When your ceiling starts to crack, chips off paint or worse, you know you have to deal with it right away. When you don't know what might be wrong is even harder. If you think you hear cracking, see spots or cracks on the ceiling, think about calling a professional in right away.
If you notice peeling paint, it could be the result of something very minor. It could be peeling because of weather changes, age or improper application. In these cases you can choose to have the entire ceiling repainted or just touch up the damaged areas. If you repaint the entire ceiling it will be more costly, but the colors will match better and the paint job will last longer than a patching job.
It could also be an indication of more serious water damage. Paint will naturally peel away from a wet surface. If you see peeling paint, check to see if the area is damp.
One of the most common ceiling issues is water damage. Water leakage can originate from pipes, rain, or the tenants above. It can be an indicator of a very minor staining and cosmetic repair or serious sagging and buckling, requiring new drywall and sometimes reframing. If you see indications of water damage on your ceiling, the best thing you can do is call in a professional as soon as possible. If you caught a leak early, the damage may be insignificant. If you wait long enough for the water to seep into the walls, then the repair could cost a lot a more.
Over time, homes start to develop cracks in the ceiling. It's just a natural part of the aging process. However, there are some cracks that homeowners need to be aware of, as they could be signs of structural damage. The location of the crack is a major factor. While ones on the edge of the ceiling near a wall are normal, long, wide and multiple cracks in the middle of a room's ceiling should be cause for concern.
Similarly, cracks with a dip in them are a sign that your structural ceiling beams are failing and need to be fixed immediately. Also cracks that start on the ceiling and move to halfway down your wall should be investigated for structural damage. Spiderweb cracks are usually normal for a house's aging process, but if they're very large (more than 1/16 in. wide) then you need to call someone.
Although it is not so common, natural disasters like earthquakes can cause major structural damage even when it appears to be minor. If your home has been through even a minor earthquake, check to see if there are any cracks in your ceiling that need to be repaired. Often ceiling cracks are overlooked since they can be small and are above eye level, but they are worth checking for.
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