No homeowner wants to see cracks in their drywall, yet nearly every home has surfaces that are susceptible to get cracks over time. Cracks can crop up in drywall due to a leak, temperature changes, house shifting, or poor drywall installation. And unfortunately, cracks can be unpredictable and difficult to prevent. However, most cracks are relatively harmless to the integrity of the structure of a home, though they may be an indication that your home requires a bit of maintenance.

So, let’s talk tips to keep your home as free from cracks as is possible. Let’s take a look at the causes of cracks, how to fix cracks, and what you can do to minimize the likelihood of cracks in the future, so you can rest assured that your home is whole and free from these unsightly signs of deterioration.

Crack Causes

As we mentioned, cracking can occur on drywall surfaces due to leaks, temperature changes, house settling, and poor drywall installation. Fortunately, only leaks and poor installation should be alarming.

If you suspect that you may have a leak, take a close look at the crack. Do you see discoloration around the edges of the crack? Does the paint bubble up or vary in texture near the crack? Or, most obviously, can you see or feel moisture? If you suspect that water is causing a crack in your home’s drywall, then it’s best to further inspect your home for the source of the leak. Ceilings underneath your home’s attic or roof and exterior walls may be susceptible to leaks from precipitation outdoors. Meanwhile, interior walls and ceilings are more likely to have a leak caused by faulty plumbing. You may have to have a roofer or plumber inspect your property if you can’t locate the source of a leak itself. Be sure to remedy the leak before performing any repairs, and give the drywall time to dry out before moving forward.

If you have cracks rearing their head all over your home, then it’s likely that the drywall was installed poorly, or the drywall tape used may have lost its adhesion. This may be a sign that you’ll need to re-tape all drywall that is affected. If you only have small cracks throughout your home, you may be able to use a hardy glue to press the tape back into place (wood glue or other construction glues may do the trick).

How to Fix Cracks

Different cracks will require different repairs. Straight cracks that run along the tape of drywall will require that you either use an adhesive on the tape and press it back into place, or you scrape away loose tape and replace it.

Minor cracks that span across the drywall surface can often be repaired with spackle. However, major cracks that run across surfaces should be taped to keep the crack from spreading.

Cracks caused by leaks may require that you replace parts of the drywall (if the drywall is saturated or full of mold, for example). If the surface is dry, the leak is repaired, and the crack is minor, you may be able to repair the crack with tape or spackle, depending on the size of the crack.

Regardless of the repairs, your damaged walls and ceilings may need to be retextured to make the surface contiguous once again, and, of course, you’ll have to repaint the surface. You can use drywall compound over the tape to repair the surface. Sand the compound to create a smooth surface, or use a texture compound to recreate the texture of the surface — consider hiring a contractor for textured surfaces if you don’t know how to apply texture yourself.

Minimizing the Likelihood of Cracks

While you may not be able to do anything to prevent cracks that can occur due to your home settling or cracks from a poor drywall installation, you can proactively prevent leaks and you can keep your home’s temperature regulated to reduce the likelihood of cracking caused by temperature swings. Be sure to keep an eye on the condition of your roof and siding, and keep fresh caulking on your doors and windows to keep precipitation from penetrating your home’s exterior. You can hire a plumber for regular inspections, and replace older pipes and fixtures if they are outdated to fend off plumbing leaks. To keep the temperature regulated in your home, simply keep the thermostat set at a moderate temperature range, even when you’re away from the house (especially during hot summer or cold winter days).

Here for Painting and Minor Repairs

Here at Horner Painting, we can help you to keep your home interior pristine with our painting services. We’re here to ensure that all of the surfaces of your home look as fresh as they did the day it was built. We even provide minor repairs for drywall surfaces — just let us know about the damage at hand, we may be able to help! If you’re ready to give your home’s interior an update with a professional paint job, we’re eager to help. Reach out to us today to get started — Horner Painting proudly provides painting services throughout Northern Colorado, offering services for our neighbors in Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Windsor, Johnstown, Wellington, Severance, and Timnath.