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Question DetailsAsked on 6/26/2016

Are these cracksdangerous?

I live in a 4 story apt building built in 1920. There were a few cracks in the ceiling when i moved in but the last few weeks they have rapidly gotten severly worse. They are in every room and also go outside down the concrete wall. My shelves are also starting to tilt which i would believe was just setteling had this all not occured so fast. i have pictures if there is a way to post them iam very worried about this

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There is a way to post pictures, but I would not waste the time at this point.


Yeah this sounds dangerous - the most dangerous indications I have ever seen described on this site - especially in a concrete building. Contact building management IMMEDIATELY, and if they do not get a structural engineer out there within a day I would contact your local city/county building safety department and have them get a building safety inspector out there on an emergency basis - and I would guess they will condemn the building until a thorough structural inspection can be done, because this sounds to me like a possible imminent collapse issue. Or if you want a more rapid response you could call the fire department - they have more authority to evacuate buildings and get a 24-hour response by a city engineer.


Since you say occurring in all walls and noticeable tilting and rapidly spreading, personally I would be getting my most valuable and needed items and pets and getting out of there NOW to a friend's house or motel/hotel. You might call this alarmist, but better safe than sorry. I sure would not stay there an hour longer than necessary with those symptoms, especially in that old a building - and I would be telling my neighbors about my concerns too. Actually, unless you have a VERY responsive building management, for the sake of your neighbor's safety I would, myself, call the building safety department to get an engineer out there immediately, and if they cannot do so or are closed I would just call the fire department and let them carry the ball before this shows up on Youtube or the news as a possible building collapse story.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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Source: My bad area

Answered 2 years ago by tirediva

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Appreciate the picture - but with that incredibly lousy forming job (if that is concrete as I think) or drywall job (if drywall) and the glare of the flash or light it is hard to really see the cracks - but if those jagged curved marks across the ceiling from left to right are cracks, certainly that would concern me. Even more than ceiling cracks, walls moving enough to cause tilting shelves and cracks in exterior concrete walls would alarm me, to put it simplky.


I stand by what I said before - if you are not spooked enough to temporarily move out (which might be covered by either owner's or your renter's/homeowner's insurance as emergency living expenses for a short period of time), I would at least see that one way or another, from the options I listed, see that a professional civil/structural engineer looks at it.


And unless you have VERY responsive building management, I would not wait for them to do it - I would call the building safety department (public works in some areas) for a government building safety inspector visit, or even something more drastic - particularly if you have heard any cracking or splitting sounds or felt "bumps" or shudders in the building that appear to be associated with this.


Note to any inspector/engineer you talk to the amount of cracking in the recent weeks andthe tilting - emphasize that this is predominately very recent action, not the result of many years of gradual settlement of the building. Also emphasize to them any sounds you have been hearing associated with it - when a building starts groaning, creaking, making splitting or popping sounds it si undergoing significant movement and distress - and buildings that are not wood-frame construction are in more serious conditions when you hear that than wood ones which are more forgiving of settlement and movement.


They might say you are crying wolf - but better than than caught in a collapsing building or unintentionally have your placeof residence star in a most-viewed Youtube video.


After all is said and done let me know the outcome, if you would - or post a link to a local press article if it makes the news.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD




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