How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
Can a crack between the wall and ceiling be caused by the house sinking?
Monday, February 14, 2022
Cracks along the line where the ceiling and walls meet can be caused by settlement of the floor slab or supporting piers below an elevated wood floor, but usually there is a separation between the baseboard and floor first, along with stress cracks emanating diagonally from the corners of doors—like in the photos below—before any ceiling/wall crack lines appear. Someone tried to artfully conceal the widening gap at the floor here with caulk, but it is still very evident.
If the split is just along the ceiling/wall line, and your roof structure is wood trusses, it is more likely due to a phenomenon called truss uplift. See our article What causes cracks to open along the line between the ceiling and walls? for details.
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Here’s links to some of our other articles about CRACKS:
• What causes vertical cracks in fiber cement siding planks?
• What causes raised white lines of residue on a block wall that are crusty and crumbling?
• How long does it take for a new house to settle?
• What causes stair-step cracks in a block or brick wall?
• Why is the concrete window sill cracking?
• What causes a horizontal crack in a block or brick wall?
• How can I tell if a diagonal crack in drywall at the corner of a window or door indicates a structural problem?
• There's cracks running along the home's concrete tie beam. What's wrong?
• What would cause long horizontal lines of brick mortar to fall out?
• How do I recognize structural problems in a retaining wall?
• How do I recognize serious structural problems in a house?
• Why did so many concrete block homes collapse in Mexico Beach during Hurricane Michael?
• What causes cracks in the walls and floors of a house?
• What causes a vertical crack in an exterior concrete block or brick wall?
• What causes a vertical crack in drywall?
• Where are the places to look to find structural cracks in a house?
• What causes drywall cracks in the ceilings and walls of a house?
• How can I tell if a crack in a stucco wall is a structural problem and what is causing it?
• Why do home inspectors sometimes recommend "further evaluation by a structural engineer"?
• How do you analyze a wall crack from cause to effect?
• What is causing the cracks in my wall?
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