Internal cracking on walls of new house...




I feel somewhat awkward breezing in here and asking for help/advice but I’m not sure where else to turn. I’m hoping that I might tap into the collective expertise that is here and see whether or not I have a real problem on my hands or perhaps something more superficial.

My wife and I bought our current house about a year ago, a 1940s semi, ex local authority. Survey was sound enough (advised some re-pointing but nothing too serious was flagged). About Christmas the kitchen ceiling started to bow down in one corner and it was clear that the original builders hadn’t scrim taped as it looked like there was a massive gap between the ceiling and the wall. The previous owners had been less than attentive at the upkeep of their house and had let the sealant around the bath degrade as well as the grouting. A slow escape of water meant we were left with having to stump up for a new kitchen ceiling and replacement floor joist, as the bathroom is above the kitchen. I can live with this as I now know it’s sorted.

However, what is more worrying is the cracking that is starting to appear on a lot of the internal walls. Now, I can’t say for sure that many of them weren’t there last year; perhaps the bathroom episode has made me extra aware. But I was hoping that some of you kind folk might be able to have a glance at some of the photo’s I have taken and see what you think. The render in the house is pretty old apart from the living room. I’m hoping it’s a case that simply the old render needs taking right back to brick and re-plastering. I really hope my house isn’t shifting (nothing flagged on land searches etc).

There are some cracks on the external walls which track the mortar and I pressed the surveyors to re-assess the house. Unsurprisingly, they said that all of the cracks were there when the original survey was done and that they are within a ‘normal tolerance’ of 2mm or less. None of these cracks seem to be getting bigger for the moment.

My wife thinks that the fact that we had a very hot summer followed by a freezing cold winter may have something to do with the internal and external cracks but I’d really like to get some second opinions.

Also, all of the concrete window sills seem to have cracked in the this a common occurance for ex local authority housing?

I’ve loaded some images onto this site and they should be able to be viewed at:

Any thoughts would be really welcome and thanks in advance for any help.

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3 Sep 2006
Reaction score
West Mids
United Kingdom
Your first two images are just normal plaster cracking - your wife seems to know her stuff as to the cause

I can't make out nr 3 ... is that a window cill or something. If so does the crack run down the wall?

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