14 Simple Steps On How to Repair Horizontal Cracks in Walls |What Causes Horizontal Cracks
14 Simple Steps On How to Repair Horizontal Cracks in Walls | What Causes Horizontal Cracks | Horizontal Cracks Vs Vertical Cracks
Horizontal Cracks in Walls
Many homeowners are not aware of the important role that is played by the exterior and interior of a home in the overall health of their home.
Over time, the exterior and interior of your home can put a lot of stress on structural members like exterior walls.
These walls are not indestructible and can crack over time due to excessive wind, rain, and other natural weather.
Walls can also crack due to poor drainage or the direction of a house after the landscaping has been laid. Interior cracking can be caused by freezes, pipes bursting, and poor insulation.
No matter what causes a wall to crack, it is important for homeowners to heed these cracks and take steps to repair them. Larger cracks can lead to mold and pests
Horizontal cracks in walls are mostly caused by shrinkage and expansion of the wall. As temperature changes, the length of the drywall expands or shrinks.
The difference between a section that is expanding and one that is shrinking causes horizontal cracking to occur. The horizontal cracks are normal and do not pose danger to the home.
These cracks are predictable and should be placed and sealed where expansion can take place without causing damage to the drywall or the home.
Vertical shrinkage cracking is often mistaken for horizontal cracking since vertical cracking is not as common in homes, although it does happen more often than people realize.
The two are similar in many ways and often co-exist in the same home. The horizontal and vertical cracks are caused by expansion and contraction of both the drywall material itself as well as the building structure below.
Both shrinkage and expansion occur simultaneously, although it is not known which one causes the other.
What Causes Horizontal Cracks in Walls?
Horizontal shrinkage cracks can be caused by several factors. Many causes of horizontal cracking in walls are related to water intrusion or humid conditions.
Possible causes for cracks might include but are not limited to:
- Moisture infiltration – If water enters the wall structure from the outside, the wall will start to shrink and the horizontal cracks will occur.
- Mold and Mildew – A buildup of mildew and/or mold in the wall can cause it to deteriorate.
- Condensation – If there is high levels of humidity in the air, condensation from the air will appear on the interior surfaces of the wall. This will cause the wall to crumble. Horizontal cracks are usually found in exterior walls due to moisture outside that freezes during colder months.
- Moisture due to construction jobs – This is usually seen with poorly sealed brick or block walls.
- Sealant failure – If the wall is not sealed properly, moisture can penetrate the wall for years and cause it to collapse.
- Drywall seams – As drywall shrinks and expands, it will buckle at the seams. The cracks will begin at the spot where the seam is buckled.
- Differential foundation settlement – The most common cause of horizontal cracks in walls is foundation settlement. The horizontal cracks in walls can also be caused by differential foundation settlement, where one part of the foundation, such as the trailer or the supports for a porch are sinking into the ground.
- Weight of the roof pushing down on the wall- Another cause could be that water leaks, which will eventually freeze and push out from the inside of your home
- Other causes may include poor installation, improper grading, or extreme weather conditions like earthquakes or hurricanes
- Another potential cause is inadequate insulation to protect against extreme temperatures and cold weather
Steps On How to Repair Horizontal Cracks in Walls
Repairing horizontal cracks in walls is not complicated. In most cases, the repairs can be done with no problem.
The typical issues that are associated with horizontal cracks include drywall damage, pest and moisture damage, as well as structural problems.
This will make it easier to choose the right type of repair for your wall and also make long term repairs less expensive in the future.
There are methods of repairing a number of these issues without having to replace all of your drywall and/or siding except some new patches or siding.
If you are experiencing any of these issues in your wall, make sure to contact a professional for faster and easier repairs.
Drywall breakage and cracking are the most common problems in homes. However, there are other issues that can cause cracks in walls including drywall seams, indoor cracks, and termite damage.
Drywall is not a very durable material. It can be damaged by many different factors from water running through it or problems with its installation.
Other factors include termites, moisture problems, and poor sealants.
A repair company will know what kind of repair to make depending on the issues. For example, if there is a termite or moisture problem, there are certain materials that can be used to pre-stain and seal the drywall so future termites do not cause damage.
Another common issue is drywall seams. Seams need to be sealed when they become damaged or crack. This can be done by applying the sealant that is applied in that particular area.
Another issue is cracks in walls. Drywall can be used to repair the holes, but it is not recommended to fill them with any type of filler unless it is specifically designed for that purpose.
This will make the repair a long-term process and expensive because drywall can only be used once.
Drywall and siding are major issues in homes that have low maintenance requirements. These home owners do not have to worry about the condition of their siding or drywall.
However, siding and drywall are necessary in order to give a home its shape and form.
