Discover the top causes of ceiling cracks, learn how to address them, and find out when it’s time to call in the professionals. Keep your home safe and looking great with our helpful guide.
Noticing a ceiling crack can be concerning, but many times these fractures are harmless. Ceiling cracks can arise from various reasons, including poor drywall jobs, structural damage, or the natural settling of a home. Here’s a summary of the leading causes and when to be worried.
- Insufficient drywall mud: If there isn’t enough mud to keep the tape in place, it can lift. These ceiling cracks are cosmetic and can be fixed by applying drywall mud or refinishing the ceiling.
- Cracking plaster, drywall mud, or ceiling paint: Spider web cracks or hairline cracks are generally not a cause for concern. They can occur over time as materials age or the home settles. If these cracks bother you, consider redoing the ceiling finish or applying a layer of drywall compound.
- Water damage: Discoloured cracks, often orange, brown, or yellow, can indicate moisture. To fix this issue, find and repair the source of the leak (e.g., leaky pipes or roof leaks), then replace the ceiling and any damaged material.
- Aged plaster cracks: Fine cracks in a plaster ceiling can occur due to normal home settling or extreme temperature fluctuations. These cracks are cosmetic and can be filled and repainted.
- Structural damage: Cracks larger than ⅛ inches thick, sagging ceilings, or cracks that run from the ceiling down the wall may signal foundation issues. In such cases, have your foundation checked and consider hiring a seasoned contractor to inspect the situation.
If you’ve repaired a ceiling crack and it recurs, consider getting a structural assessment of your home. A foundation expert can identify issues and propose solutions to prevent further damage. While structural damage isn’t always the cause of recurrent cracks, it’s better to identify potential problems early rather than waiting for your home to need dire repair.
- When should you worry about cracks in ceiling?
- Is it normal to have cracks in ceiling?
- How can you tell if a ceiling crack is structural?
- What does a horizontal crack on the ceiling mean?