Ceiling cracks could be due to structural damage or the structure’s age. Knowing which ceiling cracks to worry about and which you can safely ignore will reduce your stress and help save your home.
How to tell if ceiling cracks are serious
Wondering if your ceiling cracks are serious? The locations of the cracks in your ceiling are a good way to tell what is going on.
- Cracks located along the edges of the ceiling – These ceiling cracks are usually because of house settlement.
- Cracks across the middle of a room – These indicate foundation trouble and should be addressed immediately by a professional.
- Multiple, wide, or long cracks in the middle of the ceiling – These should be examined by an experienced foundation repair professional as well as they’re another strong sign of possible foundation trouble.
- Ceiling is both bowed and cracked – If you notice a bow in your ceiling along with visible signs of cracking, this is a sign of a more significant problem. The joists in a home can only support a certain amount of weight, but once that weight is surpassed, then the support weakens, the ceiling sags, and before you know it, the ceiling collapses.
Remember: All foundations are subject to movement, which is normal. Foundation movement can be caused by weather fluctuations or settling soil beneath the structure. If you see cracks in your ceiling, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have structural damage.
For more information read, Causes of Cracks in Interior Walls.
Ceiling crack repair
If the cracks result from a foundation issue, usually, underpinning solutions will fix the problem. These underpinning products are typically used:
- Steel push piers
- Helical piers
The piers are driven deep into the ground through unstable soil layers until they reach the load-bearing strata. Then, each pier is load tested. After load testing, the entire weight of the structure is transferred onto the piers to level and stabilize the foundation.
Ceiling crack repair cost
Ceiling crack repair costs will, of course, depend on the nature of the crack. If they were caused by foundation damage, the repair will be more expensive. Your geographical location also figures into the repair cost.
The only way to know how much it will cost to fix a ceiling crack is to contact a foundation repair contractor for an inspection and repair estimate. Most contractors will do an inspection for free.
Ceiling cracks when to worry(and when you can relax)
Note that the size of the crack can help you determine the severity of your problem.
Cracks that run vertically across the ceiling and continue down a wall are a major concern. This is a sign of structural damage and can usually be attributed to a natural disaster such as an earthquake or tornado, the settling of a home over an extended time, or a man-made incident.
Spiderweb cracks are generally harmless. Spiderweb cracks are located on ceilings, walls, floors, and grout lines. Spiderweb cracks that appear in older homes are usually caused by the structure settling into the soil over time. Spiderwebs are normal. However, if you notice a crack over 1/16 inch wide, contact a foundation repair professional and ask for an inspection.
For more information about foundation cracks see Structural or Non-Structural? Understanding Foundation Cracks.
What causes ceiling cracks?
The most common reason for ceiling cracks is moisture. It is recommended to find the source of the moisture and eliminate the problem. Moisture often is the result of improper water drainage. Perhaps, the gutter system is clogged, or the roof is leaking for some reason. This moisture, change in temperature, and airflow change can cause cracks. Either way, Epp can help!
If you notice ceiling cracks, contact a professional to come and inspect your home and see if the cracks are due to foundation problems. Epp offers free estimates. Ensure you get the repair done as soon as the issue is noticed. The sooner you get your foundation repair completed, the least amount of structural damage will occur throughout your home.