Home Improvement

Plaster Ceiling Cracks Repairs Tips

Well-timed plaster ceiling repair may give a massive impact on your ceiling condition. It can help to keep the ceiling attractive like it’s newly installed, also secure your home from a hidden threat such as water leaks and other similar damages. Minor damages like cracks on the ceiling plaster typically easy to repair by the homeowner. Meanwhile, severe damages such as sagging plaster and significant breaks need the expert for ceiling restoration or replacement.

What you need to know when repairing plaster ceiling:

  • Always fix the source of sagging plaster issue first
  • Replace the soft and crumbly plaster ceiling, don’t push it back
  • Remove the damaged plaster ceiling properly to avoid surrounded areas of stucco to come down

Make sure you do the plaster ceiling repair properly to avoid the additional damage occur, take notes and read further our tips to maintain your ceiling condition. Consider contacting the professionals of ceiling repair when you feel unsure how to fix the damage.

Inspection before Plaster Ceiling Cracks Repair

Typically, we can indicate a damaged ceiling if it looks sagging. The damages usually occur at the roof, such as water leaks that cause the wood laths that holds the plaster is becoming soft. The wood laths later became bend and sag. Such damages have powers to make the plaster sections pull away from the ceiling. Inspect the ceiling first before giving it a repair, fixing it before determining the cause will only result in more damage to the stucco.

What you need to know is the plaster itself doesn’t contain the material that can feed the moulds, neither the material that allows it to grow and spread. But if the water leaks and harms the wood lath behind the plaster, it will start to sag and create a suitable environment for the moulds to grow. Eventually, the moulds will spread along the other materials. Plus, if the water leaks caused by the broken plumbing, it will waste the water and raise your utility bills.

Not only water leaks, but the house structure also may cause the ceiling sag. Over time, the home will gradually settle and shift. When the house structure has shifted and required plaster ceiling repair, especially the cracks repair, the house potentially damaged in other areas as well. If the ceiling is sagging, you may need to inspect the home’s foundation, the roof also the subfloor. Make sure you have identified the reason behind the sagging plaster and fix the source of the issue before moving on to repair the visual damage.

Tips for Repairing Small Cracks on Plaster Ceiling

To repair the small cracks on the plaster ceiling (which has not detached from the wood lath behind the damaged area), you may fill the gap with joint compound or another type of filler. 

Here we share some tips on how to fix plaster ceiling with small cracks and other minor damages:

What you need to prepare:

  • Putty knife
  • Mallet/hammer
  • A heavy-duty vacuum
  • Water
  • Non-phosphate detergent
  • Fiberglass mesh tape
  • Sponge
  • Joint compound
  • Sandpaper
  • Latex primer
  • Paint

The steps:

  1. Start widening the cracks. Enlarge the cracked plaster by softly tapping the putty knife using a mallet or hammer. Tap it into the gap until the size at least 1/8″, creating room to apply the filler. Tap the cracks carefully, avoid to create a wider hole and cracks in the stucco.
  • Get a heavy-duty vacuum to clean up the dust and debris from the cracks. Then you can wash the gap with the mixture of water and non-phosphate detergent. 
  • Cut a piece of fiberglass mesh tape in a size that fit the cracked plaster. Dampen the fiberglass mesh tape using a damp sponge.
  • Prepare the joint compound and apply it over the fiberglass mesh tape. Use a putty knife to smooth out and flatten the plaster surface until it’s even with the plaster around the cracks. Let the layer dry overnight.
  • Continue to add another layer of joint compound. Apply it sufficiently to make the edges of repaired plaster even with the existing plaster ceiling around the cracks.
  • Let the patch completely dry. Then, you can sand it until smooth. Add a layer of latex primer on the repaired plaster and paint it with the same colour as the existing plaster.

For the extensive plaster cracks, follow the same steps and replace the joint compound with actual patching plaster. Make sure you follow the directions correctly and allow the layer dry sufficiently. Don’t forget to sand the dried plaster smoothly before applying the latex primer and paint.

When You Need to Call the Experts

Even though homeowners usually can repair the minor plaster cracks and other such water damages, it’s always good to know when to contact the plaster repair experts. If you found a large sagging section on the plaster, consider calling the plaster contractor to get it fixed.