Structural Crack Monitor

Here is an easy way to keep track of movements of concrete, stucco, flagstone, or any other material you can think of.

Structural Puzzle

One of our clients has a house that sits perched on a hill east of San Francisco. This area is prone to earthquakes, and soil on hills has a tendency to move. At some point she noticed how a mitre joint in the living room baseboard had opened up significantly. There were also some cracks in adjacent drywall, so she gave us a call and asked we take a look. Together with her architect, we discussed the options. It seemed not worthwhile to start tearing the area apart. We looked in the crawlspace for more evidence of structural problems, but none were readily visible.


Enter the CrackMON

We installed a CrackMon device on the baseboard. It is inexpensive, easy to install and monitor. Our unit included both screws as well as two-part epoxy plus an applicator as ways to mount the unit. In the case of our client’s baseboards, epoxy is too difficult to remove, so we opted for screws.

The monitor was installed in January 2014; checked in June of the same year; and checked again three months later. The photos show how a joint that had separated more than 1/8″ is slowly closing up. Unexpected, and we wonder what will happen over the next six months.

Overall, this is a very simple yet effective way to keep an eye on horizontal and/or vertical movement. Undoubtedly we will install more of these in the future. A recommended product.

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