You may be on the cusp of buying your dream home. It looks beautiful, it ticks all your lifestyle boxes and it’s in a fantastic area. But homes often look great on the surface whilst hiding deficiencies behind the cracks - literal cracks.
If your building inspections in Benowa uncover cracked wall and floor tiles, it is possible that this isn’t the result of the previous owner’s kid bouncing a basketball around inside (although highly concentrated cracks may be just that!).
It is also likely that there is something else going on in the property that should be looked at on a deeper level.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why walls and floor tiles crack in the home…
The concrete substrate was poorly cured
Newly poured home concrete, like other forms of concrete, needs time to dry and cure properly before having tiles placed above it. However, many subpar contractors might overlook this 28 day process and this, consequently, often leads to hairline cracks forming in the tiles that will eventually chip and break.
If you’re concerned that any of these issues might be the case at the Benowa home you are looking to purchase then it’s certainly a very good idea to get in contact with a licenced building inspector.
Too much pressure
Australian Standard AS 4459.4. Ensures that ceramic tiles undergo quality testing before sale. This ensures they can withstand a particular strength of heavy objects like static furniture and fridges. However, if you were to unfortunately drop one of these items straight onto the tiles, it could end up being a different story.
Spacing issues with the joists
Tiles hold up better over time when there is less movement happening around them. Houses typically contain joists that hold everything up in the house that comes above the subfloor (including tiles). If these joists are spaced too far apart during construction, there can be too much pressure applied to tiles that do not want to bend.
This, in turn, can lead to the tiles breaking from the pressure and the unwanted bending action.
The concrete substrate is cracked
Bathroom walls, basement floors and concrete driveways with long cracks running right through them is a typical problem. This can happen if the concrete substrate is cracked. Why? Because if the below concrete substrate is cracked then you can almost be sure the above tiles will crack, too.
This is where you start to see multiple cracks occurring over a series of multiple tiles. This typically requires a crack isolation membrane to be installed in the floor before the old tiles are replaced. This membrane creates a cushioned partition that protects the tiles from the concrete substrate which, in turn, produces separate movement.
Sometimes it can just be from impact
Your qualified building inspector can tell the difference between impact cracks and cracks caused by structural faults. If the crack is situated on the single tile (or the tiles around the outside) then it is highly likely that an object, like that basketball, has hit the tile.
This is also possible in kitchens, where pots, pans and other cooking necessities might fall and hit the surface.
They can pinpoint any of the above-listed problems and ensure you are not going to purchase a home outright that contains any number of deeper structural issues including that of poorly spaced joists, poorly cured concrete or cracked concrete substrate.