cracks

Just received photos from a routine inspection of my unit and was hoping to get some advice. 9 year old block of 5 units, 2 on the ground floor, 3 on the first floor. Mine is on the first floor.

There is a large crack in the wall of the balcony, assorted cracks in the cornices, but the worrying one is the one in the wall of the entryway up towards the ceiling.

Can anyone comment on whether this is dangerous, and what sort of repairs would be needed?
 

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Is anything else affected - eg doors/windows not able to be closed etc?

I generally don't worry about small movement - i.e. if you filled your cracks with spakfiller and they didn't reappear (ie move more) in say 12 months, it's probably a slow/seasonal move.

On the other hand, if it keeps getting worse.... then could a structural report time (not sure if your building comes under body corp or not). For our unit where we had a similar issue, the BC commissioned a building engineer.

Unfortunately for us, the report was pretty bad - and our unit was the one worst affected (i.e. the other units weren't going to be imterested in rectifying).

It got to the stage doors would close without being planed way out of square and the rooms were defnitely not looking like having perpendicular corners.

We painted the entire unit white (walls, doors, doorframes, and ceiling in the same color) so that the human eye had difficulty telling where the lines were.
Luckily we managed to sell it....

The Y-man
 
The PM didn't mention about doors and windows, though I know the unit below mine had sticking door issues at one point. The balcony crack has been there a while, but it seems to have gotten bigger.

Yes, there's a body corp. So I should maybe write them a letter?
 
I agree with Y-man, where you should get the body corporate to engage a structural engineer to do a report.

In the meantime, if you want some comments on the photos from someone who has a bit too much time on his hands.. :p

The first photo concerns me.. mainly why it's a long horizontal crack along the block wall :confused: would need to know more about shape of the building and the orientation of the crack relative to the rest of building. It shouldn't pose a problem for the balcony, as typically there is no bending interaction with balconies and their walls above.
Being exposed to the elements, the reinforcement in the block wall is slowly being corroded as we type, so action would be required sooner better than later.

Second photo would be from differential settlement i.e. one side/corner of the building has settled at a different rate relative to the other, either from the foundation not being homogeneously compacted/non homogeneous soil strata/or changes in moisture content effecting one side/corner only, causing the foundation to shrink/swell.

If you were to hold up an A4 peice of paper vertically and lengthwise, holding one side rigid and pulling down the other side, it should tear in the top in the middle.. similar to the crack in the second photo.

Again, durability of the wall is the main issue.. concrete walls should be repaired with a cementitous material, not spak filler. In the unlikely event the crack was to widen to say 5-10mm, then you'd be getting some serious problems with doors jamming, possibly windows cracking, and the roof trusses (if there are any) distorting/connections being damaged. In this case, underpinning of the sinking side would be required.. a very costly exercise.

Let us know how you get on?
 
Just received photos from a routine inspection of my unit and was hoping to get some advice. 9 year old block of 5 units, 2 on the ground floor, 3 on the first floor. Mine is on the first floor.

There is a large crack in the wall of the balcony, assorted cracks in the cornices, but the worrying one is the one in the wall of the entryway up towards the ceiling.

Can anyone comment on whether this is dangerous, and what sort of repairs would be needed?
The outside crack in the middle of the outside masonary looks to me to be a real problem,if it is a load bearing wall then you may well find the reinforcement may have rusted away,or the wall was not set with the
right core fill,or bracing,also the internal wall needs work,a simple way is too look at the control joints above the Doors,and above the widow headers and see if there is caps or movement that is where the problem spans off,galvanized ties do not not rust once set on all the top headers so for what is happening will only get worse..imho..this is only my opinion
not advice...willair..
 
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