Causes Of Ceiling Cracks, And When To Worry

Even the best-maintained buildings are vulnerable to damage. Though buildings are stationary, their parts discreetly shift and move over time in response to weather, aging materials, and typical wear and tear. Ceiling cracks are a common type of damage that building owners and residents should monitor. When a ceiling crack is anything other than a small, shallow crack, building owners Cuyahoga County, Geauga County, and Lake County should contact Keystone Home Inspection to assess the damage and provide detailed information and recommendations on how to mitigate the damage.


The three most common causes of ceiling cracks are buildings aging, structural damage, and substandard construction. Drywall that is not correctly installed can cause ceiling cracks; often, drywall damage can be easily repaired with reapplications of drywall mud and tape. As buildings become older, they face problems such as foundations settling and materials weaking, contributing to damage such as ceiling cracks. Moisture damage is one type of structural damage that can lead to ceiling cracks when water travels from the roof or an upper room to settle above the ceiling. When rooms above other rooms have several heavy objects, the strain caused by the weight can damage the ceiling of the room below it. Ceiling cracks triggered by settling foundations are an indicator of serious structural problems and should be treated immediately.


Ceiling cracks have different shapes, lengths, and depths. Being able to differentiate between minor cracks and major problems is vital to correctly react to the damage and prevent further complications. Small, thin cracks are common due to buildings’ materials moving and shifting; it is often safe to monitor these cracks but take no other immediate action. Cracks that start on the ceiling and travel down walls are a sign of structural damage and should be inspected immediately. Ceiling cracks that are paired with sagging are another sign of trouble. Cracks that exist between walls and ceilings are a symptom of settling foundations and should be inspected immediately.


As devastating as severe damage to a building can be, many types of damage not related to immediate disasters or catastrophic circumstances can be easily detected by vigilant residents. Building owners should hire an inspector when they see ceiling cracks that travel down walls, a concentrated mass of small ceiling cracks, or ceiling cracks that are paired with sagging. Building owners and residents who spot ceiling cracks should look for potentially-related signs of damage, including doors and windows that stick, uneven floors, cracks on walls and floors, water accumulation in basements, and fixtures such as walls and chimneys that have been separated from the building.

Keystone Home Inspection proudly serves building owners in Cleveland. Our inspectors will perform a thorough investigation of your building and provide you with a fully-detailed, easy-to-read report with our findings. To schedule a free phone consultation or an inspection, you can contact us at 216-469-8600, at, or on our web page’s contact form.

Contact Us

* - Required Field

Keystone Home Inspection is proud to be a home inspector in the Greater Cleveland, Ohio area including Cuyahoga County, Geauga County, Lake County, Lorain County, Medina County, Portage County, and Summit County.

All Rights Reserved 2024, Keystone Home Inspection - Admin Login   |   Privacy Policy   |   Digital Marketing & Social Media Marketing by Alt Media Studios