Detecting Structural Weakness with Crack Gauge Monitoring

Cracks in structures can be more than just a cosmetic issue. They can be early warning signs of potential disasters waiting to happen. 

If you’re about to start a construction project, it’s important to know if any of the surrounding structures and buildings have any existing cracks. Without this knowledge, your firm could be setting itself up for potential liability and possible violation of policies pertaining to pre-construction surveying and structural monitoring. 


Vibrations related to such construction activities such as underpinning and demolition create vibrations that could cause existing cracks in the neighboring buildings and structures to expand. When this happens, the results could lead to minor inconveniences – or major problems. 

In this article, we’ll explore the significance of crack gauge monitoring in identifying structural issues early on and preventing catastrophic events.

Understanding the Significance of Structural Cracks

Whether you’re the manager of a multimillion dollar construction project or a property owner, the term “structural weakness” is not something you ever enjoy hearing. This phrase refers to any compromise in the integrity of a structure, whether it’s a building, a bridge, or a dam. These weaknesses, such as structural cracks, can arise from various factors, including wear and tear, environmental stressors or design flaws. 

While some cracks may be superficial, others may penetrate deep into the structure. Identifying all existing cracks in surrounding properties and structures is the first step in addressing the problem effectively.

Identifying these cracks is crucial because, if left undocumented and not monitored properly, they could possibly lead to structural failure that delays projects, causes unexpected financial losses, results in fines and other liabilities, and could even endanger public safety. 

The Importance of Crack Gauge Monitoring

One of the powerful tools a construction team can employ to reduce delays and avoid risks is crack gauge monitoring. 

This structural monitoring service involves the use of specialized instruments to measure and record the progress of any existing cracks in surrounding structures during the entire construction process. 

These crack gauges provide valuable data that can help assess the severity of cracks and reduce the risk of potential issues that could arise if the cracks begin to expand due to construction activities.  

How Crack Gauges Work

Crack gauges operate on simple monitoring principles. Essentially they are sophisticated sensors that measure the width and length of existing cracks in a structure. Should the cracks widen or lengthen during the construction process, these sensors provide the necessary data to track changes and assess the structural integrity.

Types of Crack Gauges

Currently, there are two types of crack gauges used in structural monitoring systems: stationary crack gauges and wireless crack gauges.

Stationary crack gauges require a trained technician to visit the construction site on a defined schedule to manually review the data collected by the sensor. Once they collect the data, they can issue a report for review by the construction team and engineers. If any significant crack developments are identified in the report, the team can take the necessary steps to address the situation. 

The other option construction teams can employ is wireless crack gauges. Unlike stationary crack gauges, these automated sensors do not require a technician to visit the site to collect the data. These systems automatically collect the data and report the findings so teams can take corrective action in a more timely manner should an issue arise. 

Benefits of Crack Gauge Monitoring 

Since many cities and states have strict regulations regarding structural safety, construction crews need to ensure they are in full compliance with these legal requirements. Investing in crack gauge monitoring services helps construction teams remain compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. 

While structural monitoring services such as crack gauge monitoring are mandated by many local and state policies, there are other reasons to employ this beneficial system. 

When compared to the costs of work delays, budget overruns, avoidable repairs and risks, potential fines and liability, crack gauge monitoring is a cost-effective solution for any construction project. Taking immediate corrective measures for issues discovered through crack gauge monitoring is far less expensive than dealing with any of the issues listed above. 

Most importantly, crack gauge monitoring services may help prevent potential disasters. Early detection of crack expansion can lead to timely repairs to avert a major structural failure.

Invest in Safety and Compliance with Saltus’ Crack Gauge Monitoring Services 

Ensuring the structural integrity of surrounding buildings and structures is of utmost importance during all phases of construction. Crack gauge monitoring can help ensure the safety of these properties, avoid delays and expenses, reduce risk and liability, and maintain compliance with all local and state policies. 

When considering crack gauge monitoring, trust the experts at Saltus Construction Monitoring Services. Our technicians can install stationary or wireless crack gauges on surrounding properties and structures to collect accurate data and report any developments in the identified areas of concern. 

Additionally, our team stays up to date on the latest advancements in monitoring systems and methods to help maintain structural safety during the entire construction process. 

To learn more about crack gauge monitoring or any of our available services, contact us today to speak with a specialist!