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Causes and Prevention of Cracks in Buildings


Uploaded by Sujay Raghavendra N on Apr 26, 2013
ConcreteFoundation (Engineering)SoilCasting (Metalworking)Stress (Mechanics)

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1

An engineer should have a sound knowledge of all the factsof concrete


technology i.e. of the behavior of construction
material,c o n s t r u c t i o n t e c h n i q u e s , a n d t y p e s o f c r a c k l i k e l
y t o o c c u r , t h e i r causes and respective remedial measure. In short
treatment of cracksinvolves detection, diagnosis and remedy. Cracks
also occur due tosettlement, temperature, shrinkage effect, poor
construction practiceetc. In this seminar various causes for the above
mentioned cracks isbeen discussed.
Types of cracks:
Cracks may be divided in two categories
vizi ) S t r u c t u r a l c r a c k s i i ) N o n s t r u c t u
r a l c r a c k s
i

) Structural cracks :

Structural cracks may arise due to various reasonssuch as incorrect


design, overloading of the structural components,overloading of the
soil on which the building is constructed or other similar factors.
Structural cracks endanger the stability of the buildingand may be diffi cult
to be rectifi ed. Extensive cracks of foundations walls, beams, columns
or slabs etc, are examples of structural cracks.
ii) Non- structural cracks:
Non- structural cracks are generally due to internalforces developed in
the buildings on account of change in the size
of b u i l d i n g c o m p o n e n t s , d u e t o m o i s t u r e v a r i a t i o n , t
e m p e r a t u r e v a r i a t i o n s , t h e e ff e c t o f g a s e s , l i q u i d a n d s o
l i d s o n t h e b u i l d i n g components. The non-structural cracks can
be repaired provided the6

reasons for cracks are identifi ed and suitable remedial measures


aretaken to prevent their reoccurrence.
Investigation relating to cracks:
A careful study of the locations of cracks (starting and finishing points)their
width and depth helps in dealing with the diagnosis of diff erent types
of cracks. The following information helps in diagnosing the
cracks:i ) W h e t h e r t h e c r a c k i s o l d o r n e w . i i ) W h
ether it appears on the opposite face of
the member also.i i i ) P a t t e r n
o f t h e c r a c k s . iv)Soil condition, type of foundation
u s e d , a n d m o v e m e n t o f g r o u n d if any.v ) O b s e r v a t i o n s o n
t h e s i m i l a r s t r u c t u r e s i n t h e s a m e l o c a l i t y. v i ) S t u d y o f
s p e c i fi c a t i o n , m e t h o d o f c o n s t r u c t i o n , u s e d a n d t h e
t e s t result at the site if
any.v i i ) C l i m a t i c c o n d i t i o n d u r i n g w h i c h t h e
s t r u c t u r e h a s b e e n constructed.
Limitation of crack width (IS 456: 2000):
Depending on the exposure conditions limitations on crack width
areimposed as follows1 . Fo r m e m b e r s i n w a t e r s t o r a g e
u n i t s , s e w a g e t re a t m e n t p l a n t s , structures in chemically
hazardous atmosphere, etc. Cracks are not permitted in R.C.
members.2. In severe atmosphere up to 0.1mm crack width is
permitted.7

