What is a cross wall? Principle and explanations

Intended to support the structure of the house, the cross wall is a load-bearing wall located inside the house. It plays a crucial role in the strength of the structure and ensures better load distribution. This type of wall has a number of special features. Discover them.

The principle of a cross wall

Load-bearing walls are essentially divided into two types: facade walls and shear walls. These are separated from the facade and are placed inside the building along the ridge axis. They have two functions. When they are transverse, they have a role of stiffener, in other words, they guarantee the stability of the building and form a support for the facade walls to support the loads coming from the upper floors.

When they are longitudinal and built lengthwise, these cross walls form the bracing. Their mission is in particular to balance the floors. Note that depending on their positioning, the partitions allow to delimit the spaces in the house. The transverse walls in particular are at the origin of the rooms in a row. When it is longitudinal, the slit makes it possible to obtain what is called a “double-body”. The presence of two longitudinal splits as for it gives rise to a double-body with corridor.

Guarantee the strength of a cross wall

The construction of an interior dividing load-bearing wall is not easy. Several rules must be observed. First, concerning the foundations, it is essential to create foundation footings under the slab when building the shear. It is crucial to ensure the perfect verticality of the wall so that it can rest on the foundations. All this will guarantee the stability of the whole structure.

In addition, a reinforcement and a consolidation of the walls are to be undertaken by means of a chaining which can be vertical or horizontal. Do not forget also to treat the thermal bridges appearing at the level of the splits / facade junctions. On these points, the insulation is faulty which causes losses of heat and energy. It is advisable to use thermal breakers which will reduce heat loss. The whole is to be reinforced by a classic insulation.

Modify a cross wall: possible?

Since the cross wall is strategic in the solidity of a building, its creation must be carried out by an architect and its construction by a building professional. Its modification or deletion is subject to even stricter rules. If it is a question of a party wall or if you live in co-ownership, already know that it will not be possible to tear down this load-bearing wall without authorization.

You must make a prior declaration of work to the town hall before starting the work and also obtain the approval of your co-ownership manager. Note that knocking down a cross wall is done according to a very specific protocol. Do not consider doing the work yourself if you do not have any specific knowledge or skills in the matter. You risk weakening the structure of your house or worse, causing it to collapse.

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