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Department of Technical Education

Andhra Pradesh
Name of the Staff member :P. Suryanarayana Reddy
Designation : HCES
Branch : Civil Engineering
Institute : Govt Polytechnic Anantapur
Semester : VI Semester
Subject : Maintenance of Buildings
Subject Code : C 606C
Topic : Maintenance Problems in
Buildings and their
Duration : 50 minutes
Sub topic : Investigation of cracks in wall
Teaching Aids : PPT, Animations and Sketches
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On the completion of this period, you would be able

to understand

• Investigation of cracks in walls

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We have discussed the following in previous class

• Causes of cracks in brief

• Classification of cracks w.r.t. crack width

• Crack nature

• Few diagrams showing cracks

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Investigation of Cracks in Walls

• All cracks have a similar appearance though cause is


• With inadequate knowledge, generally the crack is

diagnosed as due to “settlement” of structure

• It is not true always

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Investigation of Cracks in Walls (contd..)

• It is seldom possible to reconnect the masonry in a

permanent manner as in welding of metal

• There is likely to be a reoccurrence of the crack after

some time

• Every crack is an indication that the building is

becoming unsafe

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Investigation of Cracks in Walls (contd..)

• Rarely does a building collapse soon after the appearance

of a crack

• Even if crack is large

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Investigation of Cracks in Walls (contd..)

Following information is required to diagnosis of cracks :

• Direction

• Extent

• Width

• Depth

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• Alignment

• Sharpness of edges

• Cleanliness

• General

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Direction of Crack :

• The crack may be Vertical, horizontal, diagonal, coupled

with whether the crack is straight, toothed, variable
and irregular

• The material through which the crack passes should be


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Extent of crack :

• The starting and finishing point of crack should be noted

• It should be noted whether the crack extends across


• It should be observed whether crack passes through

DPC or to the vicinity of ground

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Width of crack :

• Examine the crack for uniformity of width

• If it tapers off, mark the end of cracks and note the

direction of the taper

• If it changes in width, transducers can be used for more

continuous measurements

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Depth of crack :

• It should be observed how many of the materials

comprising the wall have been cracked

• The crack in a painted plastered wall may be confined to

the paint film, may pass into the plaster, may pass on
into the wall or may pass right through it

• A piece of wire can be useful for probing depth of wall

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Alignment of crack :

• It should be noted of the levels of materials on the two

sides of cracks

• This can be done by feeling with the finger tip passing it

across the crack

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Alignment of crack (contd..)

• Alignment will indicate whether a crack has been

produced by a straight pull as with tensile force or by a

diagonal pull as with a shear action

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Sharpness of Edges :

• Most cracks have sharp edges

• Some edges are roughened or rounded indicate due to
compressive forces or vibrations
• Badly broken edges will often be indicative of initial
compressive forces

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Cleanliness :

• Cracks should be examined with magnifying glasses

• Examine for brightness of crack or presence of dirt or

presence of decorative material inside

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General :

• Crack should be observed over period of time

• Remedial measure should not be carried out


• Crack may be static or may be active/developing

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General (contd..)

• Cracks in buildings on clayey sub soils are likely to vary

its width more or less continuous

• These cracks should not be filled with rigid materials and

any temporary filling should be carried out with a flexible


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In this class, we have discussed about

• Diagnosis of cracks in walls

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1) If the crack has been produced by a straight pull,

which is the force responsible?

A) Compressive force

B) Tensile force

C) Shear force

D) None of the above

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2) If the crack has been produced by a diagonal pull, which
is the force responsible?

A)Compressive force

B)Tensile force

C)Shear force

D)None of the above

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Frequently Asked Questions

• What are the various information to be collected while

investigating cracks in wall?

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Thank you !

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