PLEASE HELP! Cracks in breeze block wall in the attic

Discussion in 'Engineers' Talk' started by KellyGreen111, Apr 26, 2023.

  1. KellyGreen111

    KellyGreen111 New Member

    I'm in the process of purchasing a property, however, upon inspecting the attic I discovered 2 vertical cracks in some breeze blocks. The property is a 3 bed terraced house from the 60s. I'm hoping for some advice or opinions on whether or not this is something to worry about. There are no cracks or signs of issues on the ground or first floor walls, neither externally nor internally. I'm wondering whether the cracks could be caused by temperature changes causing the wooden rafters to warp or move, which would then move the breeze blocks causing them to crack? The pictures are screenshots of a video, so not super clear, but the first crack is probably about a meter long from top to bottom, then to the right of it there is a wooden rafter or tie and to the right of this there's the other crack, this one starts further down the wall and reaches downwards as far as I can see. I didn't have the opportunity to measure the width of the cracks as the cracks were discovered upon our second viewing of the property. I would estimate at least a 10 mm gap at the widest point of the largest crack. Apologies, I would upload a video if I knew how. Hoping for some feedback. Many thanks in advance!

    Attached Files:

  2. BuildingMad

    BuildingMad Well-Known Member

    Is it a party or external gable wall.
  3. KellyGreen111

    KellyGreen111 New Member

    It's definitely not, I can assure you. The wall is facing the garden externally. But that's not the point anyway.
  4. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    Get a professional ,surveyor or structural engineer, to inspect and give you a report.
  5. BuildingMad

    BuildingMad Well-Known Member

    Just needed clarification, but difficult to imagine configuration & structural situation from such close up photos.
  6. KellyGreen111

    KellyGreen111 New Member

    I'm getting a survey done, just wanted to see if anyone was familiar with this issue
  7. KellyGreen111

    KellyGreen111 New Member

    Apologies, I read your comment as a statement not a question
  8. KellyGreen111

    KellyGreen111 New Member

    Floorplan of first floor indicating where the cracks are located, albeit the cracks are in the attic, one floor up but I don't have a floorplan for that. There are no windows in the attic.

    Attached Files:

  9. MikeByfield

    MikeByfield Active Member

    It’s impossible to tell what’s happening from a close up of a handful of blocks.

    I suggest you see what the surveyor says.
  10. koolpc

    koolpc Super Member

    Doesnt look that bad or worth the worry. The survey should pick it up though.
  11. Offshore

    Offshore Active Member

    I had something similar happen with my single storey extension about 20 years ago. The builder used Thermalite blocks and within a few months I had cracks on some of the vertical mortar joints, extending down through several of the blocks themselves. I sent some photos to Marley (the Thermalite block manufacturer) and they were fairly confident that it was down to the mortar being too strong - instead of the mortar cracking due to settlement, the blocks had cracked because they were actually "weaker" than the mortar. If you've ever handled a Thermalite block, they do seem alarmingly brittle. They suggested the bricklayer was probably "old school" with his mortar mix - he was 70 years old, so they were right. They described them as three dimensional complex fractures (not cracks) and were confident that there would be no movement. They didn't dismiss it by any means, but were confident it was not a structural issue. I measured the cracks for about a year and was satisfied that there was no further movement after the initial event. The builder offered to fix it if I wasn't satisfied but to be honest, after the initial concern, it became a non-issue. I don't live there anymore but the extension is still very much in good shape and wasn't even mentioned in the home report survey we had done prior to selling it.
    Hope that helps, but I suspect you won't be at ease until a surveyor checks it out.
    KellyGreen111 likes this.
  12. Notnowvicar

    Notnowvicar Screwfix Select

    a few blocks are cracked and .......caused either when laying or they were wet when shoved in. If you had subsidence the crack would not be one block split down the middle it would carry on in the angle of the subsidence. What you have is a few poorly laid blocks in the roof space....if you look at your photo you can see the bed has little or no mortar in it, its been squeezed out and is sitting on the face of the block below...
  13. KellyGreen111

    KellyGreen111 New Member

    Thank you for your response. Would you say this is an issue or not to worry?
  14. Notnowvicar

    Notnowvicar Screwfix Select

    no its not as its probably been there since its built.
    KellyGreen111 likes this.
  15. Falula

    Falula New Member

    Hi, can I ask what was the outcome of this? We've come across the same in the loft of a place we are thinking of buying.

    Thanks in advance

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