Every home has a crack here and there, especially if it is an older house. Age, wear and tear, and foundation problems can all cause cracks. It is important to know which ones are which to determine whether it is a problem or not.
What are they? These cracks are normal and nothing to worry about. They can appear in new homes as the building settles and dries. They can appear in older homes due to movement of the ground. They can also appear at the corners in your home. This is simply because the building is still settling or just because it is the line of least resistance.
How to fix them? Use an interior crack filler that you can buy at any hardware store. Some cracks may need some more flexibility, for example, ones around windows and doors. For those, you will need an acrylic based sealant.
Plaster Comes Away
What are they? Cracks, where the plaster on the wall comes away with it, could be the cause of bad first application, damp inside the walls, or because of poor plaster mix.
How to fix them? These cracks need to be repaired by removing the loose plaster and replacing it. If the crack is very large, you may want to call in the professionals. Otherwise, you can use simple masonry patching plaster.
Large Horizontal or Radiating Cracks
What are they? Horizontal or radiating cracks can often be found around doors and windows. This is because of ground movement or because the window and door frames are expanding and contracting. If these cracks appear on both the inside and the outside of the house, you may have a more serious problem. In such cases, call in a contractor to evaluate the damage.
How to fix them? Follow the same process as with the cracks where the plaster comes away if you don’t hire a professional.
Cracks are generally harmless and a normal part of a building settling and adjusting to ground movement or expanding and contracting. If you are unsure about the damage or too scared you may make it worse, contact a structural engineer or a contractor.