Classification of Cracks | Treatment of Cracks in a Building

Importance of Classification of Cracks

Cracks in a building are like ailments in human body. The building gets weaker and weaker if the cracks are not treated properly. The cracks give an impression of faulty and poor quality work. Moisture penetrates through the cracks and deteriorates the external facade as well as the internal facade. For determining a treatment procedure for the cracks, cracks have to be classified depending on its cause and nature. Different types of cracks have to be treated in different ways depending on its nature of occurrence.

Cracks in Buildings
Cracks in Buildings

In my earlier articles, I have discussed major and minor causes of cracks. Studying these causes also help in the classification of cracks.

Minor causes of Cracks

Major causes of Cracks

The classification of cracks is based on various factors:

  1. Direction of the cracks
  2. Extent of the cracks
  3. Width of the cracks (if tapers)
  4. Width of the cracks
  5. Depth of the cracks
  6. Alignment of the cracks
  7. Sharpness of the edges
  8. Cleanliness
  9. General

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Major causes of Cracks in Buildings | Building Construction

Causes of cracks in Buildings

In the previous article, we discussed the occurrence of cracks in buildings due to climatic factors and cracks occurred due to problem at the time of construction of the building. These fall under the category of Minor causes of Cracks in Buildings.

Now we will go ahead with our discussion on “Major causes of Cracks in a Building”.

Major causes of cracks in a building

  1. Movements of the ground
  2. Over loading
  3. Effect of gases, liquids and solids
  4. Effect of changes of temperature
  5. General causes such as vibrations etc
Unrestrained Movement of Building Materials
Unrestrained Movement of Building Materials

Movements of the ground

Mining subsidence, land slips, earthquakes, moisture changes due to clay shrinkable soils (for example, Black cotton soil).

Cracks occur because a part of the building is displaced from the rest without any change in the actual size of the material.


  • Overloading of the ground
  • Overloading of the building itself
  • Overloading of the building parts result in cracks

For example; Cracks under a floor due to overloading of slab.

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