Wall and Ceiling Crack Repair

Are there cracks in your walls or ceiling? Find out how to fix them quickly and easily with our 30 minute guide to ceiling and wall crack repair.

Why is it Important to Repair Wall Cracks?

plaster-ceiling-300x200Ceiling and Wall cracks often appear because of movement in the structure of a property. However, they can also be caused by damp, age or damage from knocks; older buildings are obviously likely to be more cracked than newer ones for these reasons.  Left unrepaired, cracks can spread, looking unsightly and leaving your walls or ceiling vulnerable to water damage. A cracked wall or ceiling should be repaired as soon as possible with the correct plaster before painting or applying wallpaper to protect the surface beneath – here’s how to repair cracks in render.

How to Repair Cracks in Walls

Before you carry out any kind of wall crack repair work, it’s important to understand what type of walls you’re repairing. In newer homes, brick walls will probably have a hard plastered finish and ceilings will have been covered in plasterboard before plastering. Older properties, however, may have softer plaster and use a lath and plaster system; a lath is a small piece of wood with squares in it, which is pressed against walls and plaster applied on top of them.  Once you’ve determined what kind of walls you have follow these steps on how to repair cracks in plaster:

  • Get yourself some plaster filler, which comes in powder form for small scale repairs. Mix this into a paste by gradually adding small amounts of water; prepare small amounts at a time so it doesn’t set before you have a chance to use it. Mix with a metal knife until the paste becomes thick.
  • Check that the crack is clean and free from debris before wetting it with water.
  • Use a knife to apply the filler, pressing it into the crack.
  • Scrape off any excess plaster with a knife.
  • Leave plaster to dry and smooth with sandpaper before repainting.

The same process applies to holes; although if they’re particularly deep, you should fill a few centimetres at a time, waiting for the plaster to dry before applying the next round.

Large masonry crack repair can take longer; follow these steps:

  • Use a chisel to remove loose material from around the crack and a paintbrush to clear the area of dust.
  • Prepare a larger amount of plaster and pour it out onto a board.
  • Wet the masonry.
  • Slide the plaster onto the wall with a trowel and press the plaster firmly into crack.
  • Repeat until the patch has been filled.
  • Use your trowel to go back over the area and smooth plaster to an even thickness.
  • After it has set, splash the area with clean water and smooth over with the trowel again to ensure the surface is flat and even.

Repairing Ceiling Cracks

Follow the same instructions above when applying plaster to cracks or holes in ceilings. You will probably need a step-ladder for this and it’s safer for two people to tackle a ceiling crack repair job. If you’re not confident fixing cracks in either ceilings or walls, it’s a good idea to hire a qualified plasterer who can do the work quickly and professionally for you.

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