If you have cracks in your ceiling, don’t panic! It’s more common than you may think. Homes are naturally subject to movement—seasonal shrinkage and expansion due to cold and heat. Additionally, movement can be caused by slow settling into the ground below the home. Some cracks are merely cosmetic, while some may indicate a structural issue. Are your ceiling cracks cause for concern? Here’s a handy guide to decoding your damage:
Spiderweb cracks are a normal part of a home settling over the years. They can run throughout the home, not only on the ceiling but also on the walls, floors, and grout joints in tile installations and concrete slabs. As long as they’re small, they’re considered cosmetic and no cause for alarm. However, large cracks that are more than 1/16 inch wide are a sign of structural issues and should be looked at by a professional.
Matching Vertical Cracks
Cracks that run across the length of a ceiling and then continue down a wall along the same line are a sign of structural damage and a cause for concern. These cracks are usually related to a weak wall stud, but can also be caused by an earthquake or simply the settling of the home over time. The size of the crack can help you determine if it is a pressing issue or something which has just begun to form.
If your cracks are accompanied by a bow or a “dip” in the ceiling, it’s a sign of a large problem and requires immediate action. A saggy ceiling means that the structural “bones” are no longer holding up the weight of the home. If you spot any cracks that also include a sagging section, contact a structural engineer right away to determine the damage.
Location, Location, Location
The location of a crack in your ceiling is a good way to determine whether or not there are larger issues at play. Cracks along the edges of a ceiling are a normal part of a home’s movement and therefore a cosmetic issue, while cracks across the middle of a room can be problematic. Wide, long and multiple cracks mean it’s time to call a professional to assess any structural damage.
For any cosmetic cracks, McDermaid Painting in Palo Alto offers drywall and texture repair. McDermaid Painting has 28 years of experience providing residential and historic building painting services for homeowners. We provide custom, personalized services, and our quality of work can’t be beat. Contact us today!