The Significance of Crack Monitoring in Buildings



If you can see cracks in your residential or commercial building, it can be a grave sign of internal structural damage or some other integral issues. Cracks need to be monitored closely to identify the underlying problems.


Explain Crack Monitoring


Investigating the appearance of cracks in a structure, and measuring the changes in the width of these cracks is known as Crack Monitoring. It is a modern technique used by site engineers and surveyors to assess deep structural damage formation in new and old buildings. Cracks are considered the first sign that signifies the structural movement of any structure due to ground movements.


There can be various reasons why cracks appear in a building. Let us evaluate some of the primary reasons for the formation of cracks:


       Foundational Defect - When there is a problem with the core foundation of a building like a heave or settlement, cracks can develop in the floors or walls. These cracks may widen at the top of the walls or gravitate toward the bottom. It can also be typically accompanied by common signs of foundational defects such as windows and doors getting jammed, making them difficult to open and close.


       Seeping Dampness - Wall cracks can also be formed due to seepage of moisture, which can loosen the structural integrity of the property or building. The other signs indicating moisture damage may include a musty damp smell or peeling paint.


       Age-related Wear and Tear - Over many decades, the building can show signs of wear and tear. This can also lead to the formation of cracks and many other types of issues. Such natural wear and tear can occur due to aging or can be caused by climatic factors such as intense humidity, constant and extreme changes in temperature, etc.


Tree Root Growth Near a Building


Other structural issues that can form cracks include inherent defects found in historic structures, deformation due to excess load, and tree root growth. When trees grow close to a building structure, they cause soil shrinkage by drying out the soil underneath the building. As a result, there is movement in the buildings causing cracks to develop.


Formation of Cracks due to the Effect of Construction Vibration


Ground movement due to the repair work or new construction project going on in your neighborhood area can cause a landslip, heave, and vibration. And all these can lead to the development of cracks in your building. Therefore it is essential to conduct Construction Vibration Monitoring at construction sites to measure the frequency, amplitude, and distribution of the vibrational energy.


Vibration monitoring can also include assessing ground vibration records. When severe vibrations affect any building, its structural integrity is challenged and cracks can be formed on the foundation walls along with cracks in the masonry elements. Often such damage may be accompanied by several other structural problems.


Connecting with Professional Setting Out Site Engineers


Builders appoint certified setting out engineers to give an accurate setting out analysis. The professional engineers are responsible to brief the construction site workers about the nature of pins and lines.


A professional setting out engineer uses site plans, tech tools, and other precision instruments to mark or pinpoint structural features both above and below the ground. This marking work is done before the real construction work begins in earnest.


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