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How to Fix Ceiling Cracks

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The average home in the US has a whopping nine DIY jobs that desperately need attention. So if you’ve been staring up at that ceiling crack, wondering whether you should do something about it, you’re not alone.

Cracks in the ceiling are a common occurrence, and repairing ceiling cracks doesn’t have to be an arduous affair. Read on to find out how to fix ceiling cracks, the difference between a minor and major one, and when you should call in the professionals.

How To Fix Ceiling Cracks

Before you repair ceiling cracks yourself, it’s important to figure out the source of the cracks. You may need to resolve an underlying issue that could cause further cracks or worse structural damage down the track.

Fixing ceiling cracks that run in continuous long lines often indicate serious problems. Also, if you notice doors that get stuck in their frame or windows that have difficulty opening and closing, it might mean a foundation problem. You might even want to contact a professional if you have a textured ceiling, as these repairs can be a lot more difficult on your own.

Minor Ceiling Cracks

Clean the crack first by using a five-in-one tool and a utility knife to pry off any loose paint, old mesh, drywall compound, or paper tape. Work lengthwise with the crack, not sideways. Spread the joint compound thinly and about three inches wide with a drywall knife on the crack.

Apply paper tape followed by another thin layer of joint compound, making sure to feather out the edges to cover up the tape. Sand off any high spots once the joint compound has dried. At this point, you can assess if there are missing areas of the joint compound and may decide to do a full second coat.

Once everything is dry and sanded smooth, you can prime the area and paint.

Major Ceiling Cracks

To fix ceiling cracks that are considered major, you’ll need access to the attic. With a flashlight, find the exact area of the crack and clear any insulation out of the way. Use a drywall jab saw to cut out cracked drywall along with an additional one to two inches beyond the crack.

Create a plywood backer board that will fit the length of the hole with an additional few inches on each end. Use a utility knife to cut a drywall replacement section that matches the thickness of the existing drywall and will fit the ceiling cutout.

Once you’ve got all your materials prepared, you can place the plywood backer board over the cutout area in the attic and place a heavy item on it to hold the board in place. Screw the drywall replacement section onto the plywood from below using drywall screws. Once everything is secure, you can finish with the drywall tape, joint compound, and paint as per the minor crack instructions.

Start More DIY Projects

Now that you know how to fix ceiling cracks, you might be inspired to start on some of your other DIY projects around the house. Whether it’s testing out some new wallpaper, tiling a backsplash, or starting your own compost, there are so many ways you can spruce up your home without needing any outside help.

Get started on your next project by heading to our Do It Yourself section.

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