seminar on cracks in building

There are many causes of cracks, anything, from natural causes like the recent tremors to using wrong or inadequate building materials.

Its easy to ask whether a crack is serious but a professional will find it difficult to give you an instan answer. This is because cracks are not serious and are easy to repair whereas some may be a sign of serious defect, that may result into expensive repair costs, or danger of the building collapsing.

Taking cracks seriously
Cracks may appear in the walls bricks/block mortar plaster, beam-wall joints, columns –wall joints, slabs, beams, columns, foundations and in many other places.
Much as it’s not a simple task, it’s essential you take any cracks seriously and get assessment done in order to specify their significance.
Most buildings will develop cracks at some point in time during their service life due to the following causes.

Poor workmanship
Poor mixing of building materials, like cement sand and aggregate will cause cracks in the walls, beams, slabs etc. Normally poor workmanship is as a result of ignorance, carelessness, negligence, lack of proper supervision and many others or worth still a combination of all these.

Temperature variations
It’s important to know that most materials tend to expand when subjected to direct sunlight and contract in cooler temperatures this process, and therefore end up causing cracks. The cracks will be severe, especially in thin walls that are exposed to direct sunlight.

Structural design
Poor structural design and specifications are another cause of the cracks in concrete works. It’s important that the designer considers all the environmental aspects that include soil (Geotechnical) investigations that will enable the designer to come up with a proper design of the foundation.
Normally, buildings are designed for particular uses, and also to withstand a given measure of weight (loading) for example a building designed as residence will have different structural specifications from the one designed to operate machinery.

Lack of (or) poor maintenance
It’s always important to take good care of your house, by doing maintenance works after a lapse of certain periods. This will keep the building intact and also extend their life span.

Natural forces
Earthquakes, tremors like the ones that were experienced in Kampala recently, winds, rains, flooding and many others may cause cracking in the buildings.
There are many other causes and types of cracks in buildings therefore always look out for them and take the necessary actions.

Please note that, the remedies or solutions are not discussed because, of the various technical reasons, and therefore the solutions can be provided by technical people, However knowing the causes will help you to ask some crucial questions, and also have helpful awareness before, during and after the construction of your house.
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