Springtime Home Maintenance: Cracks in Walls & Ceilings
Winter is ending and spring is around the corner. This means it is time to do some springtime maintenance. Whether you have just built your home or purchased an older one, there is always some spring maintenance to do. Cracks will appear in ceilings and walls and you will want to make the necessary repair promptly. At the same time, you want to look at a springtime maintenance checklist to ensure you take care of your home for the upcoming months. What causes cracks in walls and ceilings? Ground shifting during home settling can cause cracking. Also, moisture damage and ceiling weight.
Let’s take a look below at some more specifics regarding cracking in your walls and ceiling and some spring maintenance ideas.
How Many Types Of Cracks Are There?
Believe it or not, there are about 6 different types of cracks that can be referenced in a home. The names of these cracks will vary based on the type of crack. Let’s take a look below at what those are.
Hairline Ceiling Cracks
These cracks are typically caused by a drywall mud issue or a plastering problem. These cracks are fairly standard as the walls and ceilings expand and contract from humidity and moisture. Additionally, they are not structurally concerning.
Straightline Ceiling Cracks
You will often see this type of crack in your ceiling if the drywall installer did not use the proper amount of plaster. Also, these types of cracks are caused by the installer not doing their job. They are not structurally concerning.
Yellow or Brown Ceiling Cracks
These cracks are indicative of a water leak. Additionally, you will want to inspect the attic and other areas of the home for potential water leakage.
Spiderweb Ceiling Cracks
Once the home begins to settle, it becomes uneven. To what extent depends on how much pressure the home is putting on the ground underneath. Spiderweb ceiling cracks are a structural concern. Also, you should have a structural engineer take a look at your home.
Cracks Between the Ceiling and Walls
Truss uplifting causes cracks in walls and ceilings, they are likely caused by truss uplifting. The truss is the frame of your roof and ceiling. When extreme weather or winds come into play, the trusses can expand more than usual. This causes the truss to pull away from the ceiling and create an issue.
Bowed Ceiling and Large Ceiling Cracks
The moment that you notice a bowing ceiling and any large ceiling cracks you will need to call a structural engineer. At this time, there is major structural damage occurring. Water damage and foundation settling could be the culprits.
What Causes Cracking In A Home?
Believe it or not, what causes cracks in walls and ceilings can be attributed to two main issues. Poor workmanship and the natural setting of the home are the main reasons. Also, springtime maintenance can reduce these issues. Let’s take a look below at what can cause this to occur.
As the house settles, the foundation can shift. If the foundation was not supported correctly, then it will cause other structures in the home to break down. As more stress is placed on other structures of the home, cracking can occur.
Anytime that water touches a material like drywall, it begins to break down. The moisture from a leaking roof or pipes can break down the materials that make up your ceiling. This will cause the paint to start cracking and chipping.
The Top Floor is Too Heavy
If you have a second floor and the rooms do not have strong support, the weight of the floor above the ceiling will start to put pressure on the underlying ceiling. Second-floor bathrooms are typical culprits of this issue. Also, placing too many boxes and heavy containers in the attic will put pressure on the underlying ceiling.
The Drywall was Poorly Installed
If the contracting company that completed the drywall installation did a poor job and rushed the material installation, you could end up with cracking. Additionally, if the drywall that was used happened to be a poor product, it will break down quicker and cause cracking.
The older the home the more you will need updating and repairs. Keep in mind, it is common to see cracks and structural changes in your home as it ages. Don’t panic. Take an aggressive approach and make the repairs promptly. This ensures that further damage does not continue to occur.
Will A Spring Maintenance Checklist Help Me With This?
Yes, keeping a spring maintenance checklist and other seasonal maintenance checklists will help you avoid the destruction of a crack in your ceiling and walls. Let’s take a look below at what we can do to ensure our house stays structurally sound.
- Inspect the roof – No matter what type of roof you have, inspecting the roof is necessary to keep the structural integrity of your home intact. This allows you to discover any water leaks or degraded materials that will need replacing.
- Repair the cracked paint – At this time, it is a good idea to re-paint any cracked or peeling paint areas. This will keep your home looking fresh and clean for springtime.
- Clean the gutters – Hire a company or get on a ladder and sweep your gutters clean. Cleaning out the gutters will reduce the stress on your walls and roof. Also, this will ensure that the gutters will not clog and cause water damage.
- Clean and repair any screening – If you have a screen enclosure or rips in your window screens, now is a great time to make those repairs.
- Check the seals around your doors and windows – Ensure that all seals are safe and secure around your windows and doors. Also, check for cracks and a need for replacement.
- Replace your HVAC filters – Keeping your HVAC filters new and clean allows your system to work more efficiently.
- Clear any overgrowth around your AC compressor – For the proper airflow to make its way through your air conditioner, it needs space to work. Additionally, keeping vegetation and overgrowth from blocking the airflow is key.
- Drain the water heater – As sediment builds up in your tank, it can start to clog the tank. This reduces the efficiency of your water heater. Draining the water heater in the spring will remove the sediment.
- Clean the dryer and washing machine – Remove all lint from your dryer vent by vacuuming it. Also, check the washing machine fill hose for cracks or clogging.
- Clean the Refrigerator coils – Use a vacuum and suck up any dust from the bottom refrigerator coils. Pull the refrigerator out from the wall and look at the bottom and back of the refrigerator. Also, if you see dirt and debris, you will need to vacuum.
- Replace smoke detector batteries – This would be a great time to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.
- Clean all exterior surfaces – This includes cleaning the driveway, decks, patios, fencing, and any other exterior of the home. Use a pressure washer to assist with this project.
- Fix and damage to the exterior surfaces – This includes your decking, driveway, fencing, and other exterior surfaces.
- Get your lawn equipment ready – Make sure to sharpen the blades and change the oil in your lawn mower. Also, check the fluids in any other yard equipment that you might use.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you understand what causes cracks in walls and ceilings, you can look into other areas that might need repair. Additionally, after you make repairs, you will want to know how to paint your ceilings.
Next, be sure to understand what drywall needs replacing in the home. Replacing wet drywall is highly recommended. However, if you determine that you have caught the problem in time, you could simply use industrial fans to dry out the existing drywall. Of course, you do run the risk of creating a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
Lastly, having a spring checklist is just as important as having a winter checklist. In fact, having a maintenance checklist for all seasons is a great idea. Also, as a homeowner, you don’t want to forget any maintenance needs. Consequently, keeping something like a winter, spring, and summer checklist will help you keep up with the maintenance needs of your home.
When Do I Call A Professional?
Conducting your annual spring maintenance checklist is key for moving into the summer months with a fully functional and energy-efficient home. Additionally, you wouldn’t want to push through the various weather changes in the springtime without a completed checklist. Also, this bodes well for keeping your home from developing cracks in the walls and ceilings of your home. Consequently, reach out to your local home inspection team to get a full assessment of the working parts and structures of your home.
Springtime maintenance is important for the home. Additionally, cracks in your walls or ceilings are clear indicators of some structural damage to your home. Also, in most cases, they are the result of other issues in the home. Consequently, calling on your local home inspection team allows you to get to the bottom of the cracking and other issues. Reach out to Blue Guardian Home Inspections for a full home inspection in Kendall, Kane, Dupage, and LaSalle Counties of Illinois.
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