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Why Plaster Walls Crack and What You Can Do

Does your home have plaster cracks in the exterior walls? Cracks can detract from the whole look of the house and lower its value. They can also cause further deterioration to the house and because they typically get worse over time it's important to deal with them quickly.

Cracking is a symptom of an underlying problem, not the cause of it. Understanding what is causing the plaster cracks is the key to ensuring your home is kept warm, dry and future proofed.

Plaster walls crack because plaster is very rigid and has no elasticity. Cracks will occur at the natural weak points in the plaster which are usually the studs, joists, doors and windows.

Cracks can occur when plaster shrinks as a result of an incorrect plaster mix or inadequate curing, excessive trowelling while the plaster is being applied, building movement or settlement including being subjected to movement such as an earthquake.

Monolithic cladding systems such as render on cement sheeting were frequently applied incorrectly so when the plaster started cracking from movement, water got in. When water can't escape, moisture levels rise and rot forms that could eventually weaken the building.

If not repaired, most cracks will start to allow water in, making the crack worse as well as causing damp and mould growth within the building.

If your Auckland home has cracks, please contact us for advice on the best way forward. You need to get on top of plaster crack repairs and onto a programme of regular cladding maintenance checks. All too often, by the time you realise that the cladding is due for maintenance, it's because cracking has already occurred. So have your cladding checked every couple of years by a plaster cracks specialist.