Strategies For Controlling Cracks In Residential Buildings

Project and Seminar Material for Building Technology BT

Strategies For Controlling Cracks In Residential Buildings


The study was designed to find out strategies for controlling cracks in residential building, in Niger south senatorial district. Among the specific purposes of the study were determining the availability to facilities for controlling cracks in residential building, determine the methods of detecting cracks in residential building, and determining the availability of personnel for detecting cracks in residential building and also the strategies adopted to improve the control of cracks in residential building in Niger south senatorial district. The study adopted description survey research design and the area of the study is Niger south senatorial district.

The population of the study includes 258 respondents made up of 120 building team, 50 clients, 50 engineers and 38 supervisors. The instruments for data collection a 25-item structured questionnaire designed to elicit responses to the research questions. The instrument was validated by three experts who embellished it in term of both face contact validity while the reliability coefficient of the instrument was established using test re-test which yielded the coefficient of 0.78. Data for the study were personally collected by the researchers and three trained research assistances.

While mean statistics was employed to analyze relating to research questions.1-4 based on the findings of the studies. The following recommendations were made, Correct mix ratio should be properly follow to avoid building cracks. Walls and other parts of the bridling should be properly cured after being constructed. Soil test should be conducted so as to ascertain the strength of the soil. There should be proper design to avoid building cracks. Use of unclean materials should be avoided.

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One


  • 1.1 Background Of The Study
  • 1.2 Statement Of The Problem
  • 1.3 Purpose Of The Study
  • 1.4 Significance Of The Study
  • 1.5 Research Questions
  • 1.6 Scope Of The Study

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Cracks In Building; An Overview
  • 2.2 Causes Of Cracks On Building
  • 2.3 Theoretical Framework

Chapter Three

Research Methodology And The Study Area

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Study Population
  • 3.3 Data Requirement
  • 3.4 Sample Frame
  • 3.5 Sample Size
  • 3.6 Sampling Techniques
  • 3.7 Data Collection
  • 3.8 Data Collection Instrument
  • 3.9 Questionnaire Design
  • 3.10 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

Data Collection, Analysis, Presentation And Interpretation

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2.0 Analysis Of Responses Of Real Estate Developers
  • 4.2.1 Distribution On Gender Of The Respondents
  • 4.2.2 Literacy Status Of The Respondents
  • 4.2.3 Purpose Of Developing Properties
  • 4.2.4 Experience In Property Development
  • 4.2.5 Awareness Of Building Crack
  • 4.2.6 Frequency Of Residential Building Cracks In Niger South Senatorial District
  • 4.2.7 The Major Causes Of Residential Building Cracks
  • 4.2.8 Defect In Building Leads To Residential Building Cracks
  • 4.3.9 Present Efforts Of Government
  • 4.4 Efforts Of Professionals In Eradicating Residential Building Cracks
  • 4.5 Testing Of Hypothesis
  • 4.5.1 Data Analysis Of Hypothesis
  • 4.6 Interpretation Of Data

Chapter Five

Summary Of Findings, Recommendations And Conclusion

  • 5.1 Summary Of Findings
  • 5.2 Recommendations
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the study

Modern building of engineering structure are complex and require Architect, structural engineers, quantity surveyor, good contractor and supervisors for detailed planning, safe design and efficient use of appropriate material. When these requirement are not made adequately, failure becomes more probable? According to Evelyn (September – 2004) cracks in building elements may constitute a defect in a variety of ways. In many cases a particular crack occurrence may result in more than one type of defect. A serviceability defect and an appearance defect. And according to Shri M.M Goyal (2004) occurrence of various crack patterns in the building during construction and after completion, when it is subjected to super imposed loads and during service life, is a common phenomenon. A building component develops cracks whenever the stress in the components exceeds its strength. Stress in the building components caused by external applied forces, such as dead, live, wind or seismic leads, foundation settlement or it could be induced internally due to thermal movements, moisture changes, elastic deformation, chemical action e.t.c

The occupants of buildings may served as good tenants or occupants, Since their knowledge of the facility in many ways have contributed in checking failure and defects in residential buildings. It is important for the tenants to understand the causes of cracks in structures e.g.

