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You’ve probably wondered, “Why does new plaster crack?” Several reasons may be at work here. First, you might have structural movement or subsidence, resulting in cracks. Then, the plaster may simply be drying out, and you could be dealing with a sign of a deteriorating house.
In either case, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent further damage. Keep reading to learn more about common signs of new plaster cracking.
Problems with horizontal cracks
If you notice vertical or horizontal cracks in your new plaster, they could be structural problems. If the cracks are running in the same direction as the drywall, they are considered less serious than horizontal cracks. A stair-step crack looks like a flight of stairs, and it could be a sign that your house is experiencing settling problems. It is most common in unfinished rooms, such as basements or walls that are built on cinder block foundations.
While you may be tempted to patch up the cracks, this is not the best option. These cracks can indicate foundation problems that require professional attention. This problem is more serious if a group of cracks converges in one direction. Moreover, you should not patch cracks that have formed in the same place, since this could be an indicator of settling. Instead, you should contact a professional and find out what is causing them.
While you may be tempted to ignore cracks in new plaster, there are some signs that can indicate a serious problem. First, they are usually very small. Generally, they do not exceed an eighth of an inch and are not particularly long. However, if you find them longer than this, they are major cracks. This type of crack is not only dangerous, but also costly. So, you should find the cause of your cracks and fix them as soon as you notice them.
If you’ve noticed horizontal cracks in your new plaster, you should contact a professional immediately. Many plaster cracks are cosmetic and won’t cause any problems in the future. However, you should check up on new or unusual cracks with a local plaster company. During the construction of plaster walls, horizontal lathes are stretched across the framing of a building. Plaster then oozes between these lathes and behind them.
If you’re unsure of how to fix horizontal cracks, you can try DIY methods. A flexible filler can be purchased at your local hardware store. After the filler has cured, you can sand the wall to restore its smoothness. A one-coat plaster is the best option if you’re planning to fix the cracks yourself. A second, more severe type of cracks can be a symptom of foundation problems.
Signs of structural movement
You should look out for signs of structural movement when new plaster cracks. One of the signs of movement is cracks that run diagonally. The longer the crack, the greater the risk of structural movement. You can repair small cracks by yourself by using a flexible filler purchased from a local hardware store. Then, sand it down to a smooth finish. There are different types of fillers, but you should use one with a one-coat plaster.
A large crack could be a sign of settling. The soil underneath your house expands and contracts throughout the seasons, creating stresses in all kinds of structures. Cracks in walls and ceilings are no different. Nevertheless, if a crack is particularly large and the ceiling is sagging, it may be a sign of more serious issues in the structure of your home. In such cases, it’s best to call a professional for repairs.
Small hairline cracks are unlikely to be indicative of structural movement. They are often the result of thermal expansion and are easily repaired with a light coat of spackling. Larger hairline cracks, on the other hand, may be indicative of structural movement. Even though they don’t necessarily indicate active movement, they should be checked as soon as possible. This way, you can determine if it’s time for a plaster repair.
If you spot these signs before the cracks in the wall surfaces, you may have a water leak in your house. The leaking water will cause the plaster to bulge. A patch may not be enough if the plaster has sunk too far. You’ll also need to find and repair the leak if it is large enough. Even if you have to replace the plaster, you should consult with the board. Most co-ops don’t require alteration agreements.
Another common sign of structural movement is the appearance of a spider-web crack in new plaster. This type of crack usually begins a larger area of detachment. The area around the crack will always move. In order to find out if structural movement is the problem, apply pressure on the crack. Unless you fix the leak, the damage will continue. If you do not address the problem as soon as possible, structural movement will continue until the plaster is replaced.
Drying out of plaster
A crack in a wall may be caused by the lack of moisture. Lack of moisture can cause several types of cracking, including map, plastic shrinkage, and crazing. To determine which type of cracking you have, you must first identify the cause. Often, the culprit is a mix-up that leaves chunky sediment behind, resulting in a rapid separation. Direct sunlight will accelerate the drying process, as will UV rays and heat.
The space between floors is another place where moisture can penetrate. Wet plaster will not form a “key” that will hold the plaster together, so the gaps between floors are the weakest spots. Bricks, on the other hand, will absorb moisture, causing the plaster to crack. In this instance, you should seek the help of a professional, such as a plaster specialist, immediately after any renovations are completed.
Proper ventilation is essential for drying plaster. While it may be tempting to switch on the heating full blast and hope for faster results, this will only speed up the drying process and increase the risk of cracks. Using a dehumidifier can help reduce the amount of moisture in a newly plastered room. However, you should remember that a dehumidifier will cause cracking if it removes too much moisture too fast. If you’re concerned about your plaster drying out too quickly, consider buying a medium-sized dehumidifier.
Another possible cause of cracks in new plaster is improper surface preparation. A fine layer of sand or limestone is required for smooth plastering, and a coat of paint is recommended to cover the cracks. However, it’s important to remember that if you choose to paint the new plaster, you should never use a cheap paint, as the adhesive will not work well. If you decide to paint the plaster yourself, you should use the same type of paint, as mixing different brands can lead to separation.
If the original wall was plastered by a mason, you should use a high-quality portland plaster. The spattering and mopping process are also important, and should never be overlooked. Bad plaster can be found at a mason supply, which moves products at a high rate and stores them in a dry place. Another option for avoiding bad plaster is purchasing it from a hardware or lumberyard.
Signs of subsidence
The most obvious signs of subsidence are cracks in the walls, which can be crinkly, or are more than three millimetres wide. Cracks may also be wider at the top than at the bottom. These cracks are most noticeable internally, and they are more likely to appear near windows and doors. You should immediately seek professional advice if you notice any of these signs. Here are some ways to spot the signs of subsidence:
Subsidence is a common occurrence in properties that have recently undergone a building extension. Cracks in the plaster, wallpaper or brickwork often indicate a settling problem. Subsidence is a major cause of these signs and needs immediate intervention. If you suspect a problem, get an extensive buildings survey as quickly as possible. A mortgage lender’s valuation of your property is not a full survey of its structure.
Despite its obvious danger, cracks in walls are not the only signs of subsidence. The cracks can be caused by a number of causes, including tree roots, leaking drains, or other problems. It is vital to contact a qualified building inspector to rule out any other issues and prevent the subsidence from progressing any further. Even if the cracks are too small to notice, they can signal that the entire wall is moving.
Cracks in plaster walls can be caused by the fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and moisture. Variations in these conditions cause the plaster to expand and contract and cause the structure of the building to swell. If the building is relatively new, hairline cracks in plasterboard ceilings may be caused by minor movement of the timber joists. For example, an extension might cause cracks in the plaster.
Other signs of subsidence include leaky pipework and damaged brickwork. While these are not the only causes, the underlying cause is often the same. Subsidence is a serious problem that can cost as much as PS250,000 to rectify. This is why you should take action as soon as you notice signs of subsidence in your home. There are many reasons why subsidence is a major problem, and it will need professional help if you notice a crack in your plaster.