3. Moderate atmosphere up to 0.2mm crack width is


permitted4 . I n m i l d a t m o s p h e r e
t h e s u r f a c e w i d t h o f c r a c k s s h o u l d n o t , i n g e n e r a l e xc e e d
0 . 3 m m i n m e m b e r s w h e re c r a c k i n g d o e s n o t h a v e a n y s e r i o u s
a d v e r s e e ff e c t s u p o n t h e p r e s e r v a t i o n o f reinforcing steel nor
upon the durability of structure.
P e r m i s s i b l e c r a c k w i d t h i n r e i n f o r c e d structure as per ACI
Exposure conditionsMaximum allowable
c r a c k widthin mmDry air,
protectivemembrane0.41H u m i d i t y ,
m o i s t a i r 0 . 3 0 Sea
water and seawaterspray;Wetting and
drying0.15W a t e r r e t a i n i n g s t
r u c t u r e 0 . 1 0
Table1
II) CAUSES FOR THE OCCURANCE OF CRACKS:
The importance causes responsible for occurrence of the cracks
are1.structural deficiency resulting from design deficiency or
constructiondeficiency and overloading.2. Settlement of
ground3.Temperature and Shrinkage effects.4. Cracks due to faulty workman
ship and poor construction practice8
1
. C r a c k s d u e t o s t r u c t u r a l d e fi c i e n c y r e s u l t i n g
f r o m d e s i g n d e fi c i e n c y o r c o n s t r u c t i o n d e fi c i e n c y
a n d overloads.
Concrete structure and individual members allcarry loads. Some carry only
the weight of the materials they are
madeo f , w h i l e o t h e r s c a r r y l o a d s a p p l i e d t o t h e s t r u c t u r e .
A l l m a t e r i a l change volume when subjected to stress,Concrete is no
exception. When subjected to tensile stress, concrete stretches; when
subjected to compressive stress it shortens. Concretepossesses high
compressive strength but little tensile strength, andreinforcing steel
provides the needed strength in tension. The
loadsi n d u c e d d u r i n g c o n s t r u c t i o n c a n b e f a r m o re s e v e re
t h a n t h e y a re e x p e r i e n c e d i n s e r v i c e . C o n c r e t e p r o b l e
m s , s u c h a s e x c e s s i v e deflection, cracking may be caused
by volume changes associated withload effect.Most concrete members are
subjected to tensileforces. Slabs and beams are the most common members
subjected tosignificant tension. Reinforcing bars are placed in the concrete to
carryt e n s i o n f o r c e s . W h e n re i n f o rc e d b a r a re s u b j e c t e d t o t e n s i
o n t h e y s t re t c h . T h e c o n c re t e a ro u n d t h e re i n f o r c i n g b a r s i s c o
n s e q u e n t l y subjected to tension and stretches. When tension in
excess of tensiles t re n g t h o f c o n c re t e i s re a c h e d , t r a n s v e r s e
c r a c k m a y a p p e a r n e a r reinforcing bars.

C r a c k s o c c u r d u e t o s h e a r , fl e x u r a l a n d t o r s i o n a
l s t e e l deficiency.

C r a c k s o c c u r d u e t o a b r u p t c u r t a i l m e n t o f re i n f o r c i n g b a r s , con
struction joints etc.9


Improper anchorage.

Cracks due to overloading of members
Preventive measures:

S p e c i a l c a re n e e d t o b e t a ke n i n t h e d e s i g n a n d d e t a i l i n g
o f structures in which cracking may cause a major
serviceabilityproblem. These structures also require continuous insp
ectiond u r i n g a l l p h a s e s o f c o n s t r u c t i o n t o s u p p l e m e n t t h e c a re
f u l design and detailing.

D a m a g e s f ro m u n i n t e n t i o n a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o v e r l o a d s c a n b e prev
ented only if designer provide information on load limitationfor the structure
and if the construction personnel heed to theselimitations.

Ensure proper anchorage to the reinforcing bars.

Follow proper design specifications.10

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Study of Cracks in Buildings

Thesis (PDF Available) January 2009with14,618 Reads


DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2485.5201
Thesis for: B.Tech (Term paper), Advisor: Ramesh V

1st Sri Kalyana Rama J

6.49 BITS Pilani, Hyderabad

2nd Sampath Kumar V

3rd Raghava Sudhir V

4th Vickranth V
Abstract
Cracks in a building are of common occurrence. A building component develops cracks
whenever stress in the component exceeds its strength. Cracks are classified in to
structural and non structural categories. The structural ones are due to faulty design,
faulty construction or overloading which may endanger safety of buildings. The non
structural cracks are due to internally induced stresses. Depending on width of crack,
these are classified in to thin (< 1mm), medium (1mm to 2mm) and wide (> 2mm wide).
Internally induced stresses in building components lead to dimensional changes and
whenever there is a restraint to movement as is generally the case cracking occurs.
There are numerous causes of cracking in concrete, but most instances are related
more to concrete specification and construction practices than by stresses due to
induced forces.
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Full-text (PDF)
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2485.5201 Available from: Sri Kalyana Rama J, Jun 05, 2015
Download full-text PDF

