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The significance of cracks in low-rise buildings
Many buildings crack at some time during their service life. Often the cracking is of little consequence and simple repair is all that is required. The crack, however, may be the first sign of a serious defect, which may affect the serviceability, or the stability of the building. In any event the presence of cracking may affect the durability of the construction materials, the value of the building, its insurability and saleability. In some cases it may be the cause of litigation. In the RICS book ‘Cracking and building movement’ the authors state: ‘It is estimated that surveyors and engineers make more mistakes interpreting the significance of cracking in buildings than anything else.’ So how does the professional adviser decide if the cracks are significant? This paper sets out a simple, systematic approach to gathering information and then assessing the significance of cracks.
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