Spotting a crack on your ceiling can be a harrowing experience. If you aren’t a roofing expert, you may think your whole house may be at risk of collapsing upon you. Fortunately, this is usually not the case – but how can you tell if a crack is a cause for concern, or something minor? At Aastro Roofing, we strive to provide our customers with as much knowledge on the subjects that concern them as possible. Here is our helpful guide on what to do if you notice,”there’s a crack in my ceiling.”
Moisture is the number one cause of cracking in homes. Moisture cracking is caused by an overhead leak, either from a faulty roof, water pipe, drain or another such source. As water seeps into the drywall, it can cause the tape between the joints to loosen, creating cracking and discoloration on the ceiling. When repairing moisture cracks, you must first determine the source of the leak and fix it. After this, you can easily repair the moisture damage with a drywall repair kit, or tape and drywall joint compound.
Spiderweb Cracks and What They Mean Moisture
The appearance of spiderweb cracks on the ceiling may indicate paint issues, rather than structural ones. When repeated coats of paint are applied over old ones, cracks may appear over a period of years. This is caused by thermal changes to the paint layers und
er the topcoat, causing them to become brittle and crack. Over time, these cracks work their way to the top coat of paint. This creates the spiderweb cracks which appear on the ceiling.
When drywall is installed, the joints are sealed first with tape and then with a compound commonly referred to as “drywall mud.” If this mud coating was applied too thick, it can shrink upon drying. This will lead to hairline cracking along the joints. These cracks may also occur if too much water is added to the mud compound to thin it out. In both instances, any cracking is a result of poor workmanship by the drywall installers, not structural damage.
Spiderweb cracking caused by drywall or paint issues are essentially superficial in nature, and many homeowners simply choose to ignore them as they pose no structural danger. However, if you wish to repair, it is a fairly straightforward process of removing the offending paint, tape or drywall compound and reapplying the paint or tape correctly.
The appearance of cracking along the edges of walls is usually associated with the house settling. These are normal, so there is no need for alarm. It is recommended that you mark where the cracks begin and end. This is so you can monitor their progress over time – just in case.
Cracks wider than one-eighth of an inch, or those which run across the length of the ceiling and continue down the walls, are signs of structural damage and should be of great concern. Usually, these cracks are the sign of a wall-stud failure, either through settling, or being jarred loose somehow. Cracks accompanied by bowing in the ceiling should also raise alarm bells, as they are typically the result of too much weight on the ceiling and indicate structural weakness.
If you believe that cracking in your ceiling may be the result of a structural defect, it is essential that you contact a qualified repair company immediately. The roofing experts at Aastro Roofing have over 30 years’ experience repairing, installing and maintaining roofs in South Florida. You can feel secure contacting us today at (561) 409-3280 for a free estimate.