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Cracks in walls & ceiling (is this a serious issue?)

Cracks in walls & ceiling (is this a serious issue?)

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  #1  
Old 07-08-17, 07:55 PM
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Cracks in walls & ceiling (is this a serious issue?)

I just bought an apartment on the 2nd floor of a 5 floor building. I've been in for 6 months and have recently noticed some cracks forming in some of the walls & ceiling (as well as around door frames etc). I've done a fair amount of research online and I believe most of them are very minor and I attribute them to heat and moisture (it's been very hot and humid and I've had no AC until recently) but these few in the pictures below make me nervous.

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(For some reason it's posting all the pics horizontally but the cracks run vertically, the right side of the pic being the bottom and the left side being the top)

These formed on my bedroom wall & ceiling, the longest crack is about 4 feet in length and the cracks border on a very solid corner of the wall which I assume is attached to the foundation (I know nothing about construction). I don't know what kind of renovation work went into the place before I purchased so does this mean they just did a really bad job with the drywall? Or does it mean the foundation of my building is shifting? Or just the expansion & contraction from the heat and moisture?

I've been very nervous about the cracks but am on the fence about whether or not to spend the money to call someone in to look at them if he's just gonna say it's a cosmetic crack and nothing serious.

Any advice or insight is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 
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Old 07-09-17, 02:58 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

How old is the building? do you know if the walls/ceiling are plaster or drywall?
The odds are it's nothing to worry about but it wouldn't hurt to keep track of them to see if they grow or not.
 
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Old 07-09-17, 05:30 PM
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I attribute them to heat and moisture (it's been very hot and humid and I've had no AC until recently
At this point in time with your description I would consider them normal. Give it a year to settle out then some minor patch and touch up paint!
 
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Old 07-10-17, 07:51 PM
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thank you for the response. the building was built in 1936 but like i said i have no knowledge of what kind of work they did before I moved in 6 months ago. I also have no idea whether the walls/ceiling are plaster or drywall. is there an easy way to tell? this is another picture by the window frame in the bedroom as well

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to me it looks really bad but I don't know what i should typically expect in damage from the place "settling". I've never seen this type of cracking in any place i've lived in before and all of these cracks have appeared in the last 6 months since i moved in. should i just keep watching them? and if so, how many cracks is too many? or what should i be watching for to determine whether this is a serious issue or just the results of shotty work?
 
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Old 07-10-17, 07:54 PM
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thank you! yeah i've been in the place for about 6 months and these have all developed within that time. should i give it another 6 months and see if it stops after that time? I just don't know what to look for to determine if it's just settling still or whether it's a serious problem.
 
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Old 07-11-17, 03:36 AM
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The house would have originally had plaster and based off the location of the cracks I'd be inclined to believe it's still plaster. What is the last pic showing? Is that wood molding with a crack or is it a detail in the plaster?

There really shouldn't be any settling with a house that old .... or was it extensively remodeled? did it set empty for a long time before you bought it? Changes in heat/humidity can cause cracks.
 
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Old 07-11-17, 04:26 AM
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thanks for your input. I thought it was weird for a place this old to be "settling" but like i said I have no idea the extent of the remodeling that was done before I moved in so I figured it was a possibility. the last pic I believe is wood trim but again, I dont know how to tell the difference.

the place was empty for years before I moved in. the previous owner purchased as an investment and it sat vacant for years, would that have an effect on anything?

I do know heat and humidity can have this effect, i just dont know if that's the sole reason for the damage or if I should be more concerned about a deeper issue.

thank you again!
 
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Old 07-11-17, 05:03 AM
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I'd just keep an eye on it. The cracks were likely caused by the house sitting vacant for a long time and now being lived in with the HVAC running.
 
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