Steps on how To Repair Horizontal Cracks in Walls
- Inspect the cracks for any loose plaster or peeling paint
- Clean out any debris in the crack with a putty knife, then sand it down to smooth it out
- Apply a thin layer of joint compound over the crack, going about 1/8 inch from either side of it
- Use your finger or a putty knife to flatten out any excess joint compound on top of the wall
- Fill the crack with an acrylic caulk that matches your wall color and let dry before painting over it
- Allow time for this coat to dry completely before applying another one
- Continue until you have filled in all cracks and then paint over them with an exterior paint that matches your home’s color scheme
- If there are still visible vertical cracks, apply more layers like above but try not to go past 1/4 inch from either side of each horizontal line because otherwise they will be too close together and it will look bad when you paint over them again later on
- Fill in any gaps between the crack or hole with spackle or joint compound, then sand down until smooth
- Use a primer and paint of your choice to cover up any imperfections you see on the wall
- Seal your newly repaired walls with polyurethane or another water-based sealant
- To prevent future damage, use a clear silicone caulk around doors and windows that lead into rooms where there is vertical cracking in the wall
- To prevent future problems with your walls from happening again, make sure there is good ventilation in your basement or crawl space and seal any potential sources of water leaks (i.e., windows or pipes)
- Repairing small horizontal cracks, yourself can save money but if they’re larger than 1/8 inch wide then hire a professional contractor instead
Horizontal Cracks Vs Vertical Cracks
The most common cause of horizontal cracks in walls is foundation settlement. Other causes include poor installation, improper grading, or a high-water table. Cracks can also be caused by the weight of the building pulling on the wall
Another potential cause is inadequate insulation to protect against extreme temperatures and cold weather
Vertical cracking often occurs from uneven settling over time; this type of crack typically appears perpendicular to flooring surfaces and will change direction as it runs up a wall
Horizontal cracks are usually found in exterior walls due to moisture outside that freezes during colder months
Horizontal Cracks FAQs
1. What causes horizontal cracks in walls?
The main cause of horizontal cracks in walls is the shifting of the foundation. This is usually caused by improper grading or settling
Other common causes are poor installation, poor drainage, and chemical reactions from the soil around the foundation
Horizontal cracks can also be caused by wood damage and moisture problems in basements
Horizontal cracking can also occur as a result of drywall shrinkage, which can be caused by exposure to sunlight over time or moisture in the crawl space or basement
2. What should I do if horizontal cracks appear in my wall?
Take time to inspect the damage carefully and make sure there are no outside causes or drywall installation problems
If you are experiencing this problem, call a professional for a professional inspection of your home or property
Make sure all of your exterior walls have been correctly installed to prevent this problem from occurring again
Fix any possible moisture issues in the crawl space, kitchen, bathroom or basement
If cracks appear on interior walls, they can be easily repaired with joint tape or spackle
3. How can I repair horizontal cracks in my walls?
If you decide to repair these cracks yourself, you must make sure they are from improper installation and not from something like termites or mud lines
If the horizontal cracks are caused by drywall installation problems, you must first make sure there is no water damage to the wall
Once your walls have been thoroughly inspected, mixed up some joint compound to fix your cracked wall
Spackle should only be used on interior walls and ceilings because it can be seen when painted. For interior walls, use joint compound instead
4. Are horizontal cracks in Wall bad?
When should you be concerned about wall cracks? Smaller cracks are usually not a cause for concern; however, larger cracks, those that run across entrances, or those that run diagonally rather than vertically, may indicate that something more significant is going on.
5. What does a horizontal crack in wall mean?
A horizontal crack in the wall is a common problem among homeowners because it is very difficult to detect and detect without any symptoms. Horizontal cracks in your wall are usually caused by poor installation, improper grading, or high moisture that freezes eventually
6. What causes horizontal cracks in doors?
Horizontal cracks can also be caused by water problems within the house. Basements and crawl spaces are notorious for collecting water, creating small leaks that lead to damage over time
If you find a horizontal crack near a door, check the wall around it for signs of mold
7. What causes horizontal cracks in basement walls?
The most common cause of drywall cracking in your home is improper installation. It can also be caused by external factors, such as pipes or even sunlight
8. What causes a horizontal crack in my wall?
There are many common causes for horizontal cracks in your walls or ceiling, but most of them are easy to fix (or prevent) and can be done without professional help
9. What is the best way to fix horizontal cracks in walls?
Caulk around your windows and doors to prevent rainwater from getting into the cracks and causing more damage than what is already there. Also, make sure you have proper drainage so that water does not pool against your house
10. How can you tell if a crack is structural?
Structural cracks develop as a result of improper building foundation, overloading, or poor soil bearing. These cracks may not immediately bring water in, but you can be certain that they will over time. The following are indicators of structural fractures in your foundation:
- Cracks in stairwells
- Foundation slabs or beams with cracks
- Wide vertical fractures at the bottom or top
- 1/8-inch-wide cracks
Structural cracks in concrete walls and the foundation indicate a significant change in the foundation of the property.
Any delay in resolving the issue would simply exacerbate the situation. Repairs will become more costly and difficult.
The problem should only be handled by a competent basement and foundation repair professional.