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Plaster wall and ceiling cracks and repair.

Common reasons causing plaster walls and ceilings to crack and sag. 
  • Settlement in new homes
  • Foundation and movement especially for old homes
  • Very old plaster, deteriorating
  • Home distorting during strong winds
  • Water damage
  • Poor workmanship
  • Loads on ceiling and walls
  • Temperature fluctuations
Settlement in new homes

Wall and ceiling plaster cracking can appear after a few months of a new home being built due to settlement of foundations, timber walls, masonry walls and ceiling joists sagging/moving. This is expected with new homes and can generally be patched by re taping joints but if there are more serious cracks an engineer may needed to assess the issue then area removed and replaced with new plaster.

Foundation movement in old homes

Masonry walls often show stepped cracking commonly due to foundations moving whether soil drying due to droughts, tree roots, unstable soil and poor construction. There are a couple of methods I use when repairing cracks if they are minor but for serious plaster wall cracks usually underpinning may be required or large trees removed.

Old plaster deteriorating

Very old homes, 100 years plus with original lath and plaster simply deteriorate. Sometimes lath and plaster can be patched/restored but if in bad condition it is best to remove entire area and replace using plasterboard or if original plastering is desired I specialise in lath and plaster.

Plaster walls and ceilings in high winds

High winds cause houses to twist and ceiling to move up and down like a large sail. After a period of time this can cause ceiling to have “nails popping” or even collapse. This is very common in garage ceilings as droughts occur and not enough battens or large spacing of joists leaving the plaster ceiling with not enough fixing points to secure the ceiling.  There are a couple of plaster repairs that can be carried out to garage ceilings. Please refer to garage ceiling plaster repairs blog post for further information.

Water damage

Water damage due to blocked or inadequate down pipes, broken tiles, poorly maintained roof, plumbing, and accidents are the common causes. Repairs are generally carried out by removing damaged areas and replaced with new plasterboard.

 

It is more important to address the issue first.

Rain Head
Rainwater Head / Box Gutter

Check with a plumber whether more down  pipes are needed and for added measure install box gutter / rainwater head  as this will prevent flooding into  your ceiling.

 

Rainwater Heads / Box Gutters

Roof maintenance is important. Clean cutters, check and unblock down pipes periodically, inspect the roof tiles for any missing or cracked tiles and loose ridge caps.

Missing Mortar

Insurance claims can be made for plaster repair costs due to storm water damage. Check with your insurer and policy.

Poor Workmanship

Unfortunately common especially to garage plasterboard ceilings. Sometimes an oversight and budget issues or non compliant trades not recognising standards and requirements for certain construction situations. When sighted and addressed early, plaster repairs can be carried out with minimal costs.

Loads on plaster ceiling and walls

Ground floor plaster ceilings can develop cracks due to the first floor movement. Additional weight upstairs, house members, furniture, movement or sagging timber joist are all factors. For walls, additional loads causing wall to distort and plaster wall will crack. A structural engineer would need to assess the cause before and wall or ceiling plaster repairs are carried out.

Temperature fluctuations

Differences in temperature especially to larger areas can cause plaster ceilings and walls to crack. Many materials are used in a house and every material expand and contract with hot and cold conditions. There are a few ways to rectify this issue and these can be discussed on site.



Covering Melbourne, Eastern and South Eastern Suburbs

  • Box Hill
  • Balwyn
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  • Brighton
  • Middle Park
  • South Melbourne
  • Caulfield
  • Richmond
  • Elsternwick
  • St.Kilda
  • Elwood
  • and surrounding suburbs

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