Top Reasons the Drywall in Your Home Is Cracking

Top Reasons the Drywall in Your Home Is Cracking

Cracks in drywall can be more than just an eyesore; they can be indicators of deeper issues within the structure of a home. Understanding the common reasons behind these fissures is crucial for homeowners to effectively address and prevent potential damage.

Let’s look at the top reasons why the drywall in your home may be cracking and how you can combat these issues.


Settlement refers to the natural shifting of a home’s foundation over time. This movement can lead to small cracks in walls and ceilings, particularly near doorways and windows. While minor settlement cracks are common in most homes, large or recurring cracks could indicate a more serious problem. In these cases, consulting with a professional contractor is important to assess the situation and determine the best course of action.


Drywall consists of gypsum, a porous material that absorbs moisture easily. High humidity levels in a home can cause drywall to expand and contract, leading to cracks over time. To combat this issue, ensure proper ventilation and use dehumidifiers in areas prone to excess moisture, such as bathrooms and basements.

Poor Installation

Improper installation of drywall can also be a factor in cracking. This mistake includes using insufficient or mismatched screws, not properly taping seams, or not allowing enough time for the joint compound to dry before sanding. Hiring a reputable and experienced contractor for drywall installation is important to avoid these issues.

Structural Issues

In some cases, cracking in drywall can be a symptom of larger structural issues within the home. These issues could include insufficient support beams or joists, settling of the foundation, or shifting due to extreme weather conditions. If you notice large, jagged cracks or multiple cracks in one area, consult a professional to assess the situation.

Temperature Changes

Like humidity, extreme temperature changes can also cause drywall to expand and contract, leading to cracks. This change is especially common in newer homes where the wood framing may still settle. To prevent this issue, maintain a consistent temperature in your home and avoid drastic changes.

DIY Mistakes

Attempting to fix drywall cracks yourself without the proper tools and knowledge can often result in more damage and larger cracks. Properly prepare the surface, use appropriate products, and follow correct techniques when repairing drywall. If you’re unsure how to do so, leave it to a professional.


Over time, the materials used in drywall can weaken and become more prone to cracking. This weakening is especially true for older homes with original drywall that you don’t properly replace or maintain. Regularly inspecting your walls and ceilings for signs of aging and addressing any issues promptly can prevent further damage.

Various factors can cause cracking drywall, from natural settling to poor installation and even aging. If you notice any cracks in your home’s drywall, address them promptly and consult with a professional if needed. Knowing the common mistakes new drywallers make and the potential causes of cracking can help you keep your home’s walls and ceilings in good condition for years. So be vigilant, take preventive measures, and always consult with professionals if needed to ensure the integrity of your home’s drywall.

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