crack stitching
  • June 7, 2021
  • Effective Building
  • 0

As the name implies, crack stitching is the masonry repair of cracks that appear in walls. It’s an effective means of repairing wall deterioration and is widely used.

Wall deterioration in the form of cracks can occur due to several factors. It’s a common problem for most property owners. Even if it’s a widespread problem, the solution of structural cracks is a permanent and very successful one due to crack stitching.

How to Identify Cracks?

A build’s structure needs to be inspected for structural cracks as these can quickly go unnoticed. Building inspectors should be surveying your builds regularly, especially in the summer months as temperatures rise.

Once cracks are found in the masonry and mortar bed joints of your property during the inspections, the building inspector will likely suggest crack stitching.

Cracks aren’t difficult to identify. However, if you need expert help with the potential identification, feel free to contact our specialised team at 02 9613 3353 for a free consultation.

Cracks can vary greatly in size and appear suddenly, particularly during the summer months. Moreover, bulging or bowing walls are a strong indicator that cracks will start to appear.

Did You See Cracks in Your Building?

Identifying the cause of the crack is the first thing to do when you identify the cracks on the wall of your property. Unfortunately, the cause of structural cracks can be difficult to understand and will most likely need expert advice from Effective Building & Consultancy’s licensed structural engineers and building inspectors.

Once a specialist has been on-site and conducted a comprehensive report noting the cause of the crack, the recommended solution must be put into place through cautious means.

Crack stitching is an easy and effective solution to structural cracks. However, if it’s not done up to acceptable standards, it can end up doing more damage than good to your property’s walls.

How to Repair Structural Cracks?

Crack stitching involves reconstructing crack stitching bars that are grouted across the wall cracks. This means that it will reconnect them and bring back the masonry to its sturdier condition.

First, two deep chases are created in the mortar as needed to make a gap in the bed joint. Secondly, the deep chases are cleaned to remove any existing debris within the areas under question.

A bead of grout is then injected into the mortar for a high-grade stainless helical bar to cut down to the right side and placed in the bed joint. The bars are firmly pressed into the grout, and the second beat of grout is applied on top.

Once all the steps are conducted, the crack is concealed using mortar to maintain the previous style of the build.

What Causes Structural Cracks?

Cracks in walls appear due to several reasons? However, common factors include inadequate home settling, soil instability, trees nearby, water damage, and seasonal changes. 

Seasonal changes are the common cause of structural cracks, given how high temperatures often cause materials to expand. Conversely, as temperatures cool down during colder months, these materials are likely to contract.

These temperature changes are not the best for the walls of your property. Similarly, the increasing temperatures also cause subsidence which is a further cause of structural cracks.

Will Cracks Devalue My House?

If left untreated, cracks can be pretty severe that they hold the ability to compromise the building’s structural integrity. Therefore, it is not surprising that wall cracks can devalue the house being surveyed. 

Structural issues can devalue a property by approximately 20%. For buyers, it’s important to understand whether a property has a history of certain damage, such as structural cracks. However, if wall cracks are property and effectively treated, a property should have fewer issues regarding its value and ease of being sold.

What are the Benefits of Crack Stitching?

There are several benefits to crack stitching as a method to repair cracks found on the property. Crack stitching is one of the benefits as it’s invisible once it has been installed. It can also increase the kerb appeal of the property and restore it to its original aesthetic design.

This is also a process that offers the least disruption and a very effective and permanent solution. Crack stitching also holds the potential to offer an effective solution even in brittle materials and, once installed, provides flexibility to the mortar.

Lastly, crack stitching is a method that is versatile in its application. This means it can design for certain jobs specifically. If compared to previous methods, crack stitching is a very successful, durable, and affordable solution.

How to Prevent Structural Cracks?

Structural cracks can be quite challenging to prevent or avoid, given they’re a natural part of the wall’s life cycle. However, there are two main ways in which property owners can potentially avoid this damage, and that’s done by addressing the cause of the cracks. 

You can do this by minimising any movement or by accommodating movement. You can minimise movement by knowing the foundation of your structure and its surrounding elements.

It would be best to take the necessary precautions by ensuring the soil and the external elements are tended to avoid disrupting the property’s foundation.

On the other hand, accommodating movement is a preventative measure in place as a property is being built and needs a system of movement joints to be placed between materials to allow for some give in the brickwork.

How Can Effective Building & Consultancy Help You?

If there are minimal brick cracks in your building, there’s no question that cracks stitching is likely to be an excellent choice for you. However, it’s best to determine the cause of damage to know what repair system will work best.

If you doubt that the extent of the cracking has affected the foundation of your property, consult a professional building inspector. If you want to understand the issues better and work towards preserving the masonry of your building, call Effective Building & Consultancy today!

For more information about our building inspection services, visit our Help Centre.

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About Elie Farah

Elie Farah is a Building Consultant with over 25 years of experience in the property industry. Elie has specialised knowledge in development acquisitions, blue-chip properties and inspections, as well as flood-affected and waterfront properties, heritage buildings, bushfire management and existing use rights.

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