Real Estate

Crack in a condo wall

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  • Jul 5th, 2021 10:59 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Dec 8, 2018
28 posts
8 upvotes

Crack in a condo wall

Hello everyone,

There is a condo that I am considering and I noticed that there is a crack that runs on the wall by the doors leading to the balcony. While an inspector will be looking at the crack should I purchase, could anyone chime in as to run or if it usually is a non-issue?

The crack runs vertically and is quite long.

Thanks so much!
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29 replies
Deal Guru
Feb 22, 2011
12515 posts
15997 upvotes
Toronto
That's not really the wall of the condo which would be concrete, that's just the drywall or trim around the door. The inspector can tell you better but it's probably related to climate, maybe they left the door open at some point and it got very cold then cracked the paint or something.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 8, 2018
28 posts
8 upvotes
Thanks so much! Yes - I’ll ask the inspector to take a look but I thought its prudent to get some second eye and have some idea of whats going on.

Thanks once again - really appreciate it.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 27, 2004
7746 posts
5710 upvotes
Toronto
thats drywall. not concrete
Full-time Realtor
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 8, 2018
28 posts
8 upvotes
Yes! It's the drywall. Sorry I'm not very versed in this... would you say its not really much of a concern and would be relatively a simple fix? Thank you for your input!
Newbie
Sep 6, 2019
91 posts
76 upvotes
OneToEleven wrote: Yes! It's the drywall. Sorry I'm not very versed in this... would you say its not really much of a concern and would be relatively a simple fix? Thank you for your input!
My $0.02. It doesn't look like structural damage. As the other RFDers said, its probably just cracking from temperature changes or stress placed on the wall (door opening, something heavy hanging on the drywall etc). Simple enough to fix with some mud, drywall tape and a taping knife.

When the balcony door closed, do you feel a breeze coming in or going out? Easiest way to test it would be to hold a tissue over the cracks and see if there's any suction or airflow. I doubt there would be anything like that though.

Edit: Check out Vancouver Carpenter's YT channel. He has a lot of videos on drywall cracks and whether they should be a concern. Here's one
Deal Fanatic
Mar 15, 2005
5720 posts
1292 upvotes
Tough to say without seeing it up close.

The first picture makes it look like the door frame runs essentially wall to wall (potentially structural), but the second picture appears to have a couple inch gap to the wall in which case it is just some simple mud and sanding.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
6517 posts
3788 upvotes
Thornhill
Is that a crack on each side of the door frame?
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 8, 2018
28 posts
8 upvotes
From what I remember, the crack runs from the floor to the top - and the crack is on one side of the door frame and next to a floor to ceiling window that's adjacent to the door frame.

To illustrate ... (door to balcony) ll crack ll (exposed concrete wall) ll crack ll (floor to ceiling window).

Thank you guys for the help!
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
9197 posts
5047 upvotes
The crack could just be cosmetic OR it could be because something else put stress on that area. Sounds like you are on the right track to bring it to the attention of the building inspector. Perhaps some settling is not unusual but the building inspector may know where to look to identify what led to the cracks.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
6517 posts
3788 upvotes
Thornhill
OneToEleven wrote: From what I remember, the crack runs from the floor to the top - and the crack is on one side of the door frame and next to a floor to ceiling window that's adjacent to the door frame.

To illustrate ... (door to balcony) ll crack ll (exposed concrete wall) ll crack ll (floor to ceiling window).