STUDY
BUILDINGS
DEPARTMENT
TERM
JPresented
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and

Cracking
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as
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walls,
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andRCC
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and
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ain
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and due
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and
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age
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of
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creep
concrete,
and
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creep
after
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such
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and
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increases
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cement
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and,creep depends
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of
stress/strength
has
with
mortar.
about may
concrete for
extent
that of
takes
creep
application removal water
concrete
shape
with
temperature;
in depends
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therefore,
mortar,
greater
greater
weakits mortar
cease
year
it may
of or
hardening
creep
place
pace
strain of ofon
ratio,
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at
age
case
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content,
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and creep
creep of
of
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pass
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foundation
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structure
soil
strength
Due
For
resulting
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be
iii)
stories
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It
on
pull
is is
always
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from
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line
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masonry
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opening
moveme3nt
weakening being
safety
DIAGNOSIS
to
Behavior
(i) to
Time
(iv)When
(v) Past
due
avoided.
roof
due
construction, is
Whether
structures
i)
corners
Vertical
Cracks
upwards
difference
of
They cracks.
sometime
expansion
ii)
front cracks
OFat
Diagnosis,
Location,
be
Specification
through
Vertical are
start large
of
in
adequate
return
endswall
Vertical
initial
because
on
)long
with
differential
below
portion at
the
about
Vertical
are
the
Vertical
large or
the
Foundation
collected
and
history
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ofof
start
elevation the
are of
under
either
in
the
thermal
from
corners.
of joints
in soil
due
upwards
from
is walls.
wall
drying,
windowwalls
.due
drying
and inmovement
differential
excess
construction
CRACKS
in
of cracks
building.
fromthe wall
more
masonry
the
aggravated
cracks bricksto
vertical
corners
to more
cracks
strain
wall
openingwhich
bending
one of
has
corner,
Cracks
windows.
of cracksto
around inbuildings
different
due
design
the
Shape,
othersoil
Corner
of and
in
DPCto
near
rotates
the
shrinkage as
unit
joints or
long
provision
than
of
in
both
vertical
havingin
shrinkage ofto
bearing
from
expansion
not of
longof
Settlement.
following
job .due
Size,
thea
studied.
cracks.
a
the
exerts
andwell
in
always
causes
below
the
around
balconies unequal
characteristics
cracks
levelfirst
of
the
or
thermal
work. level
less
units
by came
load
on are
sidewalls and
settlement
building
due
nobeen
600mm,
of occur
parts
safe
foundation.
to
Building
and
quoins
DPC
sheer from
walls
building
top
RCC
as
directions.
walls an
lightly
heavily low
information
Depth, active
If to
bearing
straight
the
and
expansion
moisturelevel
and
to of
thermal
in in
the
made.
inward
verticals
opening caused
openings.
staircase when
bearing
pressure
bearingnotice
at
travels
two
there the
factor
having
length
this
this
most
roof and
occur
thrust
having
portions
This
loaded
loaded
thermal or
the
and
sides
can
inisof
Theon
at
of
slab
by
in
very
(vi)
Span
cover
woods
It
(xi)
a
when
old the
storey
lifting
horizontal
shrinkage
lifts
covering
slightly
(vii)
stories,
slab
recur.
(viii)
or sill
because
contraction
which
i.e.
providing
windows.
(ix)
story
Due
to
Can
corner
the
stress
(x) is
truss
attack.
with
treatment
steel
timber
masonry
Remedy:-
extension.
under
building
(iii)
(iv)
appearing
do
cement.
.(v)
ceiling
These
between
Movement
because
thermal
(vi)
multi
They
internal
to
cross
(vii)
walls
viii)which
outward
floors
Due
uneven.
soil
shallow.
In
external
tend
up
cracks
The dry
unshapely.
spanning
ends
masonry
due
lintels
after
cast
be
Partition
structures.
2)
or
3) beam
height
shrinkage.
PREVENTION
1.
etc
larger
content
more
mortar
date

