Cracks in Ceiling Plaster

“I’ve just noticed a crack in the ceiling and I wondered if it’s serious…”

This is a call we get regularly at Logic Plastering. It could be that a crack has just appeared in old plaster, and the caller is worried that it signals structural problems. Or maybe they’ve noticed a hairline crack that’s appeared in new plaster and customers want to know if it’s poor workmanship. We’re always pleased to help, and what any plasterer will tell you is that there are numerous different kinds of cracks, all requiring a different solution.

In this blog, we look at 4 different types of cracks in ceiling plaster, and outline the solution required:

1. Wall and Ceiling Cracks

These look pretty dramatic, and they can appear out of nowhere. They are normally located in the corners of rooms, or above doors. The crack will run from the wall up to the ceiling and can look quite deep. This particular kind of crevice is, in most cases, a natural result of the house settling and the solution is fairly simple.

Solution: Most cracks of this kind can be taped over and re-plastered to restore the smooth surface. If, however, the crack is fairly wide, it might be the first indication of a structural issue requiring further investigation from a builder.

2. A Discoloured Crack

A crack that presents as a yellow-brown stain running in a straight line across the ceiling, indicates a leak of some kind. This occurs where water has penetrated a joint in a drylining ceiling. These joints are taped up and then skimmed to create a smooth surface. In this case water has found a vulnerable spot and has discoloured the tape and the area around it.

Solution: The first thing to do in this case is to discover the source of the leak. Without doing this the problem will simply recur. Once the leak is mended the joint can be re-taped and then plastered to match the rest of the ceiling.

3. Ceiling Cracks in Older Properties

Older properties move constantly, either because of settling, or because of temperature variations which cause expansion or contraction of studs, wall plates and lintels. The plaster surface of walls and ceilings, however, is extremely rigid. The tension between the flexible framing members and the rigid plastering result in cracks in the ceiling plaster.

Solution: Where the cracks are fairly small they can be filled with plaster and repainted. If the cracks are causing plaster to fall away, there may be a need to remove the plaster a replace it with drylining boards.

4. Horizontal Crack Where the Ceiling Meets the Wall

These are the result of roof trusses (rafters and posts) pulling upwards as the result of changes in temperature. The problem is cause by attaching drylining to the trusses near the edge of a load bearing wall. The crack shows where the movement is creating a tension in the plaster.

Solution: There is simple solution to this problem. Coving is a moulding that can be applied to the angle between the wall and the ceiling. This is exactly the purpose for which coving was created and it provides an elegant ‘cover-up’ for cracks that are causing no damage.

About Logic Plastering

We’re a Bedfordshire business that’s been providing high quality plastering for local customers. For over a decade now, we’ve been creating beautifully finished interior walls and ceilings. The Logic Plastering team are skilled plasterers, but they can also install drywalling or plasterboard solutions, dependent on the context.

Worried about cracks in ceiling plaster? Logic Plastering examines what causes plaster cracks and offers a range of solutions. Call the team today on 07809 228328