Trying to figure out what these cracks are from. house was built in 1929, has plaster walls throughout. Someone said its the house settling and firebreaks in the interior of the wall.

Anyone see this kind of thing before? (images were edited to show more details)

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  • What are the approximate dimensions of those breaks? Length and Height? Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 19:23
  • Looks like either cinderblock/CMU or the older hollow clay tiles telegraphing through due to some sort of movement.. clay tile (block) info: oldhouseweb.com/how-to-advice/structural-terra-cotta.shtml
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 3:43
  • What storey is it? A basement (below ground level)? What is on an other side of the wall? Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 6:25

1 Answer 1


It could be settling. I see from the window sill it is on an outside wall. You did not mention how long the cracks have been there, but I would go outside and check if there is any water damage happening at the foundation level, missing siding, etc., to rule out settling from decay. Otherwise those cracks, I would say are normal in many cases for a wood lath and plaster home, which should be the case for your 1929 home. The cracks follow the typical way the wood lath is installed.

  • Yep, they did a poor job on the lath; lining up too many of the ends and not crisscrossing it.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 21:19

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