In several places in the ceiling of my 1986-built bungalow, there are long straight cracks running along the ceiling.

First image

Second image

  • What's causing them?
  • Should I be concerned?
  • How can I stop it from increasing?
  • How can I repair the damage already done?


What's causing them?

The building settling.

Should I be concerned?

Not really.

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).

  • I'm looking up at a similar crack right now; I've been trying to decide whether to just fix it or put in a coffered ceiling.
    – keshlam
    Apr 29 '15 at 23:04
  • @keshlam I've used decorative purlins on long cracks that just wouldn't give up. Trim for the win!
    – Mazura
    Apr 30 '15 at 3:31

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