Cracked Brickwork Advice.

5th November 2020

Cracked Brickwork Advice.

It’s not every day I come across properties with suspected subsidence but in the last 2 weeks, I’ve been speaking to the owners of three properties each with unusual cracking to exterior walls.

All have sought my advice on selling but my response to all has been consistent.  Please have the cracks investigated by a structural engineer prior to offering the property to the market.  

This can be arranged through your building insurer but bear in mind that they may wish to monitor the cracks for a year before reaching a conclusion.

Typical indicators of subsidence.

  • ·       Cracks to walls, ceilings and also to the outside brickwork.
  • ·       Expanding of existing cracks, have you noticed cracks widen?
  • ·       Cracks appearing after a sustained period of dry weather.
  • ·       Doors and windows suddenly becoming trickier to open.

As an agent, I know how buyers react when they see cracks to brickwork or render.  They understandably think the worst, estimate that rectifying works will cost tens of thousands of pounds and often walk away or want the property for a bargain price.

Though it’s not unknown for East and North London properties to suffer from subsidence, cracking to walls can often be something a lot less serious and even a period of warm and dry weather can be a cause and be nothing to overly concerned about. 

I recall selling a property that hadn’t been occupied for years with a large crack above the front door.  Incredibly, it was deduced by a surveyor that it was caused by a WW2 bomb exploding at the end of the street 70 years prior!

If a structural engineer states it’s nothing to worry about then at least you’ll have a document to show potential buyers to provide piece of mind should you not be in a position to have the crack/s repaired prior to marketing. 

Here’s a link to the Home Owners Alliance which offers detailed and sound advice on what to do if cracks have appeared at your property.