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upstairs wall cracked after removing downstairs wall

Discussion in 'Building' started by Helen B, 14 Jan 2021.

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How can this be rectified please?

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  1. Helen B

    Helen B

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    Hi, I’ve a 1930’s house. 4 years ago I had wall knocked down between the kitchen & dining room. It wasn’t a load bearing wall so was told I didn’t require a steel beam. Last year I noticed the wallpaper lifting in bedroom wall seam corner which is above kitchen/diner. I removed wall paper and found the deep crack in the wall from ceiling to floor. Could you please advise. Photos attached
     

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    Last edited: 14 Jan 2021
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  3. mikeey84

    mikeey84

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    Can you do a rough floor plan indicating where the old wall was and where this wall is? It will make it easier to tell what the issue is.

    Also, how old the house is may help
     
  4. Bonni

    Bonni

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    What is the upstairs wall sitting on?
     
  5. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    It may well be normal movement (thermal movement) which occurs randomly due to seasons or heating/humidity patterns.

    The crack looks too even, and is in the right place for a thermal crack, rather than a structural movement crack.

    As for the vote, builders would love to diagnose cracks and carry out the work they recommend. The problem is whether the builder knows about structural movement or not. Normally its a structural engineer's job to diagnose the cause of a crack and then the remedy.
     
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  6. Helen B

    Helen B

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  7. Helen B

    Helen B

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    It’s a 1930’s house.

    Thank you for your comments they are much appreciated.
     
  8. mikeey84

    mikeey84

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    Was that a brick wall that was removed? I'm no expert but I would say there is a fair chance it was structural, although if your floor joists run front to back, then it might not be!
     
  9. JohnD

    JohnD

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    air?
     
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  11. tony1851

    tony1851

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    I see you got FMT to draw your plans.
     
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  12. wessex101

    wessex101

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    What is the construction of the first floor wall that has cracked? Tap it, does it sound hollow? In which case it is probably studwork. If it sounds solid it is probably brick.

    If it is studwork not too much of a problem.

    I would be surprised if it was brick given that the wall below was removed 4 years ago. Firstly because even the most incompetent builder wouldn't say the wall below was not loadbearing if there was a solid wall directly above. Secondly I would expect the wall above to end up as a pile of rubble in the kitchen diner pretty damn quick if you removed the wall below.
     
  13. tony1851

    tony1851

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    If it's a 1930s house, it's possible the wall upstairs could be a brick-on-edge partition, stiffened with timber studs. These were often built off doubled joists and over time the timber deflects under load, undergoing a permanent bend and allowing the partition to pull away slightly from the external wall.

    I'm inclined to agree with Woods here - the crack doesn't look to be a structural issue. And if the wall downstairs has been out 4 years.....?
     
    Last edited: 15 Jan 2021
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  14. Bonni

    Bonni

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    On one job, a past builder must have took the skirting boards off upstairs, put some needles through, took the downstairs wall out and fitted a 4" square tube as the lintel within floor level. Then put a partial stud wall in downstairs, seemed bizarre. We were redoing floors etc.. and removed the stud wall. The bathroom door upstairs wouldn't close because the steel sagged, it's deflection was inadequate. Got in touch with building regs and they didn't have any details on file for the past work.

    I've even seen joists doubled up and brick walls built off them. Wood shrinks and walls thus crack.
     
  15. Captain Nemesis

    Captain Nemesis

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    Poll answer should be SE followed by builder to do what SE recommends.
     
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  16. Helen B

    Helen B

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    Thank you all. I’ve got a Structual engineer coming out tomorrow to have a look.
     
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  17. userjn

    userjn

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    In the old days, did they not run the joist along the shortest strongest possible route? Then use the internal wall as extra support. Ie. Top to bottom, not right to left as the span will be longer.

    On the otherhand, it could be that occupants are getting heavier/growing up, therefore floor deflection/movement causing the upper internal wall to move with the floor. If your lucky, the floor will not bow so much.

    Please post the joist run and spans.
     
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