Types of Ceiling Cracks and What They Mean

Types of Ceiling Cracks and What They Mean

Types of Ceiling Cracks and What They Mean

Ceiling cracks don’t always indicate serious damage to your home. This is because all structures settle in some way or another soon after being built, resulting in different roof cracks.

Thus, if you notice cracks in the ceiling, you need not get worried about them immediately. The condition will still depend on how large the crack is, what it looks like, and where it is located.

What does a crack in the ceiling mean?

Most ceiling cracks in residential homes are cosmetic and do not necessarily indicate a major problem. However, larger cracks may be a sign of structural problems.

The size and shape of cracks should be checked as these can provide clues on possible causes and what can be done about them.

Due to ceiling crack

Either structural damage or natural settling usually causes cracks in ceilings. However, other factors can also cause cracks, including:

  1. Old House

Like everything, your home gets old. Wear and tear, which includes foundation settlement, naturally occurs as buildings age. This leads to cracks not only in the roof but also in the wall and floor.

  1. Heavy Roof

Having more than one bathroom on the second floor may make the ground floor ceiling too heavy to carry. Bathrooms often contain heavy objects such as bathtubs and sinks, resulting in cracks in the ceiling that supports them.

  1. Faulty Drywall

Cracks can develop in ceiling drywall when joints are not tightly tied together. This usually happens when the installer needs to use more drywall glue.

  • Moisture Damage

A severe storm that hits your area can bring tremendous water. Too much moisture can damage your roof and cause unsightly structural roof cracks.

  1. Foundation Issues

Roof cracks can also occur due to foundation settlement. Cracks develop because, during the settling period, stresses are exerted on the roof to prevent the structure from collapsing.

Types of ceiling cracks

All homes and buildings made of wood, steel or concrete will shake at some point. This movement is imperceptible and is caused by various factors, including temperature changes. These cause the soil beneath the structure to contract or expand, resulting in cracks in the wall and roof.

Below are the various roof cracks you may encounter when your house moves without knowing about them.

  1. Straight Roof Cracks

These plaster ceiling cracks are oriented in a straight line as if they were made using a ruler. They usually follow a straight edge with the addition of drywall tape and are usually caused by insufficient plaster use during drywall installation.

Plaster tape did not stick to the joints due to less use of clay. The plaster crumbled due to a loss of strength.

  • Hairline Ceiling Cracks

Of the various ceiling cracks, these are the smallest and most visible ones in your drywall ceiling. They almost look like someone painted a strand of hair on the drywall.

Most hairline cracks in ceilings causes are directly related to water absorption and plaster expansion.

With the latter, the constant expansion and shrinkage reduce the adhesive properties of drywall mud, resulting in small cracks. Although they can be bothersome, hairline ceiling cracks do not indicate structural damage.

  1. Cobweb Ceiling Cracks

These are cracks in the roof that spread like a spider’s web. They are often a sign of foundation settlement, indicating compromised structural integrity.

When uneven settlement of foundations occurs, it puts undue stress on a given structure. It is then transferred to the framing, drywall and ceiling, eventually leading to spider web cracks.

  1. Discolored roof cracks

These roof cracks are yellow or brown and almost always indicate water damage. This is regardless of whether the cracks are due to a roof leak or broken plumbing. Depending on the leak’s extent, discolored ceiling cracks can feel damp.

While these types of ceiling cracks do not always indicate serious structural damage, if they are accompanied by excessive moisture, there is a potential for mold growth and spread. Depending on where and how large the leak is, you should fix it before starting repairs on your roof.

  1. Leaning Roof Cracks

A bowed or scarred roof with large, penetrating cracks down the middle is likely to have serious structural damage. These are dangerous roof cracks caused by heavy water damage or excess weight on top of the roof.

If the crack is due to foundation settlement, it can cause your roof to move due to too much stress on the trusses. You will need to contact an expert to check if there is any shift or movement in your foundation.

  1. Truss Ceiling Cracks

These cracks are found between the ceiling and the wall. They usually appear as trusses pulling away from your walls.

This happens when the trusses are lifted, creating an unsightly gap between the roof and the wall.

Ceiling trusses are designed to adapt to temperature and humidity changes. If you have a wooden roof, the trusses can also move with the expansion and contraction of the material.

Sometimes, however, fluctuations in weather, including heavy or excessive winds, can cause trusses to be pulled away. This is especially true if the ceiling needs to be properly attached to the drywall.

Who to Call for Ceiling Cracks

A structural engineer or builder is the professional you should contact if you notice cracks in your roof that appear serious.

They will come out and inspect the affected area, then determine if there is structural damage to your roof.

Important achievements

A crack in your ceiling can be dangerous when you first notice it. However, since there are many different roof cracks, it’s best first to determine whether you only have a minor crack or one that needs to be sent to a professional.

This often results in small cracks that may appear on the roof and around the foundation of your home. These cracks aren’t usually a sign of a structural problem, but it’s important to keep an eye out for them.

This will allow you to identify whether these cracks can lead to disasters such as water damage, which will require the services of restoration specialists.

It’s also a good idea to remember that all structures, including newly built homes, eventually settle into the soil.

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