Thank you guys for the help!
Sorry, I don't understand. Is it one crack or two?
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 8, 2018
28 posts
8 upvotes
licenced wrote: Sorry, I don't understand. Is it one crack or two?
Sorry about the bad explanation. There are two cracks. The first imagine is the crack next to the floor to ceiling window and the second imagine is the crack next to the door that leads to the balcony.
Between the door that leads to the door to the balcony and floor the ceiling window, there is a maybe 1-2m of exposed concrete wall with a little bit of drywall next to the exposed concrete wall. The cracks run drywalls that are on left and ride side of the concrete wall
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
6517 posts
3788 upvotes
Thornhill
OneToEleven wrote: Sorry about the bad explanation. There are two cracks. The first imagine is the crack next to the floor to ceiling window and the second imagine is the crack next to the door that leads to the balcony.
Between the door that leads to the door to the balcony and floor the ceiling window, there is a maybe 1-2m of exposed concrete wall with a little bit of drywall next to the exposed concrete wall. The cracks run drywalls that are on left and ride side of the concrete wall
Then you have some sort of problem that won't be remedied by repairing the crack. Ir could be cold/damp even moisture. There is a condomnium in Thornhil off of Bayview that had the hallway drywall coming away from the entry door seams and corners of the end units , it turned out the building was sinking. I'm not saying that's the issue here, but the two cracks definitely suggest something other than cosmetics and I wouldn;t doubt it's temperature related.
Sr. Member
Nov 30, 2009
655 posts
179 upvotes
Toronto/Mississauga
Based on my experience being in construction management, I wouldn't think this crack is a concern unless there is visible water damage. The photos look like its at a joint where the drywall is taped/mudded beside the opening and with movement in the building envelope due to wind, structural movement, etc., this would be pretty common as the drywall mud would easily crack. Only way to aesthetically address this and allow flexibility from movement in the building envelope is to caulk the joint.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 15, 2001
3335 posts
1123 upvotes
Toronto
Condos usually have aluminum framed windows and sliding doors, that is touching the drywall. So thermal expansion/contraction and slight movement in the building will cause those cracks in the drywall.

It's common. Just fix it by tapping, spackling, sand and paint over it. If you skip the tapping, it might appear again a lot sooner.

In a house it's not as common, since most windows are made of vinyl and sit inside a wood or vinyl frame.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
6517 posts
3788 upvotes
Thornhill
It's not common.
GSXXRR wrote: Condos usually have aluminum framed windows and sliding doors, that is touching the drywall. So thermal expansion/contraction and slight movement in the building will cause those cracks in the drywall.

It's common. Just fix it by tapping, spackling, sand and paint over it. If you skip the tapping, it might appear again a lot sooner.

In a house it's not as common, since most windows are made of vinyl and sit inside a wood or vinyl frame.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 8, 2018
28 posts
8 upvotes
So the inspector went in and came back to me to tell me that it's not a big deal (is a cosmetic issue). Something about the exposed concrete breathing and as a result has led to the cracks. He advised if I don't like how it looks, I could get caulking? on it but he would personally leave it be. Thank you everyone for your inputs! I really appreciate it :)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 12, 2013
2915 posts
1903 upvotes
Moon
OneToEleven wrote: So the inspector went in and came back to me to tell me that it's not a big deal (is a cosmetic issue). Something about the exposed concrete breathing and as a result has led to the cracks. He advised if I don't like how it looks, I could get caulking? on it but he would personally leave it be. Thank you everyone for your inputs! I really appreciate it :)
Sorry to bump this year old thread, but my i have similar cracks in my unit and included in my year in end warranty form, did you end up getting yours fixed?

I believe under section 9.4 it should be covered in my first year of warranty.

https://www.tarion.com/cpg/wall-and-cei ... g-surfaces

The builder said its because my the air in my unit is too dry and recommended me to get a humidifier :/ Any truth to this?
Koodo, Public Mobile, Lucky Mobile Customer
Deal Addict
Mar 2, 2017
3219 posts
6166 upvotes
Toronto/Markham
kangarooz wrote: Sorry to bump this year old thread, but my i have similar cracks in my unit and included in my year in end warranty form, did you end up getting yours fixed?

I believe under section 9.4 it should be covered in my first year of warranty.

https://www.tarion.com/cpg/wall-and-cei ... g-surfaces

The builder said its because my the air in my unit is too dry and recommended me to get a humidifier :/ Any truth to this?
First you need to run a humidity meter to see whether or not your unit is too dry. It is common to get small cracks in caulking in the winter. Need pics for context, it's possible (as mentioned in this thread) if the windows weren't installed properly/thermally sealed, allowing air leakage.

That said based on the cracks in the OP those look pretty big and would be of concern. Cracks from low humidity in the air in the winters don't cause 1/4-1/2" gaps (unless you are running very dry for prolonged periods of time, but then you'd have a lot more issues).
Last edited by RichmondCA on Jul 5th, 2021 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
RE Broker
Deal Addict
Mar 2, 2017
3219 posts
6166 upvotes
Toronto/Markham
OneToEleven wrote: So the inspector went in and came back to me to tell me that it's not a big deal (is a cosmetic issue). Something about the exposed concrete breathing and as a result has led to the cracks. He advised if I don't like how it looks, I could get caulking? on it but he would personally leave it be. Thank you everyone for your inputs! I really appreciate it :)
An inspector suggested to leave 1/4"+ cracks as is? wtf
RE Broker

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