Home Maintenance and Repairs

Can a Violent Impact from a Car cause Cracks to form in a House Years Later

Cornell Engineers was asked to quote a job recently where a car collided with a house. The damage had already been repaired but the owner started noticing:

  • cracking in walls, cornices and door trims;
  • popping of nails in walls;
  • jamming and misaligned doors;
  • cracking and crumbling of mortar in brick work.

These issues sound a lot like slab heave to me.

If this sort of damage starts to occur after an unusual impact that ’caused the house to shake violently’, then it’s time to recheck the in-ground pipework for leaks. Especially if there have been no other external or internal changes.

This check should be done as part of the insurance company rebuild. If you’re a home owner or an insurance assessor, if a violent impact causes damage to the superstructure of a building, check the in-ground pipes!

Use a qualified plumber and check the stormwater pipes, the sewer pipes and the water supply pipes. I prefer flood testing over visual testing with a camera however cameras are an great way to find a break without a great deal of excavation.

Good luck finding the problem. If you need a structural engineer, Contact Us.

Matt Cornell
Cornell Engineers

Photo source:  The Courier Mail

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