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Hairline cracks after steel beam install

Discussion in 'Building' started by Kiemci87, 31 Aug 2021.

  1. Kiemci87

    Kiemci87

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    Hi,


    I've recently had some work done on my house to make an open plan kitchen/diner space. The house is a 1960s dormer bungalow that has a two storey extension completed at the back years ago. I've recently had an internal load bearing wall knocked through with a steel beam installed to support the upstairs rooms. We also had a wall taken down and stud wall installed to make a built in fridge- freezer/larder pull out unit. This wall was part of of the old external wall that is no longer supporting following the previous extension. We had structural engineer perform the calculations and hired a reputable local builder who was done work work others that I know.


    Since the work has been completed I've noticed a a number of hairline cracks appearing. In isolation I wouldn't really be concerned about these as they are all very thin (less than 1mm) but as there are quite a few appearing in various rooms I'm a little concerned if this is something more structural related rather than minor movement following the works.

    Some pictures.

    Picture of the span


    Crack across ceiling which I believe is where boards joined old ceiling and new false ceiling we had to make a flat ceilings

    Crack in hallway ceiling

    Crack above door frame upstairs


    This crack is above the steel beam and appeared a few days after the install. The builder said it was likely due to slight movement when the acros went in or out. He filled it in but you can see the line again now. The fact this is Diagonal is abit more concerning but still only a thin crack.

    Also couple of pics of the wall taken down and steel in place


    There are a number of other similar cracks which is why I thought I would post to get input. Do you think this is worth getting the structural engineer out or is it minor enough to consider related to abit of moment which will settle and can be repaired with proper filler, raking out the cracks a little etc.

    Thanks in advance. Let me know if you need anymore info.
     
    Last edited: 31 Aug 2021
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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  4. Kiemci87

    Kiemci87

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    Last edited: 31 Aug 2021
  5. JohnD

    JohnD

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    yes I can see them now.
     
  6. tony1851

    tony1851

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    The beams look fairly substantial considering the span, and the cracks look very small - possibly shrinkage of new pasterwork, combined with minor movement as the props were taken away. The ceiling cracks are nothing - probably due to the slight shrinkage of the new timber framing as it inevitably dries out.
    As long as the cracks are above the level of the beams, there's usually no problem; the time to worry is if cracks appear below the level of the beams.
     
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  8. Kiemci87

    Kiemci87

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    Thanks Tony. Just to clarify ceiling cracks in the hallway are on old plaster as we haven't had work down there. Would you still not be worried?

    When you say below the level of the beam do you basically mean downstairs or actually on the support pillars? As I have noticed a couple of cracks on downstairs walls, I'm not 100% sure if these are new or just cracks I haven't noticed before / reappearing after painting as we only moved in February. Sometimes you only notice these things when you really start looking for them!
     
  9. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    There should be no settlement and no movement following a beam install.

    Any cracks from bad installation work should not get any bigger than when first noticed.
     
  10. tony1851

    tony1851

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  11. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Ok then for the benefit of Isambard, walls which where previously rigid and crack-free should wobble all over the place and crack from corner to corner once the builders wave goodbye out the Transit window.
     
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