Non structural cracks – these are mostly due to internally induced stresses in building material and do not endanger safety of a building but may look unsightly. Or may create an impression of faulty work or may site a feeling of insatiability. In some situation due to penetration of moisture through them, non structural cracks may spoil the internal finishes thus adding to the cost of maintenance or corrode the reinforcement, thereby adversely affecting the stability of the structure in long run, e.g vertical crack in a long compound wall due to shrinkage or thermal movement.

Cracks may appreciably vary in width from very thin hair crack barely visible to naked eye to sapling crack. Depending upon the crack width cracks are classified as: thin crack – less than 1 mm in width, medium crack- 1 to 2mm in width, wide crack – more than 2mm in width and crazing – occurrence of closely spaced line cracks at the surface of a structure or material.

The cracks that occur are of uniform width some are narrow at one end gradually widening at the other, the above pattern of cracks usually occur on the surface of plaster or rendering of the structure of building, and those patterns some occur on the walls of the building such as; straight, toothed, stepped or map pattern. The random type crack may be vertically or horizontally or diagonally e.t.c

Therefore, there is need for the occupants of the residential buildings to periodically examine and critically assess the stability and ability of the structure of their buildings.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Crack is a kind of universal problem of building and if not checked may destroys the foundations or walls and affects the building artistic. It also reduce the durability and stability of the structure of the buildings.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to identify strategies for controlling cracks in Niger south senatorial district. Specifically, the study is to;

  1. Determined the conceptual frameworks on cracks in buildings.
  2. Determined the factors that contribute to the causes of cracks in residential buildings in Niger South Senatorial district.
  3. Determine ways of eliminating cracks in residential buildings in Niger South Senatorial district.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be beneficial to professional in the building industry such as builders, quantity surveyor etc The study will also be useful to contractors, designers of buildings and the society at large.

Show-et’ al (June 2006) maintained that a mixture or mix that is richer in cement may be necessary in order to meet the requirement of comfort ability, surface finish or long term durability

The study is also importance as it would led to better understanding of how to control cracks in residential buildings in Niger south senatorial district municipal such as: Bida,lavun, Lapai, Mokwa and surroundings and to have the better knowledge of the constituents and materials and types of foundation that will suit particular type of soil.

1.5 Research Questions

The study of the crack in buildings is of importance, because it help the builder and civil engineers to know the causes and manifestation of cracks and how they can be avoided.

The following are research questions:

  1. What are the conceptual frameworks on cracks in buildings?
  2. What are the factors that contribute to the causes of cracks in residential buildings in Niger South Senatorial district?
  3. What are the possible ways of eliminating cracks in residential buildings in Niger South Senatorial district?

1.6 Scope of the Study

This research is limited to strategies of controlling racks in residential buildings in Niger South Senatorial district which covered the following: Bida, Lavun Lapai and Mokwa local government area of Niger State.

The study is restricted to technical ways of controlling cracks its causes, remedies and possible ways of eliminating them.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary Of Findings, Recommendations And Conclusion

5.1 Summary Of Findings

After a detailed analysis of data gathered from the three categories of respondents such as the Niger south senatorial district State Ministry of Housing, Real Estate Developers and Professional team in the building industry, which follows by interpretation, the following are the summary of findings;

  1. The analysis revealed that the majority of the respondents are male and have witnessed and also aware of incidents of residential building cracks in Niger south senatorial district.
  2. The respondents also agreed to the fact that the degree of effect of residential building cracks is Very High and as such, have caused a lot of problem to the government as well as professionals concerned. Also, it was agreed that the rampancy of residential building cracks in Niger south senatorial district is high in nature and the government and professionals are making effort to eradicate it through public enlightenment and proper site supervision.
  3. The three categories of respondents i.e. government ministry of housing, real estate developers and professional team in the built environment identified the following as causes of residential building cracks; structural defect, faulty foundation, lack of maintenance, poor workmanship, sub-standard materials, design error, natural hazards, inexperienced professionals, hasty construction, greed, non-adherence to building codes, overloading, tendency to cheat, corruption, inadequate steel reinforcement, no soil test etc.

