• Hometalker
  • Saint Louis, MO
Asked on Oct 11, 2017

Help with wall and ceiling cracks.

Kathie RainsJwienJean


I continue to have cracks appear in my plaster ceilings and walls. Some have been filled. It's as though the house is settling, except that it's nearly 60 years old! What kind of person should I consult to see if there are problems with the foundation causing this to keep happening? Thanks!

5 answers
  • Age has nothing to with settling. I have a mid-1920's house and live in earthquake country. You need a good contractor or residential structural engineer. Check your states Contractors License Board for helpful tips for the consumer. There are so many reasons why this could be happening, rain, nearby construction, sitting on a water table, etc. Once they give you a reason, before signing anything - come back and let us know what they said so we can help you sort through the suggested remedies.
  • Ed Cannon
    on Oct 11, 2017

    A drywall person could do this. Use drywall mesh tape over the cracks and smooth over with mud. This mesh will give a little over the cracks and last longer than just mudding over only.
  • Jean
    on Oct 11, 2017

    huh - impressed that you barely middle-aged home has actually plaster (bravo, good call)

    spreading cracks, or ones that radiate from the door frames? yeah, that's something shifting in the house, and should be looked at, in case the plaster needs stabilizing, or you need a floor jack somewhere.

    cracks that are opening up because someone spackled over them before they put the house on the market?

    cracks under 3/16" you can use white paintable caulk, smooth it with a damp sponge, let dry, and it will seal that gap effectively - our little shack turns 110 this year, and that trick has held up for 20 years so far, where a neighbor's crack seems to open up every winter, when the hot air dries the house out.
  • Jwien
    on Oct 11, 2017

    We've had success using paintable silicone caulk to fill the ceil cracks. It has enough flexibility so they don't reoccur. Paintable so you can just paint the ceiling and poof ... they're gone!

  • Kathie Rains
    on Oct 12, 2017

    Here's an indirect comment that can contribute to an older home "settling". Check outside around the foundation walls, the downspouts and the basement walls. If you find wetness in any of those places, start fixing that right away. Make sure downspouts carry water away from the house and make sure that the soil around the foundation slopes away from the house.
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