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Crack in the wall, who do we call?
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# 1
lushkat
Old 05-04-2006, 11:02 AM
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Default Crack in the wall, who do we call?

There's a crack in the wall, that starts in the bedroom, in the corner, right near the bay window, that continues all the way down, through to the lounge below. It was mentioned in the survey we had done on the house, about 5 years ago, but said there was nothing to worry about.

However, the crack seems to be worsening and we were wondering whether we needed to get someone in to have a look at it. But the probem is neither of us know really who to call. Is it a surveyor? Or a builder? Or someone else....

Any one have any ideas?

Thanks
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# 2
OK Sauce
Old 05-04-2006, 11:18 AM
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Try contacting your buildings insurance company. Read the small print of your contract though as you may be liable for a high excess payment - could be 1000 for subsidence. You may be able to negotiate a 'deal' with your assesser to make it a 'non-subsidence claim' for a smaller excess payment. I had both exterior and interior cracks and although it was subsidence, ie the house shifted due to movement of the ground, the claim went through as a leaking sewer = 200 excess!
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# 3
Little John
Old 05-04-2006, 4:50 PM
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Ghostbusters
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# 4
raymond
Old 05-04-2006, 4:51 PM
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I dont see how you can claim on your insurance for a condition that existed BEFORE you bought the house and BEFORE you took out the insurance policy, bit like crashing the car and taking out insurance after the accident.

I would call a surveyor, they charge more than a builder to have a look, but a builder may make a mountain out of a molehill and charge you a ransom to fix it.
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# 5
hulltrucker
Old 05-04-2006, 4:57 PM
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I had a large crack in my bedroom wall too which turned out to be subsidence. Your first point of contact is with your buildings Insurer and as OK sauce says you may have to find a hefty excess, however these are not usually payable until all the remedial work has taken place.

I would advise against asking any one else other than you Buildings Insurer as this stage as anyone else hasa vested interest in telling you it's something worse than it actually is (Not that any sort of "professional" would do this - would they?)

Best of luck
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# 6
santana-mx3
Old 05-04-2006, 4:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little John
Ghostbusters
I was wondering who was going to post that.
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# 7
Debt_Free_Chick
Old 05-04-2006, 6:06 PM
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I agree - call the buildings insurer and they will appoint someone. Probably a surveyor or a structural engineer. Don't get too hung up about subsidence at the moment. Even if it is subsidence, your current insurer will still cover you for this and any future claims. It's only if you try and change insurance company that you might find a problem.

Even though the crack existed five years ago, your buildings insurance will probably still cover you as it seems as though the cause, whatever it is, had not been identified at the time. So this is not a "pre-existing condition" as has been suggested.

I once had a 25,000 subsidence claim, which was due to leaking drains. It was waterlogged ground that caused the "subsidence" not land-heave, which is the one that most insurers worry about. Leaking drains can be fixed (as mine were) and that solves the "subsidence". Land-heave cannot be fixed, so subsidence can be expected to be an ongoing problem.

In my case, the cracks were noted when I moved in to the property, but the claim was not made until 10 years later. There was no quibble at all about paying the claim, so don't worry on that score.

Would be interested to hear how you get on, as we often get posts like this but then don't know "what happened next", which is frustrating for those of us who are "nicely nosey" about these things
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# 8
OK Sauce
Old 05-04-2006, 6:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raymond
I dont see how you can claim on your insurance for a condition that existed BEFORE you bought the house and BEFORE you took out the insurance policy, bit like crashing the car and taking out insurance after the accident.
The surveyor five years ago said there's nothing to worry about but now there is, so it's a legitimate claim. What do you pay insurance for if you don't use it?
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# 9
jimmmyc
Old 05-04-2006, 10:56 PM
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How bad is the crack, sometimes surface plaster can come away making it look worse than it is, can you put a pencil in it? If you can and you couldn't before get it checked.A cheap way to get an assesement is to get a local builder (hopefully a good one) use the FMB website to come and quote to repair or replaster. If its serious they will probably tell you and then you can check with your insurance or a surveryor.

We had a crack that got worse, the builders removed cracked bricks, replaced with new and replastered, it hasn't come back after 2 years.

Good luck..
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# 10
lushkat
Old 06-04-2006, 10:20 PM
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Thank you everyone for all your replies. Fortunately the crack isnt large enough to put a pencil anywhere near .. and I think we will probably call in a builders for a quote like jimmyc suggests.

We have had a few bit of work done over the last few years doing all kinds of jobs and all kinds of trades have seen the cracks in passing, none have seen fit to comment, so perhaps it isnt that bad, it just seems bad to us. (Why we didnt ask them then I dont know ...)

I will let you know, once we get round to finding a reliable builder to come and look.
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