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Everything You Need to Know About Ceiling Cracks

cracks in ceiling

Look up—do you see any cracks in the ceiling?

While these fissures may not mean your ceiling is going to cave in at this moment, you need to be aware of their presence and any progression. Not all these cracks are dangerous, but some point to significant structural damage.

This article explores ceiling cracks in-depth. We want you to walk away with a solid understanding of this common issue so you can make the best foundation repair decision for your home.

What Do Ceiling Cracks Look Like?

Cracks in your ceiling can appear in many ways, including:

  • Fine, spiderweb-like cracks in the plaster or paint
  • Long, continuous cracks spanning the entire ceiling and extending down the wall
  • Cracks accompanied by sagging or drooping of the ceiling
  • A crack or gap between the wall and ceiling

What Causes Cracks in the Ceiling?

These cracks can originate from several sources, including:

cracking block wall indicating foundation settlement

1. Your Home Is Aging

People get older, and so do our homes. Over time, normal wear and tear happens, potentially causing cracks in ceilings, walls, and floors.

2. Foundation Problems

Unfortunately, ceiling cracks can also signify serious structural damage. For instance, foundation settlement can cause ceiling cracks by putting stress on the building’s frame. If structural damage is the underlying cause, early detection is crucial.

3. Moisture Damage

Ceiling cracks can also result from moisture issues. The moisture might originate from the roof or the floor above the ceiling. Has a recent powerful storm brought heavy rainfall to your area? Is there a potential plumbing leak above the cracked ceiling?

4. Excessive Weight Above the Ceiling

Is there something heavy stored in the attic or on the floor above the cracked ceiling? Bathrooms, in particular, require adequate ceiling support due to the weight of fixtures like bathtubs.

5. Improper Drywall Installation

Drywall that hasn’t been properly installed will often crack, and cracks in ceiling drywall are usually not serious concerns. For example, this can happen when drywall joints aren’t appropriately taped or mudded.

When To Be Concerned with Ceiling Cracks

While some cracks are simply cosmetic issues related to a structure’s age, others may indicate more serious problems. If you notice any of the following signs, you should contact a foundation repair professional right away:

  • If the ceiling sags or droops downward.
  • If a single, large, and continuous crack spans the entire ceiling and extends down onto the wall.
  • If a widespread pattern of numerous minor fissures webs across the ceiling

Cracks in the ceiling, especially combined with the above issues, are likely symptoms of foundation damage. If this is the case, look for other indicators including:

By heeding these signs and seeking an evaluation from an expert like Indiana Foundation Service, you can promptly identify and address any potential structural concerns, ensuring the safety and integrity of your home.

How to Repair Ceiling Cracks: Foundation Piers

Address cosmetic cracks by removing old materials and repainting or re-plastering. If cracks get bigger, call a foundation repair professional because they probably require foundation piers to fix.

Indiana Foundation Service uses three types of foundation piers to fight against ceiling cracks:

The choice depends on the damage, foundation type, and other factors. All pier types extend the depth of the foundation to stable, load-bearing soil.

After pier installation, a hydraulic lifting system raises the house, transferring its weight onto the new piers. This can often close cracks caused by settlement.

Repair Ceiling Cracks the Right Way with Local Pros

Every home experiences some degree of settling into the soil over time. As this natural process occurs, it is common to notice small cracks appearing, including on the ceiling. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs that could signal a more serious underlying problem.

If you notice cracks in your Indiana home that raise concerns, do not hesitate to seek professional assistance from a reputable foundation expert like Indiana Foundation Service. Our team will conduct a comprehensive, free inspection of your property. Should structural damage be present, we provide guidance on the appropriate course of action to restore the structural integrity and safety of your home, ensuring a lasting solution.


While painting over minor cosmetic cracks might temporarily improve appearances, this does not address the underlying issue. It’s best to have the cracks evaluated during a free inspection to ensure there aren’t deeper structural problems.

Generally, thin, isolated hairline cracks are likely cosmetic, while larger cracks that run across the ceiling and down walls, cracks accompanied by sagging, or widespread cracking patterns may indicate structural concerns that require professional evaluation.

The time required for repair depends on the crack’s severity and cause. Simple plaster repairs can be quick, while foundation repairs may take longer. Indiana Foundation Service works efficiently to minimize disruption to your home. Contact us to learn more and schedule a free inspection.

Holly Richards-Purpura

Holly Richards-Purpura

Content Writer

Holly is a Content Writer for Groundworks who has written and edited web content for the foundation services industry for almost 10 years. With a background in journalism, her passion for the written word runs deep. Holly lives in Columbus, OH, with her husband. Along with educating homeowners, she also has a big heart for the Big Apple.

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