extension falling down

Hi, my husband and I have an extension on our house which was already there when we moved in 3 1/2 years ago. The extension has been there for about 10 years. Over the past year, very large, wide cracks have appeared all around the whole extension. So wide that bugs can fit in. From the outside you can see ( if you look properly ) that the wall is not straight. Should I be worried.

10 Answers from MyBuilder Extension Builders

Best Answer

It can happen with extensions to crack after some time in my experience cracks can go to about a inch . Then you can patch or renew the plaster once movement has stopped

2015-05-25T16:45:03+01:00

Answered 25th May 2015

I would either get a good builder to have a look at this for you to see how wide the cracks are and if they're wider at the top etc it can mean different things so I can't give a correct answer by going off your post.
It could be that the footings have moved underground and they could need underpinning. If the extension is only 10 years old I would ring your local council or look through the applications online to make sure this was granted planning permission and wasn't built in 'secret' or by a dodgy builder. Throughout the extension being built (back then) a building inspector would of passed off each stage of the build to make sure it was being done correctly and they would of passed off the footings if they were dug to the correct depth and filled correctly etc. So my first step would be to call your council. If this was not given permission/building control approval then you have to have an architect draw up the plans for the before, proposed and existing house and submit for a regularisation certificate. (A builder and the building inspector will then check all aspects of your build and fix any problems along the way).

Or... You can get a structural enginners report and see what they say but I'd ask a builder first before you pay out any/too much cash!

2015-05-25T16:45:03+01:00

Answered 25th May 2015

These cracks could mean subsidence
They need to be monitored,if they follow the shape of the bricks it isn't major and the cracks can just be filled,if they are vertical & split bricks or block then you may need under pinning

2015-05-25T16:45:03+01:00

Answered 25th May 2015

Difficult to say without seeing it, but could be a multitude of things.
Did your survey when buying the house show this up? are you in an old mining area? clay soil? Was the extension approved by a building surveyor (you can check via your local council building control dept.) You may have some recourse if so.
Sorry to be vague but hopefully I've given you a few avenues to check.
Good luck Paul

2015-05-25T16:45:03+01:00

Answered 25th May 2015

Hi,
I do not think you should be worried about it falling down, but I would strongly suggest getting a reputable local builder or structural surveyor to have a look sooner rather than later. It may be for example that the ground is subsiding slightly/bad foundations or that the builder did not tie the extension in with the house correctly. Of course this would just be speculation without seeing it! If you are worried about cost, check with your insurance company as they will probably cover any works involved with putting it right. Hope this helps.

2015-05-25T16:45:03+01:00

Answered 25th May 2015

hi
don't mess about get a visit from a structural surveyor, this sound serious but there is always a solution but you need a professional advice, the engineer will then design a solution to the problem

2015-05-25T16:45:03+01:00

Answered 25th May 2015

Hi Rachel - if I were you I would instruct a structural surveyor and gain their opinion on the situation. A wall that is leaning to one side and a crack that appears to be getting visibly wider is a cause for concern. Adam

2015-05-25T16:45:03+01:00

Answered 25th May 2015

Hi,
It is sowrth checking with the local authority that it was originally built to regulation, and that the footings were deep enough, if so it may just be settling, either way you will need a structural engineer to inspect the extension and possibly fit gauges over the cracks to monitor movement. It is better to get it looked at sooner rather than later, as it may cause damage elsewhere.
Regards

2015-05-25T16:45:03+01:00

Answered 25th May 2015

Hi you're already worried, call in a surveyor that can give a clear indication of underlying faults, then he can recommend the best remedial action, I'm in the north west I would assess for free

2015-05-25T16:45:03+01:00

Answered 25th May 2015

Hi. You do not say if the cracks are on the inside or outside or both. Internal cracks in plaster can be just cosmetic depending on size and position. External cracks or cracks you can see through are a bigger worry and need looking at straight away. As for the wall looking straight you need to have it looked at professionally as optical illusions sometimes make walls look like they are leaning but only a spirit level or plumb bob will really tell you.

2015-05-25T16:45:03+01:00

Answered 25th May 2015

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