If you have a new account but can't post, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help to verify your email address. Thanks :)
New AMA with a US police officer (he's back!). You can ask your questions here

Cracks in garden walls on 2018 build

  • 02-09-2021 4:17pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3 Mr_Bishi

    Hi all,

    I purchased a new build in 2018. No complaints about the build quality of the house for the most part however I am having a problem with the block built and monocouche rendered garden walls. I hung a washing line from one side of the garden to the other and after drying clothes for a few weeks noticed that the render on the wall was starting to crack in a staircase fashion along the mortar joints of the blocks underneath the plaster.

    I hired a plasterer in to patch the render however it started to crack again. I then patched the crack up using Tec7 which remains to this day, however the crack is getting worse and splitting again. I have reported the issue to the developer and they sent around an engineer to place settlement gauges on the walls. One of the gauges has registered movement and I reported this to the developer. The developer is now ignoring my emails and will not reply to me.

    Can I ask people's opinion on whether I am at fault for hanging a clothesline from the wall or is the developer at fault for a substandard build of the wall? I am considering going down the Homebond route however I am not sure if they cover garden walls. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,105 ✭✭✭ 10-10-20

    I'd partially blame the architect who decided to monocouche a garden wall!

    Garden walls only have a shallow enough foundation and cracking may be observed as the wall settles over time, especially if the wall has no expansion joints. Hanging a clothesline isn't an unrealistic requirement of the wall and all walls should be able to take the loading as well as the effect of the screws and plugs etc.

    The level/extent of cracking is obviously highly subjective, from minor hairline cracks projecting from the mortar to significant displacement due to movement. It might be that your type of cracking is "acceptable" in a wall, but is being magnified by the highly uniform format of the monocouche finish.

    I'm not saying that you have to live with it, but you need to find out what type of cracking is present. That could come at cost to you if you decide to go down that route. Maybe this helps in some way.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,022 ✭✭✭ cj maxx

    I worked as a labourer during the boom and one thing I noticed was 'tradesmen ' using mortar far stronger than my father (a tradesman) would have used in his day. I noticed alot of cracking, mostly superficial

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,105 ✭✭✭ 10-10-20

    That's a good point and seems counter-intuitive too.

    Again, all subjective until you have the findings of an engineer in hard-copy.