Settlement Damage to Buildings
Differential settlement of buildings causes a number of problems, including doors and windows that don’t open, cracks that mar appearance, and even structural damage that can impair the ability of the structure to withstand loads due to wind, earthquake, or occupancy.
This photo shows a settlement crack at the lower left corner of the window on the left. Cracks often radiate from the corners of windows and doors because these are points of stress concentration.
A diagonal crack emanates from the corner of the door (hidden by the awning) in this brick structure. The crack follows the mortar joints, which form the weak spot in the brick wall.
Two cracks and an offset in the wall are visible in this photo.
Several cracks through both bricks and mortar are visible here. It can be seen that some of the cracks have been plastered over with mortar.
A vertical crack above the door follows the mortar joints in this concrete block wall. Another crack is visible below the window.