Ceiling Cracks You Should Worry About

Do you find it difficult to decipher if ceiling cracks pose a serious threat to the structural integrity of your foundation? Do you know the signs and symptoms of foundation settlement that may indicate your ceiling cracks are more serious than you previously believed?

If you’re concerned about your ceiling cracks and want to know how to gauge their severity, this article is for you.           

Dalinghaus Construction Inc. has been in the foundation repair business since 2015 and we have over 100 years of combined foundation repair experience. We’ve witnessed our fair share of ceiling cracks, hairline to grotesque, and we know the importance of diagnosing the immediate cause.    

This article covers 2 types of ceiling cracks you should absolutely worry about and why any kind of ceiling crack is compounded by signs and symptoms of foundation settlement.

2 Types of Ceiling Cracks to Worry About

Not all ceiling cracks are created equal – some are definitely more serious than others. However, one thing all ceiling cracks have in common is that they are symptomatic of a bigger, deeper issue. Here are two ceiling cracks to worry about and their likely origins.     

Damp, Yellow, or Brown Ceiling Cracks

Ceiling Cracks (Dalinghaus)

Ceiling cracks accompanied by brown or yellow stains are almost always indicative of water damage. Water damage cracks are caused by leaking roofs or a busted pipe. Water damage cracks need to be taken seriously because if the source of the leak has not been addressed, the damage will continue.  

While water damage ceiling cracks don’t pose a direct threat to the structural integrity of your home, unmitigated moisture (the original culprit) can result in black mold, mildew, and electrical damage.

Mold can cause serious complications to your health, especially if you’re asthmatic or immune-compromised.    

Large Ceiling Cracks with a Bowed Ceiling

These cracks are impossible to miss. Large ceiling cracks tend to be thick, ugly fissures that zip straight down the middle of your ceiling and are often accompanied by bowed ceilings. Large ceiling cracks are indicative of serious structural damage.  

The structural integrity could be compromised due to extreme water damage, foundation settlement, or simply too much weight enforced on the ceiling above.  

If your ceiling is beginning to concave, literally, it poses a serious safety hazard.  

While water damage ceiling cracks and large ceiling cracks pose serious complications on their own, other types of “less benign” cracks can still be legitimate reasons for concern if accompanied by signs and symptoms of foundation settlement.

Ceiling Cracks & Signs and Symptoms of Foundation Settlement

Obviously, there are more types of ceiling cracks than the two listed above. A short list of other types of ceiling cracks include:

  •   Hairline ceiling cracks
  •   Straight ceiling cracks
  •   Spiderweb ceiling cracks
  •   Cracks between the ceiling and wall

These cracks, on their own, do not pose a serious threat to the structural integrity of your home.

Note – to learn more about what causes these types of ceiling cracks and how to fix them, read our article Why Do I Have Cracks in My Ceiling (6 Types of Cracks to Look Out For).   

The truth is every kind of ceiling crack should be taken more seriously when discovered in conjunction with other signs and symptoms of foundation settlement. 

Signs and Symptoms of Foundation Settlement:

  •   Bowed/sloped floors (i.e. does a golf ball roll across the ground when gently set down?)
  •   Drywall cracks
  •   Stairstep cracks in your stucco
  •   Doors and windows that are difficult to open or close / frames out of alignment   
  •   Chimneys separating from your home
  •   Cracked slab on grade foundations

The more of these signs and symptoms you have together, the more likely your home is suffering from foundation settlement. To learn more about the signs and symptoms of foundation settlement, read our article 5 Signs and Symptoms of Foundation Issues (Foundation Settlement & Foundation Heave).

Get an Educated Opinion 

In this article, you learned that water-damage ceiling cracks and large ceiling cracks accompanied by bowed ceilings require immediate attention. You also learned that all ceiling cracks, no matter how great or small, should be carefully scrutinized when other signs and symptoms of foundation settlement are apparent.

Dalinghaus Construction Inc. has serviced hundreds of foundations in Southern California and Arizona. 

If you’re ready to determine why you have ceiling cracks and want to rule out foundation settlement, book a free foundation inspection now. Click on the link below –

WRITTEN BY

Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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