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What Ceiling Cracks May Mean for Your Foundation

ceiling cracks

Interior cracks in a building can look both alarming and harmless depending on what you see. While a large crack with obvious space in between may look like an apparent problem, thinner cracks can also cause destruction. Cracks in the foundation and the ceiling should not be ignored.

Are All Cracks Dangerous?

Cracks can happen without notice. If we don’t look up, we might not even know there’s a problem with the ceiling. If ceiling cracks continue for months and even years without repair, homeowners can end up spending a lot of money.

While it’s possible that some ceiling cracks can be fixed with plaster and paint, others can be a warning that there’s something wrong with the building’s foundation. Foundation problems can be a significant issue if it’s not fixed.

3 Causes For Cracks

A variety of reasons can cause cracks to form in a building. From structural damage to natural aging, the kind of crack matters.

Heavy Moisture Damage

Heavy moisture damage can happen from plumbing leaks or a significant weather storm. If cracks appear on the top floor, this can indicate the moisture is coming from roof damage. Moisture damage and temperature changes frequently lead to the expansion of cracks. By repairing cracks before possible temperature fluctuation, larger tears can be prevented.

Failed Foundation

Foundation settlement includes structural issues that can do major damage. An adequate drainage system needs to be put in place so that the building foundation will not become a problem. The interior foundation can cause damage to the ceiling from even the tiniest movement. Professional foundation repair can fix this problem, but trying to do it yourself can result in additional problems. Because the foundation is so crucial to the entire building, it must be done accurately.

Heavy Weight

Multi-level houses or buildings can bear too much weight for a structure. If ceiling supports are not designed in the proper way, heavy fixtures like tubs or showers can create a heavy weight. The positioning of construction is crucial when preventing cracks from structural weight. 

Which Kinds of Cracks Are The Worst?

Any crack has potential to create damage. That being said, there are some that need to be repaired quicker than others.

Vertical cracks that match can be especially problematic. These are the type of cracks that run across the length of a ceiling while continuing to spread down the wall. If there is structural damage to the building, this type of crack can signal its potential. In general, vertical cracks that appear along the ceiling and wall show that there is a weak wall stud. This can happen in areas where earthquakes occur as well as the natural settling of one’s house.


Foundation repair is crucial for certain cracks. A crack that runs vertical is only one sign that there might be problems with the foundation. To make sure the structural foundation of a home is in proper shape, hiring a professional is always recommended. Even cracks that look harmless, may be an indication that something isn’t right.

If you are concerned about the cracks in your ceiling, or anywhere in your homes, call the professionals at Ground Up to come take a look.

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