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What causes cracking in buildings?

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Quick Answer

The most common causes of cracks in buildings are poor workmanship, temperature variations, poor structural design, poor maintenance and natural forces, explains Julius Eryenyu Jojo on the Daily Monitor. Some cracks are easy to repair, while others are signs of serious defects that may result in costly repair costs and risk of the building collapsing.

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Full Answer

Poor mixing of building materials, such as cement sand and aggregate, is one of the reasons cracks appear in walls, beams and slabs, Jojo notes. Poor workmanship usually occurs due to negligence, carelessness, ignorance and lack of proper supervision.

Additionally, most building materials tend to expand when exposed to direct sunlight. On the other hand, they contract in cooler temperatures. These processes that occur due to temperature changes eventually cause severe cracks, particularly in thin walls exposed to direct sunlight.

Another cause of cracks in concrete buildings is poor structural design, Jojo said. The designer must consider all of the environmental aspects, including soil investigations, involved in creating an appropriate design for the foundation and the building. Furthermore, regular maintenance is necessary to keep a building intact and to extend its life span. Natural forces, such as earthquakes and floods, also are major reasons for cracks in buildings.

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