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The Home Depot

Why Are My Walls Cracking?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Drywall > Why Are My Walls Cracking?
Why Are My Walls Cracking?

Cracks in your walls aren’t just ugly, they can be warning signs for very serious problems in your home. Some cracks are normal and come from the natural aging process of a home. When it comes to cracks, horizontal cracks are more indicative of trouble than vertical cracks.


So, what do you do when cracks begin to appear in your walls? Don’t pull your hair out, just read this guide.

  1. 1. Cold weather

    Changes in weather can cause changes in your home. That’s because when things get warmer or colder, it can cause the building materials in your home to expand or shrink. Because of this, you can expect to see some superficial cracks in your home – those are no big deal. However, deeper and wider cracks can be cause for concern and caused by other more serious problems.

  2. They can range from cosmetic annoyances to serious red flags.
  3. 2. Bad foundation

    You have probably heard that houses need to settle for a bit after they are built. That is true – but sometimes a home can settle too much. If your home was not built on a good foundation, it could be settling unevenly or even sinking too much. When this happens, deep cracks in your home can form as the settling process pulls at your walls.

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  5. 3. Too much weight

    Sometimes cracks can stem from heavy loads placed on floors and ceilings. For example, putting up a lighting fixture that is too heavy can cause cracks to appear in your ceiling. A very heavy piece of furniture like a large bookcase can put more strain on a room than it can handle. This tends to be especially true for rooms with hardwood flooring.

  6. 4. Structural problems

    If your house has problems with its foundation, those problems can manifest in all kinds of ways. You could see crooked doorways, uneven floors or big cracks in the walls. If you suspect there are problems with your home’s foundation, you must bring in a professional before the situation gets any worse. A good contractor can fix damaged foundation – putting a stop to cracks and making sure your house remains a safe place for you to live.

  7. 5. Too much moisture

    Access to water inside your home makes your life much easier, but if water gets in the wrong place it can cause big problems. Water can cause the materials in your home to bloat, mold, rot and weaken. It can cause your walls to crack and crumble. If you parts of your home beginning to crack and crumble and see mold or notice a bad smell – water damage could be to blame.

  8. 6. How to fix cracks

    Minor cracks can be patched with just a mixture of drywall compound. You can pick that up at a local hardware store. You just mix it up and smooth it on the wall, kind of like paint. To learn more, see How to Repair Drywall. Again, not to sound too repetitive, but if you notice cracks keep appearing or if the cracks are really large, you should call in a pro to handle the job. A professional can figure out why the cracks keep reappearing and seal them in an attractive and professional manner.

  9. 7. When to bring in a pro

    If you have no clue about what may be causing the cracks in your wall, bring in reinforcements. Don’t hesitate to contact a drywall contractor. Each Pro is background checked and licensed and insured so that you can hire with confidence. Read the customer reviews, credentials, and business profiles of all of our Pros and let a qualified professional turn a difficult project into a completed one. A professional can tell you whether the cracks are purely cosmetic or a sign of a deeper problem. If you suspect the cracks are the telltale signs of a structural problem, connect with an expert immediately. Structural problems don’t just resolve by themselves – they worsen and get more expensive. Not only that, but you could be putting yourself and your family at risk by living in a home that isn’t sound. Bring in a pro – you are better safe than sorry.

    Cracks in your home aren’t pretty. They can range from cosmetic annoyances to serious red flags. If you notice cracks in your walls, inspect them and try to determine what is causing them. If you are left scratching your head, connect with a professional – that is what they are there for!

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