Return to the Home Repair Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Cracks in ceilings, walls

Posted by leslies (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 6, 08 at 12:41

My house was built in 1949 and the walls and ceilings are made of some kind of wallboard that isn't modern gypsum sheet rock. It's thicker and crumbles a bit like plaster and the filling is gray in color and grainy. Some wall/ceiling surfaces also have been coated with a pretty thick (1/32" or more) coating of something that chips and flakes when damaged but doesn't crumble or make dust.

When I bought the house, there was a thin crack running the length of the kitchen ceiling. I didn't think anything of it. There are three or four similar cracks, of varying lengths (depending on the wall/ceiling they're on) but mostly they're all quite long.

Last night, I noticed a new crack running horizontally along the length of one wall of the dining room and I began to be concerned. I picked off a few chips of the coating. The crack is deep enough to go through the coating, but I see no damage to the not-sheet-rock panel beneath. There is no joint beween panels under the coating where the crack is.

In a newer house, I might assume the house was "settling", but this house has had 60 years to do its settling. Here's my thought, some years ago, the house was attacked by termites. It was treated and there is now no sign of active infestation. The house inspector stabbed the ground-floor floor joists and claimed they had not been damaged, but I have found 2 x 4's around ground floor radiator openings that were destroyed.

Is it reasonable to think that the house is shifting in response to old termite damage? Is there another, more likely reason for the appearance of new cracks?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cracks in ceilings, walls

I think you need to get another inspector in there - make sure he's certified, or licensed, or whatever is valid where you live. The house shouldn't be having "normal" settling after so long, but there are still many other things that could cause such a problem. Are you in fact certain that the crack you saw though is new, and not just a result of different lighting in the room at that time of day?

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Home Repair Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here