In Montreal and other major cities across Canada, apartment buildings are an integral part of the landscape. They bear witness to the evolution of urbanization and the development of Canada’s great cities, and they are home to millions of Canadians. Keeping them in good working order is a major undertaking that landlords often neglect.
It is common to find cracks in the walls of apartment buildings. These are red flags that need to be taken seriously. In this article, our crack repair specialists explain why it’s important to be proactive about cracks in your building.
Cracks in old apartment buildings are common in Canada
Building maintenance and crack repair are even more important in provinces like Quebec that have unforgiving climates. Landlords often underestimate the impact weather and temperature fluctuations can have on buildings. For example, Quebec has been experiencing an increase in flooring cracks for several years now.
Cracks pose a real danger:
- For tenants, who end up living in a poorly maintained building
- For landlords, who are responsible for the safety of their tenants even though they may not live in the building themselves
The importance of hiring specialists for maintenance and construction work
Stay attentive to the condition of the building, and contact professionals at the first sign of wear and tear. Don’t try to carry out the repairs yourself or rely on a handy friend. There is too much at stake. Repairing a building requires an in-depth understanding of the particularities of buildings and cracks, not all of which need the same kind of treatment.
Professionals will carry out a comprehensive assessment of the situation and provide a solution based on that assessment.
They take the type of crack into account
The good news is that not all cracks pose an immediate danger. There are 2 types of cracks: structural and cosmetic.
- Structural cracks: These types of cracks are deep and threaten the stability of the structure. They can cause walls to collapse.
- Cosmetic cracks: These types of cracks pose no immediate danger, because they are superficial and don’t affect the structure. However, they can deteriorate, and should therefore be checked regularly by professionals.
The assessment will determine the urgency of the situation. It will also help the specialist figure out which crack injection technique is likely to work best, high- or low-pressure injection, and which product to use, epoxy or flexible polyurethane.
They know the materials used to construct buildings
Maintaining old buildings requires particular attention because they were built according to the regulations in effect at the time, which may differ from modern practices.
Construction materials have also evolved over time, as technology has advanced and equipment has been modernized. Therefore, the materials will vary depending on the age of the building. For example, when colonization began, buildings in the Montreal area were generally made of limestone because it was widely available in the area. Brick became popular following advances in industrial production in the 19th century, and concrete followed in the 1900s.
If you are conscientious about respecting the regulations currently in effect, hire a crack repair company like Foundation Crack Expert that is familiar with them.
Where to check for cracks
While waiting for an expert to assess the situation, you can check whether any cracks have appeared in the two most likely places: the façade and the foundation.
A cracked façade can cause considerable damage if water seeps through into the building. It can also be symptomatic of the ground shifting underneath the building.
That’s why it’s important to be proactive when these types of issues occur.
The foundation is the bedrock of a building. Any cracks that are left unaddressed can lead to major structural problems that require expensive repairs. Older buildings are more at risk for cracks due to the materials deteriorating with age and the ground shifting underneath the building over time.
Even if you don’t see any cracks, there may be structural problems that are less conspicuous but just as dangerous (such as cracked lintels or aprons, or cracks in the mortar between the bricks).
Have experts inspect your cracks
Building maintenance is an essential part of being a landlord. Keeping your façade, foundation and other components of your building in good condition will extend its lifespan and help prevent major structural problems. If proper maintenance is neglected, a damaged building will significantly reduce the value of your property.
If you get professionals in to inspect and maintain your building, you can ensure that everything is in order, from stability to structural integrity.
The moment cracks start to appear in your building, don’t hesitate—contact the Foundation Crack Expert team!