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What are the Common Reasons Behind Cracks in Your Plaster

cracked plaster

Cracks in the plaster of your walls can be an eyesore and may leave you wondering what caused them. It is important to identify the cause of the cracks to address and fix the issue properly. 

In many cases, the cracks in your plaster can result from various factors, from environmental factors like humidity to structural imperfections in the home. In this article, we will discuss the common causes of plaster cracks and how to fix them.

Seasonal Change

Plaster is a porous material and can be affected by changes in temperature and humidity. When temperatures drop or humidity increases, the plaster will expand and contract, causing cracks in the walls. This is especially common during winter when the temperature and humidity are low.


When the plaster is applied to a wall, it can take days or weeks to fully dry and cure. During this process, the plaster will shrink slightly, which can cause cracks. This shrinkage is natural and unavoidable but can be minimised by applying the plaster correctly and evenly.

Structural Imperfections

Cracks in the plaster can also result from structural imperfections in the home. These can be caused by several things, from uneven floors to poorly supported walls. These types of cracks can be difficult to fix without addressing the underlying problem.


When a home is built, the foundation will settle over time. This can cause the walls to shift slightly, which can cause cracks in the plaster. If the settling is severe, it may be necessary to have the foundation reinforced or repaired.

Water Damage

Water damage can cause plaster to crack and crumble. This is especially common in older homes that lack proper insulation or waterproofing. It is important to address any water damage promptly to prevent further damage to the walls.

Improper Application

If the plaster is not applied properly, it can cause cracks in the walls. This is especially common when the plaster is applied too thickly or unevenly. To prevent this, it is important to ensure the plaster is applied correctly and evenly.

How to Inspect Cracks

To inspect cracks in plaster, look for any signs of peeling, bubbling, or discolouration in the plaster. If the cracks are small and hairline, they can be repaired with a spackling compound or joint compound. 

If the cracks are larger and more severe, you may need to have the plaster replaced.

When inspecting cracks in plaster, it is important to note the size and shape of the crack. If there are multiple cracks in a single area, this could indicate that there may be an underlying structural issue with your walls or foundation.


Additionally, suppose you notice any water damage around the affected area. In that case, this should also be investigated further as it could point to a more serious problem, such as leaking pipes or roofing issues. 

If you find any large gaps between pieces of plasterwork, then these can usually be filled using joint compound before painting over them for a seamless finish. It’s always better to repair minor problems like cracking early rather than wait until they become larger and potentially damage other parts of your home’s structure.

To Sum Up

A variety of reasons, such as thermal expansion and contraction, poor construction, improper maintenance, vibration from daily activities, and moisture intrusion, can cause cracks in your plaster. It is important to identify the cause before attempting any repairs, as this will help ensure the issue is addressed properly and prevent further damage. To ensure that your plaster is in good condition, it is important to check it regularly and take preventive measures to reduce the risk of future damage.

We Plaster & Recruit has a team of trusted plasterers in Brisbane. We are a registered company that serves other areas, such as Gold Coast and Queensland. Ensure quality of plaster work today, contact us.

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