How To Fix Cracks in an Earthen Building Structure

Learn how to identify and fix cracks within your earthen structure that are more harmful than beneficial.

| October 2018

  • cracked clay wall
    Some cracks in earthen clay are tiny little breathing spaces which help to cool or heat the space, but sometimes the cracks are too large and can cause structural damage.
    Photo by Getty/Mikos
  • book cover
    “The Mudgirls Manifesto Handbuilt Homes Handcrafted Lives” guides readers through building healthy, eco-friendly homes out of natural and recycled materials, while also giving a group of women the opportunity to explore social inequalities and systems of oppression that are driving forces behind patriarchy, hierarchy, and capitalism.
    Cover courtesy New Society Publishers

  • cracked clay wall
  • book cover

Mudgirls Manifesto Handbuilt Homes Handcrafted Lives (New Society Publishers, 2018) by The Mudgirls Natural Building Collective is a guide to building eco friendly homes from natural and recycled materials to cut down on the mass pollution and waste that comes from conventional construction methods.  The Mudgirls collective is about more than alternative building practices, each woman that spends time as a member of this group is taught building techniques, leadership qualities, and a new way of life where one can live in harmony with the earth and in equality with all of its people. While this book does include many helpful tips on building and techniques for effective and eco-friendly projects the main goal is to focus on the groundbreaking process and practice this group of women embody.

You can purchase this book from the Grit Store: Mudgirls Manifesto.

How to Fix Cracks

There is a crack in everything. That's how the mice get in.

- Leonard Cohen via Mudgirls



Clay is motion. With water it swells, with heat it shrinks. All this moving is wonderful as it regulates moisture, creating comfortable climates - cooling the heat of the summer and holding the warmth of the stove in the winter. Natural plasters in a bathroom or kitchen help regulate precipitation and keep mirrors from fogging up. Clay really is amazing stuff.

Earthen finishes can crack. We can think of the cracks as the beautiful details of the handmade and natural . . . tiny little breathing spaces.





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