Many of the homes that we inspect, whether they are lathe-and-plaster, button-board, or even the more contemporary drywall option, we often encounter wall cracks. Further, the exterior of homes can have stucco cracking, seam separation, or shifting façade patterns that can lead to concern and in some cases, the concern is all too real.
We often hear this phrase (thousands of times and counting…), or one like it: “Oh, it’s an old house, they all have cracks”. Well…yes and no; many do, and many of the cracks that are there are NOT ones that warrant any foundation or structural correction, but it would not be wise to write off all wall cracks as being in the “Oh it’s fine, all houses have them” category.
To determine which cracks are of a nature that warrant repair, we factor the direction, intensity, and location of the cracks and in relation to other adjacent building features such as flooring, doors, countertops, trim molding, and anything else that can be used to sense a pattern of separation or establish a direction of movement. Cumulatively, this then leads to the prescription for that particular procedure. This is akin to a surgeon determining his or her approach to how to solve what ails the patient while yet doing no further harm in the process. Simply put; limited problem, limited repair.