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Cracks in external wall around double glazed window

Discussion in 'Building' started by Jan12, 3 Jan 2015.

  1. Jan12

    Jan12

    Joined:
    27 May 2013
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    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi

    I'm looking to buy a semi that has cracks in the external wall around the uPVC window. The cracks are visible in the images included. Some points to note:

    - The uPVC window is bowing in the middle indicating that the window is not strong enough.
    - The cracks on the left hand side of the window have left a small gap where you see through. Almost as if the window has been pulled away.
    - There appears to be a crack ABOVE the window just left of centre.
    - The cracks to the bottom right of the window do not reach all the way to the bottom. They taper off

    The wall is constructed from concrete block / breeze black (whatever they are called) that have been painted. The cracks are not just flaked paint.

    I don't know how long the cracks have been there. This is a property I'm looking to buy from a relative who's been renting it out for 10 years. He can't remember if these cracks were there when he bought it.

    I had someone come out to look at potentially replacing the window and he said that it's nothing to worry about. There are no other major cracks around any other windows. But my concerns are:

    - What could be causing the cracks all around the window? Could it get worse?
    - If the window was replaced then could the blocks above the window collapse (especially considering there appears to be a crack above).
    - Does anything need to be done about the cracks or just render on top?

    Any advice is much appreciated before I go down the route of pulling out or paying £1000 for a structural survey!

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  3. theprinceofdarkness

    theprinceofdarkness

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    For a start I would look at the other half of the semi. Its just that the chimney stacks are very ornate which would lead one to believe the house is Edwardian or Victorian. The roof looks as though it was put on yesterday! Look at the rest of the street and try and decide how consistent these semis are to them. I Reckon its actually brick built and rendered with the "mortar" lines just scribed on. That's why there are cracks down the lefthand side of the window, the render is just flaking off.
    Windows are never designed to be load carrying, there is a load bearing lintel above them for this purpose. In your case its cracked. You can see the crack in your picture. Its an extremely expensive repair because the roof has to be supported with scaffolding to replace the lintel.
    I reckon its down to the roof being replaced which added a lot of extra weight which the lintel was not designed for.
    I would estimate the cost of the repair at £5K. The window frame can then be straightened and refitted.
    Frank
     
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  4. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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