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Drywall  /  May 31, 2022

4 Drywall Cracks and What Each May Indicate

Problems with cracked drywall

Many people see cracks in their walls or ceilings and automatically assume the worst. However, according to drywall services in Scarborough, some cracks are expected and nothing to worry about.

Still, while you can expect some cracking over time, when are cracks a sign of bigger problems? Even the experts acknowledge that some cracking is a sign of more significant issues.

Therefore, as a homeowner, it is necessary to understand what different cracks can mean. Additionally, you must take inventory as a homeowner and know the history of your home because age often has a lot to do with cracking.

1. Nail Pops

Sometimes, a crack will appear, and it will have nails or screws sticking out. Most people refer to cracks with exposed nails or screws as nail pops.

Nail pops occur when the nail or screw pulls away from the home’s structure. Essentially, the nail pulls out of the wood stud or beam it was in.

Some nail pops are nothing to worry about, a simple sign of settling. However, depending on the age of your home, the crack can indicate structural issues, so it is best to call a professional to assess the damage.

2. Horizontal Cracks

Most professionals find horizontal cracks worrisome. Horizontal cracks appear on walls and typically run horizontally, but some run at a jagged 45° angle.

A horizontal crack can stem from water damage or severe foundation damage. Any time you are talking about a house’s foundation, it is serious. Essentially, if dealing with the foundation, the crack occurs because it is losing support. The crack occurs as the ground and structure shift off balance.

If you notice horizontal or jagged angular cracks, do not hesitate to call a professional to the site. While the cracks can occur for minor reasons, they can also represent significant structural issues.

3. Ceiling Cracks

Ceiling cracks can occur as a result of a house settling. If you notice minor cracks above doors, windows, or near wall and ceiling connections, settling is likely the cause. However, settling or shifting can be concerning if your home is more than two years old.

Additionally, if cracks continue to grow or reach a specific length, you should contact a professional. Growing cracks can indicate serious foundation issues.

Most often, ceiling cracks result from standard settling. You can fix the cracks with plaster and paint. However, be cautious of cracks that reoccur or keep appearing in the same area. It is often best to call a contractor to inspect the area for damage.

4. Stair-Step Cracks

Stair-step cracks typically appear on brick homes. The pattern tends to follow the brick. As with most other cracks, stair-step cracks can indicate settling, meaning they result from residential growing pains.

However, this type of cracking can also hint at a foundation under duress. You will have to consider the age of the home in diagnosing the issue. If the house is less than two years old, the cracking is likely part of natural settling and nothing to be concerned with. You can repair the surface imperfection and move on.

If the home is older than two years, or if the cracks are progressive, you should call a professional to assess the damage. Wide gaps or evolving cracks can point to foundational or structural issues.

Structural issues resulting in cracks can be costly home repairs. However, the earlier a crack is assessed and addressed, the better. Contact a professional from Handyman Connection to inspect the damage to your home. If all goes well, maybe the cracks are superficial. If the cracks result from a more serious issue, at least you will have a professional on-site to help.

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