Exterior wall cracks are both unsightly and alarming. At the very least, they allow water to penetrate your walls and potentially get inside the building. At worst, they could be a sign of serious issues with your building’s structure.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of cracks, what causes them, and how to repair cracks on exterior walls.
Different types of exterior wall cracks
One of the most common types of cracks in exterior walls are those in the render. These can occur if the render dries too quickly. But more often than not, they happen because of natural expansion and contraction from the changing temperature and weather conditions around them.
Another type of crack you might find are those in the brickwork. If you live in an older building, these are relatively normal. Again, it’s down to expansion and contraction over time because of changing humidity levels and temperatures.
In this case, the cracks will typically be smaller than 15mm, depending on how long they’ve been left to develop. They can still be repaired by repointing, although some brickwork may need to be replaced.
Dealing with larger cracks
If your exterior wall cracks are more than 15mm in width, you’ll probably need to undertake some more substantial repairs. These larger cracks go hand in hand with sloping floors, leaning walls and the disruption of windows and door frames. As a result, you might need to replace entire sections of your walls.
If cracks are even bigger, moving towards or above the 25mm mark, you may be dealing with subsidence. This is when the ground underneath your house collapses or sinks, disrupting the foundation and putting more strain on some parts of the building. In this case, a major repair job will usually be required to put things right.
Repairing cracks in exterior rendered walls
While large cracks in your brickwork require structural repairs, there are some easier ways to deal with smaller cracks in your render:
One solution is to re-render the wall entirely, although this is understandably expensive and time consuming – and there’s no guarantee that the new render won’t crack.
Alternatively, you can try render crack fillers. These come in various forms like silicone render, repair mortar and masonry filler, but they’re not particularly effective or discreet.
The final option is to renew your existing render with SprayCork, a cork-based coating. This combines the best of both worlds, with a smooth uniform appearance and no need to remove the existing render. Plus, it’s long lasting, with natural flexibility and water resistance from the cork.
Get a quote for your render repairs
If you’ve noticed small cracks in your exterior rendered walls, it’s always better to tackle the issue head on rather than letting it fester. Without an effective recoat, cracks will only get worse, and eventually, you’ll have no choice but to remove the render altogether.
Ready to put SprayCork to the test? Get a quote from one of our approved applicators today.
Photo credit: Venetian Plaster Company Isle of Man