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Advice regarding cracks in walls and plaster buckling

(6 Posts)
GinAndTunic Wed 08-Mar-17 09:54:51

Would anyone be able to advise me on how serious wall cracks are, please?

For the past 11 years, I have rented the top (second) floor of a Victorian villa. I do not have an extraordinary number of possessions, nor are my things unusually heavy.

When I moved in, there was one small crack on one wall of the bathroom. In the past few months, this crack has enlarged to run the length of the wall and up the connecting wall. A third bathroom wall has developed several long cracks that run up to the ceiling.

There are also new cracks in the kitchen and sitting room and, in one corner of the sitting room, I can see the plaster swelling under the wallpaper. There is a supporting beam that runs across half the sitting room. This has also started to crack.

I have let my landlord know but his only response is to shrug.

How concerned should I be - do I need to wear a construction helmet and a hi-vis jacket in case everything collapses around me while I am MNing?

Thank you in advance!

suzyrut Wed 08-Mar-17 10:03:25

We have lots of cracks in the walls of a house we're refurbing at the moment, the builder said not to worry if they are wider than a £1 coin. It's all being replastered though and they've been putting some kind of mesh over them all so at least I can't see them now as they do look very worrying even when they aren't as wide as £1 coin so you have my sympathies.

Are any of your neighbours having building work done? Could it be water coming in through the roof? It seems strange that they're suddenly getting much worse considering the age of the house.

I'm amazed your landlord isn't more bothered but maybe if he isn't then that should be a bit comforting?

CountMagnus Wed 08-Mar-17 10:04:36

How wide are the cracks? Can you see any cracks or movement in the outside brickwork, either at your floor level or ground floor level? Are the roof and guttering / downpipes in good condition? Are there any trees close to the house?

GinAndTunic Wed 08-Mar-17 10:13:36

Thank you, suzyrut and CountMagnus for your prompt and helpful replies.

The cracks are slightly wider than hairline - in other words, I could insert a fingernail into the widest cracks but no more than that. It is a relief to know that they are nowhere near the thickness that should concern me.

The house is semi-detached and the neighbour on the other side has not had any building work done. It very well might be water coming through the roof - there are water stains on the ceiling of the kitchen and the skylight in the hallway leaks. (My landlord knows about both of these; when I told him about these, his response was the standard shoulder shrug.)

I will take a look at the outside brickwork / guttering - good ideas. There are some large trees in the back garden, but they are some distance from the house as we have an enormous garden.

Thank you again, both of you! I will put off ordering safety gear. smile

wowfudge Wed 08-Mar-17 12:00:29

Sounds as though your LL is an arse. Who has an expensive asset and fails to maintain it? Only an idiot who doesn't care about your welfare. If he was living with it himself, maybe he would care more. Water ingress and damp can cause all manner of problems and be detrimental to health.

GinAndTunic Wed 08-Mar-17 12:20:50

I know, wowfudge. My landlord lives on the ground and first floor and knows there are cracks elsewhere in the house as he has commented on them.

It is a beautiful house but not well maintained, which is heartbreaking.

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