5.2 Recommendations

Having carried out due analysis and interpretation of data gathered from both primary and secondary sources, the following were recommended;

  1. The developers should not be in a hurry and also keep enough funds for development and deal directly with professionals with good track records and credibility.
  2. Adequate and proper test should be carried out for property that have reached old age and if defects were numerous, occupants should be advised in their best interest to vacate the building premises.
  3. Building professionals should ensure to carryout proper and efficient supervision of works on site as well as thorough inspect of materials to be used for the construction from sub-structure to superstructure.
  4. The government and professional team involve in building construction ought to enlighten each other on how to embrace good and quality professional practice as well as enlightening the general public from time to time on the best professional to approach whenever the decision to go into development is made. Also, to warn them that if the right channel is not pass or using the right people, the end result could be disastrous.
  5. The professionals such as the Architects, Builders, Engineers, Town Planners, Estate Surveyors and Valuers as Project Manager, Quantity Surveyors, Estimators need to come together periodically to discuss the problems facing the industry and suggest way forward.
  6. To save Nigeria from further agony and trauma, building approval should be in phases, design and site of the building should be approved by the concerned ministry and the government agencies should take the task very serious without bribe collection from client
  7. Government should enact a Law that will aim to curbing the use of sub-standard materials and making sure that high quality material prices are subsidised so that all income level can afford it. Hence, if all these recommendations can be taken seriously, it would provide a lasting situation to the menace of Crackd building and the psychological traumas it causes on its victims.
  8. There should be issuance of Certificate of Commencement of construction work, issuance for stages of construction works base on application by builders in charge on site. Government should also apply strict development control.
  9. Government should ensure that before any work commence on site, the materials to be used must be stamped by various professionals working on the site.
  10. The menace of residential building cracks is one that requires all stakeholders’ urgent attention. To this end, both government and private individuals make conscientious efforts to make sure that they only approved plans are strictly followed.
  11. Government officials in the Housing and Environmental Ministries must constantly inspect construction sites to ensure that only the approved plan are followed.
  12. Proper supervision and monitoring team should periodically inspect building materials to ensure building materials to ensure that sub-standard goods are not used.
  13. The only way through which this problem can be solved is by engaging the service of a qualified building, civil engineer and an Estate Surveyor and Valuer for construction and proper supervision of the project.
  14. The building professionals should enlighten the populace of the importance of their profession and the need for ordinary man to contact a certified builder for a new development. Also, government institutions in charge of buildings and development should ensure that the building codes are followed in the course of a new development.
  15. Foundation of building should be taken into consideration before putting load on i.e. this would determine the number of floors. Approved plan of the building should be strictly adhered to. Avoid using building that is meant for Residential use as Commercial. As we understand that Residential building cannot withstand intensive use and human traffic.

5.3 Conclusion

The aim of every developer is to develop properties and enjoy the investment wither through personal use or by generating income from it, and not to claim the lives of loved ones and properties. Research has shown that residential building cracks have very high effect on human lives and property and as a result of personal greed of many developers, corrupt government agencies on site and professionals who are contractors and project managers in the building industry are adding more to the problems. Most property developers patronise quacks due to lack of funds for development and are desperate to have shelter; the government agencies collect bribe and are unable to do the thorough supervision of plan approval and project, the contractors and project managers failed to use quality materials for building projects.

These are becoming the habits in Niger south senatorial district. People loses their lives and properties very often in various crannies in Niger south senatorial district and Nigeria at large due to some peoples’ fault, corruption and greediness. The incidents of residential building cracks therefore calls for the sites works and also to investigate the quality of materials, craftsmen and the nature of contractors involve in the construction on sites. This will justify the need to carryout research work on residential building cracks in Niger south senatorial district with a view of examining its design and construction problem.

Therefore, recommendations given by the researcher and respondents should be taken with serious attention and it will proffer lasting solution to the problems of design and construction of building which results in to Crack in Niger south senatorial district and Nigeria at large.

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