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All of a sudden this morning I saw about a 14 foot "crack" on a wall facing the outside (no neighbours) and I'm freaking out. I'm sure I would have noticed it before. The fact that it probably appeared overnight worries me. Should be I concerned or is just a cosmetic problem? Background: it's a condo which is only 1.5 years old. It's been - 14 degrees to -20 for weeks if that helps. From what I can see it seems to a very superficial "crack" in the paint but I have never seen something like it. The "crack" is in a practically perfect straight line starting 2 feet below the ceiling and goes in a straight line down. and I'm used to seeing cracks that are crooked. I tried to take a picture to show but it's pretty unclear. Let me try to upload it. Is this type of crack common and what is the cause? Does it require professional help? Is the place going to crack? How do I find out the cause?

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It looks like a crack in the seam between two pieces of drywall. This is not very unusual and, by itself, is not an indication of serious structural damage. However, if there were structural damage,it might first appear this way. Is there any sign of cracking or shifting on the outside of this wall? –  bib Mar 6 at 17:26
    
That's Celsius temperature, right? –  User58220 Mar 6 at 17:47
    
yes, Celsius. @User58220 –  verve Mar 6 at 18:08
    
I'm on the 17th floor of a building. Can't see outside. –  verve Mar 6 at 18:09
    
Does structural damage mean the wall can fall off? –  verve Mar 6 at 18:10

2 Answers 2

Cracks are almost always caused by shifting, vibrations or impacts. Cracks in walls that are perfectly straight usually follow a seam where two pieces of drywall meat. If the crack is just in the paint or the drywall then its unlikely itself to be a structural problem though there might be a more serious underlying problem.

Assuming its drywall here, repairing it is the same as any other drywall repair - mud, sand, paint.

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Hmmmm..this reminds me...for the last few days the people living above me have been making noise like hammering or something...could it be the vibrations from their stuff caused it? –  verve Mar 6 at 18:24
    
Very possible that could be the cause. –  Steven Mar 6 at 20:05
    
Could it have caused it: yes. Was it their "fault": no. Moderate hammering would not itself be enough unless the original install was weak. –  Bryce Mar 14 at 16:44

If this is also a very new building, quite possibly the building is settling. Don't forget, after you add all the drywall to a building frame, it becomes extremely heavy and starts settling into the ground, and depending on how large the building is, different parts may settle at different rates.

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