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Plaster: Cause of Cracks & How to Find a Long-Lasting Option?

cracked plaster

Because it is durable, mould- and fire-resistant, and it reduces noise, plaster is a common material for walls. Why then would such a robust, long-lasting building material lose favour?

People who live in older homes are aware of the plaster’s flaw because it was a popular wall covering up until the 1950s.

Plaster’s ingredients can vary, although they are often water, sand, lime, and occasionally horsehair. 

Plasterers on Gold Coast put a plaster on walls or ceilings after mixing it to a paste-like consistency. It can be applied thick for a smooth finish or thinly for artistic features like ribs or swirls. The mixture becomes extremely brittle and rock-hard after drying, making it vulnerable to fracture.

The good news is that most plaster cracks are only cosmetic and won’t cause more problems. Find nearby plastering service on the Gold Coast to inspect any new or unusual cracks for a piece of mind, nevertheless.

What Leads to Cracks in Plaster?

It helps to see inside the plaster wall to comprehend why plaster splits. Lathes, horizontal wooden strips, are nailed over the framing to construct a plaster wall. Plaster is then applied, seeping behind and between the lathes.

The key is formed when the plaster applied on top of and behind the lath strips dries hard. The plaster and lath strips are secured together by the key. 

After that, a few more plaster layers are added on top and smoothed out. All those layers are fragile and could shatter as the home shifts, or the wall is impacted by daily life.

Plaster’s Weak Spots

Plaster cracks are more likely to be found in a wall’s natural weak spots, including the studs and joists, doors, windows, and the space between levels in a stairwell.

Your home generally settles with the earth’s ongoing settling process. But plaster that is brittle and hard doesn’t like to settle. Rather, it fractures. A doorway or the framing may be where a crack first appears. It frequently spreads diagonally from there.

A plaster wall frequently has a few tiny cracks. A moment of carelessness could result in hitting the wall and breaking it. As a result of the materials’ seasonal expansion and contraction, some cracks even appear and disappear.

Nearly all of the house’s doors and windows may have fractures at their corners. This is a result of apertures absorbing settling stresses.

Professionals nail lathes to solid wood between the floors to prevent wet plaster from gathering and forming a key to hold a house together. Thus, cracks start to show after a while.

The strongest part of the home is the other area where the plaster is vulnerable. Everything centres around the fireplace and chimney since they are solid rock. This explains why the area around the fireplace and chimney frequently has cracks.

New Cracks May Indicate Foundation Issues

In the first ten years, a house settles the most. If you notice fresh plaster cracks in an older home, they may indicate a structural problem rather than an aesthetic one. Look for cracks in the crawl space or basement below. If you notice them there, a foundation problem may need to be fixed.

Making Easy Cosmetic Repairs

The simplest method is to caulk the plaster crack before painting over it if you only need a cosmetic fix to make a crack blend in with the wall more seamlessly.

  1. Apply a thin bead of acrylic latex caulk along the crack.
  2. Apply the caulk to the crack with your finger perpendicular to the crack. Caulk will be forced into the crack as a result.
  3. Use a sponge to remove excess caulk, leaving only the remaining in the crack. Although it would appear that you have done nothing, the crack will now be covered by paint.

When Pieces of Plaster Fall Off

Plastering over cracks won’t keep the plaster attached to the walls. If pieces of plaster fall off, moisture may have entered and compromised the structural integrity of your walls. This makes it crucial to look into fresh cracks as soon as you notice them.

If the plaster is applied without room for keys to develop, it may break off and harm the plaster.


The good news is that plaster is quite durable and typically won’t just break off. It’s acceptable to leave the walls as they were constructed if you adore your plaster walls, which many property buyers do as well. Ultimately, make sure to choose reputable and reliable services that offer plastering on the Gold Coast. 

Are you trying to find a plastering service on the Gold Coast ? We Plaster & Recruit, fully licensed and insured, offer the greatest plastering services. Get a quotation right away!

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