Horizontal cracking, vertical cracking, angular cracking, crazing, blown render, stone wall, stone house wall, damaged wall, damaged render, render replacement.
I was asked to look at a Portuguese house recently which had suffered with the external walls cracking. The couple were about to buy the property but wanted to make sure that the cracking wasn’t recent and that is was not going to get worse. Obviously they didn’t want to put their hard earned money into a money pit.
We don’t have a crystal ball so you have to research the property and look for evidence.
Here are a few things we look for. New building close by, land slippage, flooding, property extensions, part demolitions of connected out buildings or adjoining properties. Cellar excavations or new drainage installations.
Then we start to look at the overall structure. How is the property built, with what materials and methods. Is the roof old, is it straight or sagging, what is the condition of the main roof timbers. Do they have splits, cracks or breakages are they suffering from bad woodworm infestation.
Then we look inside the property to see if there are cracks matching those outside on the inside. Is there evidence of rain water entering the cracks and passing to the inside of the property.
Once we have established that there are no obvious and serious external factors causing the cracks we can look at the types of cracks Horizontal cracking, vertical cracking, angular cracking, crazing, blown render, stone wall, stone house wall, damaged wall, damaged render individually.
It is not often appreciated that most old Properties in Portugal do hot have what we would call foundations in northern Europe.
They relied upon building flexible walled houses that would move slightly over time and settle into the ground. Ground frost is not usually a problem here so the houses stay viable for a couple of hundred years.
It takes many years of construction experience and many years of Portuguese building method experience to be able to read property problems.
If you are contemplating buying a property in Portugal contact Kelvin@casteloconstruction.com and we will be pleased to help.