Are Ceiling Cracks Serious?
Ceiling cracks are usually caused by the structural movement of the house. The most common cause of this is the settling of the foundation. Settlement happens when the soil underneath the foundation settles or shifts. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as changes in moisture content or compaction of the soil.
Ceiling cracks can be a serious issue for homeowners. If you are unsure whether or not your ceiling cracks are serious, you should consult a professional. In this guide, we will discuss the causes of ceiling cracks and what you can do to fix them.
What are Ceiling Cracks?
Ceiling cracks are cracks that run through the ceiling. They can be caused by a variety of things, but most commonly, they are caused by foundation settling.
If you have just moved into a brand new home, it is likely that the ceiling cracks are not serious and will eventually disappear on their own.
However, if you have been living in your home for a while and the cracks have not gone away, then there may be more serious structural damage.
What Causes Ceiling Cracks?
There are many different causes of ceiling cracks, but the most common are settling and water damage. Here are a few of the most common causes:
12 Types Of Ceiling Cracks Homeowners Should Know
There are 12 types of ceiling cracks that homeowners should be aware of:
1. Vertical Cracks
Vertical cracks are the most common type of ceiling crack. They are typically caused by settling and can usually be fixed with a little bit of plaster or caulk.
2. Horizontal Cracks
Horizontal cracks are less common than vertical cracks, but they can be just as serious. Horizontal cracks are typically caused by water damage and will require a more serious repair, such as replacing the drywall.
3. Stair-Step Cracks
Stair-step cracks are cracks that follow the line of the framing. They are usually caused by foundation problems and will require a professional to fix them.
4. Diagonal Cracks
Diagonal cracks are also caused by foundation problems and typically require a professional.
5. Multiple cracks
If you have multiple cracks, it is likely that there is a more serious issue at hand. Multiple cracks are often caused by foundation problems or water damage.
6. Small, fine cracks
These cracks are usually caused by age or normal house settlement and can be fixed with a little bit of caulk or plaster.
7. Small hairline cracks
Hairline cracks or thin cracks are typically caused by age or thermal expansion and contraction. They are not usually serious, but you should still repair them to prevent further damage.
8. Crack Along The Ceiling Joist
A crack along the ceiling joist is often caused by something heavy being placed on the floor above the ceiling. This is fixed by placing a support beam under the floor.
9. Sagging Ceiling
A sagging ceiling is often caused by water damage or a heavy object being placed on the floor above the ceiling. It will require a professional to fix it.
10. Cracks between the wall and ceiling
Cracks between the wall and ceiling are typically caused by moisture damage and should be fixed as soon as possible.
11. Brown or yellow cracks
Brown or yellow cracks usually indicate that the plaster is drying out and could be caused by a number of factors, such as central heating, a lack of ventilation, or low humidity. These cracks are not usually serious but can be unsightly.
12. Spiderweb cracks
Spiderweb cracks are usually caused by age or thermal expansion and contraction. They are not typically a major issue, but you should still repair them quickly.
Are Ceiling Cracks Serious?
Yes, ceiling cracks can be serious. If you see a crack in your ceiling, it’s important to have it checked out by a professional as soon as possible. While some cracks are harmless and caused by things like settling foundations or normal wear and tear, others can be indicative of more serious problems.
For example, if the crack is accompanied by sagging or buckling, this could be a sign of a structural issue. Cracks that are longer than six feet or wider than a quarter-inch are also cause for concern.
Ceiling Cracks: When to Worry?
If you have ceiling cracks or wall cracks, you should consult a professional to determine if they are serious. Here are a few things to look for that may indicate a more serious problem:
How to Fix Ceiling Cracks: Step-by-Step Instructions
If you are comfortable fixing ceiling cracks yourself, here are some step-by-step instructions:
Clean the area around the crack
First, you will need to clean the area around the crack. This will help the repair process go smoother.
Next, you will need to apply special crack repair tape to the crack. This will help hold the repair in place.
Use a putty knife
Once the tape is in place, you will need to use a putty knife to apply the repair material.
Let it dry
After you have applied the repair material, you will need to let it dry. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Once the repair has dried, you will need to touch it up with some paint. This will help blend the repair into the ceiling.
Ceiling cracks can be a serious problem or a minor annoyance. It is important to consult a professional to assess the damage and determine the best course of action. If the cracks are not serious, you may be able to repair them yourself.
What are the Best Fillers for Ceiling Cracks?
There are a few different fillers you can use for ceiling cracks. The best filler will depend on the type of crack you have.
Here are a few common fillers:
No matter what type of filler you choose, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you tell if a crack is structural?
A structural crack is a crack that goes all the way through the ceiling. It may be indicative of a serious problem, such as a sagging ceiling or roof.
Is ceiling drywall the same as regular drywall?
No, ceiling drywall is not the same as regular drywall. The ceiling drywall is thinner and lighter than regular drywall.
What is a bowed ceiling?
A bowed ceiling is a ceiling that has been bent or curved. It may be indicative of a structural issue.
Does load-bearing wall affect cracks in ceilings?
Yes, load-bearing walls can affect cracks in ceilings. If the load-bearing wall is not properly supported, it can cause the ceiling to crack.
Do plaster ceiling cracks need to be repaired?
Yes, plaster ceiling cracks should be repaired. Plaster is a porous material, so cracks can allow moisture to seep in, which can cause mold or mildew to grow.
Is drywall compound the same as a joint compound?
No, the drywall compound is not the same as the joint compound. Drywall compound is thicker and heavier than joint compound.