dried To
Select
Plan
clinker
Porus
Use
plastering
conscious.
the
up
when
accompanied
Inside thermal
comparedlintel
buildings wallwall
up
to
onbelow
are
occur
week
Horizontal
levels
tocauses
Horizontal
top of
deflection
tobe
Horizontal
structured
foundation
(ii)
material
apron
of
out due
building
These
clay
growing some
Provide
0.50
External
bearing
(i)
concrete
Cracks
point
in
strength
straight
period
two
cold
shrinkageafter
reach
Vertical
portion a
load
Vertical
columns
deformation.
elastic
RCC
at the column.
time
Horizontal
construction
attack.
accompanied
mortar. Diagonal
to
andtoare
walls
Diagonal
to
Construction
joints
summer
For
Delay of
Partition
soffit
blocks
long. Partition
junctions
at
horizontal If
than
of
without
wall
trusses
ties
Diagonal
accentuate
become
Pass soil
dehydration all
Vertical Can
ismt
appear
years.
of
weather to
because
occur
Though be
is
1
These
No
replastering
Ripping
level
are
Diagonal
under
(B.C.
floor
to
shorter
seen the
top.
pull
ofand as
units
RCC due
edge
movement
seen
expansion
insulation
storied of
and
cracking
moisture
lintels
completion
formed. and
lintels
appear.
Cracks
intermediate large
dryingaway
if
top
with
wall
portion.
prevent
Planning
size
of
of
brick
be
after arein
having be
drying
pull
level.
slip
building
vertical
reinforcement.
avoided
because in
outward
timber
(i)To
and
blocks be
2m
round well
slab
Because
due
small
from
cracks
due
gradient
after If
lighter
between
to
deteriorated
and
trees
narrow rebuild
affecting
soil
below
or
Structures
stretches
oropenings
of
one
of cracks2
at
stepped.
mortar
of
two
arecracks
of
remedy
in
due
walls
materials
for
etc) and
removal egwall
cracks and
byby
cracks
inadequate
due
tilting
Soil),
weather
tiltwalls
the
once load
going
outwards.
haves beam
walls
less
of
aggregates
prone
offsets
600
of
1:1:6
work
proper
allowed
plastering
proper OF
work
3 tthe
or
mortar to
much
rich
the
exerted
cracking
They
crocks
cracks
due
has
the
of beof
avoided
wood
when
near
DPC
wide
mortar,
.and
They andGL.
Internal
months
week
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per
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the
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6.
exceeding
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slipnew)
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CRACK
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-are
say concrete
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ofand
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Exposed
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ensure
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and
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metre the
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well
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either
to
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theof
as
that
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the
each
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for
3
4
5
6
7
cracks
on
STEP
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strong
not 1:
each
brush, 2:
3:in
4:
1:6
5:
mortar.
mortar 6:
7:
act
future Rake
conveniently
disturbing acement
Clean
side
and
Fill
for
The
again
as length
the
Clean and
the
Sprinkle thecrack
of
stones
of
the
cracks
aminimum
wall
and
earthquakes.weak joints
600mm
safely
the
aremove joints
crack.
everything
dust.
sand
water
will
thisandoracross
7on
ofthen
point as
possible
at least
with
raked
1:3
the
days.
repaired
in deepthe
wire
lime
joints
become
the area as
without
300mm sand
cement
wall will
for

www.iitk.ac.in
REFERENCES
SP
BUILDINGS
BY25:
PILE
PART HANDBOOK
ISFOUNDATIONS
2911(3):
III
MASONRY,
HARRY UNDER ONASTM
CODE
REAMED
MATERIALS,
A. HARRIS, CAUSES
OFPILES
DESIGN, ANDFOR
PRACTICE PREVENTION
CONSTRUCTION,
COMMITTEE OF CRACKS
DESIGN AND
AND IN
CONSTRUCTION
MAINTENANCE OF

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