Cracks in plaster can be unsightly, but they can also signify damage and other structural issues that can lead to further problems.
Plaster is a material used to create a smooth surface on walls and ceilings. It is made up of water, lime, and sand. Over time, plaster can become damaged and start to crumble.
Cracks in plaster are a common problem in older homes. Plaster can crack for various reasons, including settling the house, expansion and contraction of the plaster, and poor workmanship. If the cracks are large or numerous, they can cause problems with painting or wallpaper.
There are many factors that cause plastering cracks. While some of these factors are out of your control, there are measures you can take to help prevent plaster cracks or at least minimise their severity.
Settlement cracks are caused by the house settling over time. These cracks are usually not a structural concern, but they can be unsightly. To avoid settlement cracks, have your foundation checked regularly and make sure that any cracks that do appear are repaired promptly.
Debonding is another common cause of plaster cracks. This occurs when the bond between the plaster and the wall surface is broken. This can be caused by poor adhesion, improper mixing of the plaster, or the use of an incompatible primer. To prevent debonding, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when mixing and applying the plaster.
Temperature changes can also cause plaster cracks. When the temperature outside fluctuates, the plaster can expand and contract, which can cause cracks. To help prevent this, make sure the room is well-insulated and maintain a consistent temperature inside.
Grinning is another factor that can cause plaster cracks. The plaster on a wall can appear to be grinning if the mortar joints behind it are visible. This is usually caused by the difference in suction capacity between the cement mortar used for plastering and the bricks in a wall.
Popping can also cause plaster cracks. This occurs when contaminants get mixed with plaster as it dries, forming conical fragments that cause it to break and crack. To remove this, paint and cement filler can be applied to cover the cracks.
Improperly Cured Plaster
Improperly cured plaster can also cause cracks. If the plaster is not cured properly, it can become brittle and crack. To cure plaster properly, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Expansion can also cause plaster cracks. This occurs when the plaster expands as it dries, causing it to push against the wall surface. This can be prevented by using a slow-drying plaster and by keeping the room humidified during the drying process.
Impact or Vibration
Impact or vibration cracks are caused by construction traffic or heavy machinery vibrating the ground. These cracks are usually not a structural concern, but they can be unsightly. To avoid impact or vibration cracks, have your foundation checked regularly and make sure that any cracks that do appear are repaired promptly.
Shrinkage cracks are the most common type of cracks that appear in plaster. They are caused by the plaster drying too quickly, which causes it to shrink and pull away from the surface to which it has adhered. To avoid shrinkage cracks, apply plaster in thin coats and keep the area well-ventilated so it dries slowly and evenly.
Structural cracks are the most serious cracks that can appear in plaster. They are caused by foundation problems or the house settling over time. Structural cracks can be a serious concern and should be repaired by a professional as soon as possible.
If you have cracks in your plaster, it is important to have them repaired as soon as possible. Cracks can allow moisture to seep in, leading to further damage. They can also become wider over time, which can cause even more problems. If you have cracks in your plaster, don’t despair. Plaster cracks can be repaired, but it is important to identify and address the cause of the cracks to prevent them from recurring.
Plaster & Recruit has a team of professional plasterers in Brisbane dedicated to providing the highest quality plastering services to our clients. We specialise in all aspects of plastering, from small repairs to large-scale projects. We’re passionate about what we do and take pride in our work, so you can be assured that you’re getting the best possible service when you choose us for your plastering needs. Get a free quote today!