It is a dream come true for every human to own a home and that too exactly how you imagined it. It takes your blood and sweat to build a house exactly as you dreamt of.
The minutest details are worked on to create a place called home. It is such a turn-off to find any malfunction in your new fancy home such as if there are any cracks in ceiling or if the pipes are leaking or if the exhaust system in the house is not working properly.
This can be a very devastating situation and can cause trauma both mentally and financially. To own a fancy home and face this problem in hands must be deciphered timely in order to eradicate it in the very beginning.
Cracks in ceiling come in different patterns and sizes. They can be concealed easily but you need to reach the root cause of the problem to prevent it from occurring again. It can be a very frustrating process to diagnose cracks in ceiling but you need to do that in order to execute the repair procedure.
Why do we get cracks In Ceiling?
Cracks in the ceiling are not necessarily a sign of damage to the structure of the house but they can transform into a serious structural problem if ignored.
Usually, ceiling cracks occur because of two reasons: it could be structural damage or could be settling problems.
All building structures go to a natural settling problem and if a crack appears because of that then it is not something to be worried about but if the crack is because of structural damage then you need to act accordingly and in a timely manner in order to eradicate it there and then.
Causes and ways to avoid Crack Ceiling
As stated above, there are two main causes of cracks appearing in the ceiling. If the cracks are because of structural damage, they might be because of the usage of poor construction material or workmanship.
There can be other reasons also such as:
- Old home: If the construction of a home is old, there are chances that the usual wear and tear would result in a crack in the ceiling along with floor cracks and wall cracks. Old construction buildings have foundation settling which can result in ceiling cracks
- Moisture damage: A moisture blockage or damage can result in a crack in the ceiling. If moisture is blocked in a roof or even on the floor, it immediately appears on the ceiling.
- Drywall damage: If drywall is not properly installed that might lead to a crack in the ceiling. Cracks in the ceiling because of drywall are not something serious and can be fixed easily.
- A floor above the ceiling is heavy: If there is a floor above your ceiling which is too heavy to have bathrooms containing heavy items like bathtubs etc., this also leads to ceiling cracks.
- Foundation issues: If there has been foundation settling causing cracks in the ceiling, then this might mean that there are some serious issues connected with structural damage. This is because foundation settling puts immense stress on the frame of the building. If the cracks are because of this, you need to take care of it on an immediate basis.
Types of cracks in ceiling
Every construction material, whether it’s concrete, wood, steel, or anything else – moves. They might appear stationary but in reality, they do move, this is basic physics.
This movement may be triggered by temperature changes that happen beneath the soil leading a building to expand or shrink. This is called natural settling.
This natural movement causes a lot of cracks on ceilings, walls, and floors and this is not something to worry about but sometimes severe cracks may lead to serious structural problems.
Let’s spot the cracks which may lead to structural problems
Spiderweb cracks appear on the paint or plaster of the ceiling and they are not something to be worried about. Spiderweb cracks appear when there is a small natural settling because of the movement. Spiderweb cracks can appear on floors and walls also. These are not to be worried about.
Ceiling Cracks and Sagging
This is definitely something to be worried about. If a crack appears in the ceiling along with sagging, you definitely need to look it up on an immediate basis. If ignored, this might cause some severe structural damage to the structure.
Cracks between ceiling and Wall
Cracks might appear between a ceiling and a wall – this is most likely a result of a foundation settling. The crack might widen into a gap. You need to call upon professionals to look into this issue and solve it. This crack news can be cured immediately else it can cause severe problems.
Cracks Running from Ceiling to the Wall
Cracks that begin from the ceiling and go all the way down to the wall mean that there has been structural damage to the building.
You need to contact a professional immediately. This seems like a foundation settlement issue.
Some signs of structural damage depicted through cracks are:
- Uneven floors
- Slope or sagging of the floor or ceiling
- Cracks appear on floors that extend to more than one tile.
- Straight line cracks on the floor
- Bowed or crack walls
- Excessive moisture in the foundation can cause wall rotation.
- moldings cracking out of their designated places
- Cracks appear in masonry or bricks.
- Chimneys or porches start getting separated from the building
- Water seepage in the basement.
Apart from these structural damages, there can be other naturally occurring hazards or incidents that may cause cracks in the ceiling such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, etc.
Let’s have a look at some of the most common household cracks appearing in the ceilings which are not of severe damage potential but should not be ignored as well.
Hairline Cracks in Ceiling
Hairline cracks are very thin and tiny and almost look like hair on drywall.
These cracks are usually caused by plaster or mud issues on drywall. Most of the time, humidity and extreme temperatures can cause shrinkage or expansion of plaster which weakens the adhesive properties of the drywall paving way for hairline cracks.
Sometimes, multiple haphazard layers of paint result in hairline cracks. Multi-layers of paint might make the paint look scaly in an appearance on your ceiling – similar to crocodile skin.
Hairline ceiling cracks can look annoying and break the aesthetic harmony of a room but they are not of serious nature. They do not possess any serious structural damage to the building.
Straight Cracks in Ceiling
The straight-line cracks that appear in the ceiling appear like someone has marked the ceiling with the help of a ruler. These cracks appear straight because they are usually found on the straight edge of a drywall joint. These cracks are fine and thin in nature and depict that less or insufficient amount of plaster was used while installing the drywall.
The drywall is lacking strength resulting in peeling off of paint from joints and edges. Such poor choices of tape jobs can also be exacerbated by humid conditions and high temperatures resulting in foundation damages.
Straight line cracks are not something to be worried about as they depict the incompetent drywall installation. A professional can quickly fix it up by patching and painting. Straight-line cracks usually depict human error and can be fixed easily.
Brown or yellow Cracks in Ceiling
Yellow cracks or brown cracks or any kind of discolored cracks in the ceiling almost always refer to water damage – it can be caused by a pipe bust or a leakage of the roof.
These ceiling cracks can be damp when touched and the color also determines how fresh the leakage has been.
These discolored ceiling cracks are usually not a sign of structural damage but if the moisture continues to leak inside the building this may lead to a big problem later.
The location and the extent of the leakage determine the kind of crack it can be caused by rotten drywall, a mold, or a spalling. The unmitigated moisture within the ceiling or wall can cause a number of problems. It might seem like repainting the ceiling or the wall will be the solution but in reality, you need to call a professional and go for a drywall replacement to end the problem at the grass-root level.
All homes where new or old are built on the soil. It is very common to have cracks in the ceiling appearing now and then. Small cracks are not a major issue and can be overlooked for the time being but big cracks or cracks leading to leakage or seepage might determine that there are some structural issues that need to be sorted on an immediate basis in order to protect the building from getting damaged.
If you find any of the above mentioned cracks in ceiling then determine their severity and act accordingly. If a professional is needed then call immediately and solve the issue before it becomes a major foundational settling issue causing a big dent in the pocket.