In several places in the ceiling of my 1986-built bungalow, there are long straight cracks running along the ceiling.
- What's causing them?
- Should I be concerned?
- How can I stop it from increasing?
- How can I repair the damage already done?
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What's causing them?
The building settling.
Should I be concerned?
How can I stop it from increasing?
You can't, but improper climate control (swings in temperature and humidity levels throughout the house) will make it worse.
How can I repair the damage already done?
I'd use fiberglass tape and joint compound (chemically setting plaster; not water soluble top coat). The non-textured ceiling would be easy. The textured one needs to be repaired in the same way and then re-textured or the entire ceiling completely de-textured with a skim coat.
I'm guessing it was originally textured with a textured roller.
Another option is to caulk and paint it every time it redevelops. It's definitely worth a shot at this easy method, to see how long you can get away with just a coat of paint. You might want to widen the crack (with a painter's tool; a 5in1) so that it fills with paint/caulk and doesn't just make a bridge over the gap (that would crack again guaranteed, very soon).