Having cracks in your walls isn’t just an eyesore – it can also compromise the structural integrity of your home. Fortunately, there are several ways to fix wall cracks without the need for professional help.
In this article from Merchanting, we’ll be exploring the best methods for fixing wall cracks so you can restore both form and function to any affected areas of your home, alongside how to identify the different types of wall cracks.
What causes wall cracks?
Knowing what causes wall cracks is key to fixing and preventing them from occurring again.
The most common causes of wall cracks range include:
- Settling foundations
- Temperature changes
- Water damage
Foundation settling occurs when either too much weight is placed on the foundation or if the soil beneath it begins to erode away due to extreme weather conditions or other environmental factors. Temperature changes occur when freezing temperatures cause expansion of water in the small spaces between materials in a wall, such as concrete blocks, bricks, mortar joints and even wood framing members. Water damage results when moisture seeps into walls through tiny cracks where roofing material meets siding material or through improperly sealed windows and doors.
Why is it important to fix wall cracks?
Fixing wall cracks is an important task that should not be put off. If you have noticed a crack in your wall, it’s a sign that something is wrong and needs to be addressed quickly. Not only can the crack continue to spread, but it can also create structural damage behind the wall which could become expensive to repair if left unchecked.
Not all cracks are serious enough for immediate attention, as some may just need regular monitoring over time, but if any crack exceeds a ¼ of an inch wide or is recurring, should be fixed as soon as possible. It’s important to address the source of the problem before attempting repairs, otherwise you risk further damage with future occurrences.
Fixing wall cracks
Whether it’s due to settling foundations, moisture damage or regular wear-and-tear, wall cracks can be easily fixed with the right materials and technique. Start by identifying the type of wall you are dealing with (concrete, drywall or plaster) before selecting appropriate repair options.
Fixing a crack in a concrete wall
- A thin crack will not be filled by patching material, so enlarge it with a chisel and hammer first.
- The second step is to clean any debris from the crack. This could be done with a paintbrush.
- Now you will need to get a concrete bonding adhesive to prime the wall. This will assist the patching material in adhering to the concrete.
- Finally, use a putty knife to apply coats of concrete patching to the crack. Each layer will need to be pressed into the crack and dried completely between coats until the crack is filled and level.
Fixing a crack in drywall
- Begin by cleaning out any loose material from the crack with your putty knife. This will ensure there are no bits left behind that could hamper the repair process.
- You will then need to apply coats of joint compound over the crack with your putty knife. You should let the compound dry between each coat, and use as many laters as neeeded to fill the crack.
- After this, you must sand the dried compound with sandpaper to make sure the sections match the flatness of the wall.
- To finish this job, paint over the crack with latex primer, and finally, wall paint. The primer allows the paint blend in properly with the rest of the wall.
Fixing a wall crack in plaster
- First of all, make sure that the surrounding area is clean and free of dust or debris.
- The next step would be to apply an appropriate adhesive material along the edges of the crack.
- You will then need a putty knife or trowel to press down firmly on the adhesive material so that it adheres properly onto the wall surface.
- Once the putty has settled, you can paint over the patched area to match the rest of the newly fixed wall.
What do I need to fix wall cracks?
First and foremost, you’ll need a putty knife or trowel to apply any filling compound to the crack. You may also need sandpaper or a sanding block to smooth the surface after the compound dries. If you’re dealing with a larger crack or hole, you’ll need drywall tape, joint compound, and a drywall saw or utility knife to cut out the damaged area.
For painting over the repaired area, you’ll need paintbrushes, rollers, and paint. Builders Merchant has all of these items and more to help you tackle any wall crack repair project.
Fix wall cracks with Merchanting
To conclude, fixing wall cracks can be a daunting task for any homeowner, but thankfully Merchanting has the tools and resources to make this process much easier. With our comprehensive selection of products, homeowners can find the perfect materials to tackle any job, no matter how large or small. Whether you need to fill in a crack that’s been there since you bought the house or one that’s recently appeared, we’ve got you covered!