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What is causing these hairline cracks?

We have a relatively new build house (now 8 years old) and over the years have noticed the odd hairline crack, which we have obviously put down to settlement as it was a new build. A little over 12 months ago we had a non load bearing blockwork wall removed between our kitchen and dining room. Our builder advised that no steel would be required as no load was being carried by what we were removing, and when the ceiling in this area was removed it was very clear that the joists were not supported by this wall as they ran the other way. It was tied to the external wall by a few wall ties obviously, but was not tied in to the other internal wall. Indeed, it really looked to be simply space dividing partition.
However, over the last few months I have noticed more and more cracking, mainly at door heads, skirtings and windows, and would have thought after 8 years the house would have settled. Do you think the removal of a non load bearing internal blockwork wall would have had any effect, or is it more likely to still be settlement. Almost all the the hairline cracks are at first floor level, the worst ones being at the opposite site of the house to where this wall was, which seems odd.

5 Answers from MyBuilder New Home Builders

Best Answer

It sounds like normal movement...I doubt the removal of your wall has anything to do with it. Buildings are constantly expanding and contracting. Plaster often cracks this time of year when people put their heating on and the weather is damp. It's always warmer up stairs(heat rising) so you will get more movement...Blockwork, Door frames, Windows, skirting boards shrink/move causing plaster to crack etc

Houses aren't built like they used to be when everything had to be dried out first and timber had a similar moisture content before being fitted to minimize cracking. It's all thrown together in a month... nothing is dry, so you get a lot of cracking these days.


Answered 3rd Jan 2012

Mark (Hampshire Carpenter)

Spot on comment!


Answered 7th Dec 2011

with out seeing the cracks no one can really tell, if you are concerned it maybe worth getting a engineer in, to survey the problems highlighted above, at least if it does turn out to be nothing it will give you piece of mind, if it highlight other problems you know what it is,


Answered 6th Dec 2011

I would agree with the last two comments, get an engineer in. Just bacause the wall isn't holding anything up, it doesn't mean it can come out without further work. If the main wall is quite long, the removed wall may have been there to provide lateral stability, a buttress in effect.


Answered 6th Feb 2012

Firstly,you need to seek the help of someone QUALIFIED to do so.A structural engineer/surveyor will be able to tell you exactly what is going on.Whilst a builder can give you some advice,what guarantees do you have that he knows what he is talking about? The fact that there are no joists sitting on this wall doesnt guarantee that its not serving a purpose.Bearing in mind that all of the problems are on the first floor (above removed wall),the wall was of a solid construction,the problems are recent,call someone sooner rather than later and pay for the peace of mind.Whilst they may well be settlement cracks,you are clearly worried enough to seek advice on here.


Answered 6th Dec 2011

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