When Should I Be Concerned About Drywall Cracks?

What are signs of structural damage to house?

Top 10 Signs of Structural Damage to HousesTermites.

Despite their small size, termites can eat away at support beams, wall studs, ceiling joists and more, causing significant structural damage to houses over time.

Sagging Roofs & Roof Leaks.

Wall and Ceiling Cracks.

Uneven Floors.

Damp Sub-Floors.

Timber Rot.

Crumbling Concrete.

Warped Ceilings.More items….

Do most older homes have foundation problems?

Older homes are prone to a variety of foundation and structural problems, such as major cracks or unevenness in the slab or perimeter foundation wall; corrosion, dry rot, or moisture damage in pilings or concrete foundation supports; damaged piers (support footings); and dry rot or moisture damage in above-ground studs …

Why is my drywall cracking?

Drywall cracks can be caused by minor seasonal changes in temperature and humidity, or they can be the result of structural problems. … Improperly sized or connected framing, settled interior support piers, settled foundation walls and slabs, or deteriorated framing can all cause cracks in drywall finishes.

How do I stop my drywall from cracking?

To minimize cracking do your best to place your butt joint where they are the least exposed to movement. For instance, notch your drywall around doors and windows instead of breaking drywall at these movement prone areas. Next, leave a 1/8″ gap between your boards, do not fit them tight against each other.

Are vertical cracks in walls bad?

Though vertical cracks in your drywall are less concerning, don’t assume that any cracks in your walls are safe. Not all cracks in your drywall or sheetrock indicate foundation damage, but calling a Fort Worth, TX foundation repair expert for a free assessment is the best way to ensure your foundation is healthy.

Should I worry about hairline cracks?

Problematic wall cracks will typically start at windows, doorways or house corners. Generally, smaller hairline cracks are not cause for concern. These are usually the result of seasonal expansion and contraction of clay soils beneath your house over time, and can be easily patched and re-painted.

Are vertical or horizontal cracks worse?

The simple answer is yes. Vertical cracks are usually the direct result of foundation settling, and these are the more common of foundation issues. Horizontal cracks are generally caused by soil pressure and are normally worse than vertical cracks.

What does a vertical crack in the wall mean?

Vertical and diagonal cracks in concrete walls typically indicate foundation movement. If a vertical crack widens at the top or bottom, the wall is either settling or gradually heaving, which may present serious issues. … Concrete walls containing horizontal cracks are serious issues.

How do you fix horizontal cracks in walls?

Vacuum out loose material. Cover the crack with either mesh joint tape or joint compound and paper tape, followed by a thin layer of joint compound, extending about 2 inches on each side of the tape. Allow to dry. Apply a second coat of joint compound, feathered approximately 6 to 7 inches on either side of the crack.

How do you know if crack in drywall is serious?

Jagged or diagonal cracks indicate that the foundation may have shifted or sunk, or another problem has occurred, such as the deterioration and collapse of supporting wood members due to termite damage. Likewise, cracks wider than one-quarter inch indicate a potential problem with the home’s structure.

Do cracks in walls always mean foundation problems?

CRACKS IN WALLS OR ABOVE WINDOW AND DOOR FRAMES It could be excess moisture or a poor mud and tape job, but it could also mean that your home has foundation problems. If foundation settlement is the cause, you will usually see the cracks re-open after they’ve been repaired.

How big is a hairline crack?

0 – Hairline cracks: Less than 0.1 mm in width.

What are the first signs of foundation problems?

5 Early Warning Signs of Foundation FailureCracked, crumbling or compromised foundations. Start by checking the foundation itself. … Shifting soil and water damage. Shifting soil is a common cause of foundation problems. … Gaps in walls or the foundation. … Drooping floors or warped ceilings. … Doors or windows that don’t fit.

How do you stop drywall seams from cracking?

Traditionally, drywall seams are covered with a paper tape. A fiberglass mesh tape is also available. It is generally agreed that paper tape is stronger and prevents cracks better. Avoid using mesh tape unless you are going to use the “hot” quick-setting drywall mud.

How do I know if my wall cracks are structural?

The common characteristics structural cracks include:Continuous horizontal cracks along walls.Vertical cracks that are wider at the top or bottom.Stair-step cracks.Foundation wall cracks.Cracks in beams, foundation slabs.Angled cracks that form in the corners of walls with a horizontal crack in the center.More items…•

Are cracks in drywall normal?

A: Drywall cracks show up routinely in only a few specific areas in newer homes: Vertical and horizontal cracking on walls represents only normal post-construction wood-framing drying and shrinkage (and/or poor finishing technique). These are the seams in the sheets of drywall, manifesting as cracks.

What happens if you don’t fix foundation problems?

If you don’t fix your foundation, mold and mildew cause the wooden members under your pier and beam home to deteriorate. Whenever there are cracks or poor sealing around a pier and beam foundation, water can make its way into the crawl space.

Will paint fill hairline cracks?

For deeper hairline cracks, you may want to use a filler to fill up the cracks before applying a new layer of paint in the affected area. However, if an extensive area has been affected, you will need to scrape off the paint and then sand the entire area to even out the edges before applying a fresh coat of paint.

Why are the walls in my house cracking?

Why do cracks occur on walls? Here are a few common reasons: Contraction and expansion: The materials (paint, plaster) that make up your wall contract and expand because of fluctuations in humidity levels and temperature changes. … In addition, using different paints for each paint coat can also cause cracks on the wall.