How-To Videos

How to Repair a Ceiling Crack

By: Danny Lipford
Using selfadhesive fiberglass mesh tape to repair a ceiling crack.

Using selfadhesive fiberglass mesh tape to repair a ceiling crack.

Cracks in ceilings are caused mostly by settling of the house and the expansion and contraction created during that settling.

To repair a crack in a ceiling:

  1. Score the crack with a utility knife to remove any loose plaster or other material that may be inside the crack.
  2. Use mesh tape to cover the crack. This will allow the mud to bond directly to the plaster which will make the repair stronger.
  3. If your ceiling is drywall, you may have to add some screws to hold the two halves in place and make the crack even on both sides.
  4. Apply joint compound over the taped crack.
  5. Once the joint compound is dry, sand the ceiling smooth.
  6. Prime and paint the ceiling.

Read our article on How to Repair Cracks in a Drywall Ceiling to find out more.

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20 Comments on “How to Repair a Ceiling Crack”

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  • Official Comment:


    Thomas Boni Says:
    September 6th, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Hi, Helen! Just like people develop wrinkles, over time, houses develop cosmetic changes that don’t necessarily indicate major problems.
    The cause of your ceiling crack depends on various factors, such as the ceiling material and the home’s age.
    If the crack is discolored, you could have moisture problems.
    If there’s an issue with the trusses, that could create a crack between the ceiling and the interior wall.
    Straight cracks could indicate a joint that should have been properly taped.
    Without knowing the specific situation, we recommend investigating the area for clues, or having an expert come out and take a look!
    Thanks for your question.



  • Helen Says:
    September 6th, 2018 at 4:37 am

    What causes a ceiling to crack, in the first place. My living room ceiling has a crack starting at the south side and is two feet short of the opposite wall.

    Just wondering about small cracks (the paint has actually peeled back from the crack) in the ceiling in a north bedroom – only in this room. Do I need more insulation in the attic?

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.



  • Biplav Kr Sinha Says:
    June 17th, 2018 at 4:32 am

    A wide uneven crack has developed all along the margin in the slant roof slab extending outside the wall. Some of these cracks on the margin fell down. How all these cracks can be solidly repaired ?


  • Official Comment:


    Thomas Boni Says:
    July 26th, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Hi, Linda,
    Danny says, “Usually something like that would be a separation of drywall tape that may have been used on a repair, or sealing material separating from the drywall. It is a very difficult thing to do a quick repair on.
    “But sometimes you can make a small hole in the bubble. Inject regular white glue, like school glue, and gently push the bubble back into place. Sometimes, that works great; sometimes it may cause it to wrinkle.
    “If that won’t work, then the effective area will need to be scraped; then add joint compound and touchup paint.
    Good luck!”



  • Linda Says:
    March 15th, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    What would cause my ceiling to get like a bubble in the paint after it has been patched and painted. I have no signs of moisture or water damage.


  • Official Comment:


    Thomas Boni Says:
    March 15th, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Hi, Lee,
    Here’s “Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford’s answer to your question:
    “If you have access to the backside of the crack, lay a 2×4 or 2×6 flat to screw into on either side of the crack — then proceed with the taping and joint compound to hide the crack.
    Thanks for your question!”



  • Lee Says:
    February 24th, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    There is nothing above the crack to screw into and its uneven. What should I do?.



  • Pamela Sharpe Says:
    January 13th, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Hello, I am so thankful for finding a cheaper way to fix my ceiling. I would love to receive a quote on how much the material might cost.



  • Bruce Says:
    January 12th, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    How to repair cracks in popcorn ceiling.



  • Diane Says:
    October 8th, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Will this work for a side by side mobile home.
    Someone told me you have to rip part of the ceiling out and brace it and then fix it.
    It is not where any seams where the house was put together.

    Thanks
    Diane



  • Tank's Nurse Says:
    September 24th, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Thank you for the great video, I tried numerous times fixing the crack in my ceiling and it would “recrack” my patient does home repairs and told me how to use the tape and mud but I came here just to make sure so I won’t have to redo it in another six months!



  • Michael Grech Says:
    August 4th, 2017 at 11:26 am

    hi ,
    i am gypsum installer here in Malta and i have a problem in here when i make false ceilings sometimes altough i make mash tape the short side of the board(120cm side) the crack still comes out! can you tell me what is the reason of this and what you do for repairing it?



  • Barb Says:
    March 22nd, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    We have repaired a leak on our ceiling, now we need to know how to do the finish so that it will match the rest of the ceiling. It is not as thick as Popcorn but it does has some form of light textured finish.


  • Official Comment:


    Lindsay Hughes Says:
    February 8th, 2017 at 3:19 pm

  • Gary M Says:
    February 2nd, 2017 at 7:56 am

    RE: How to Repair a Ceiling Crack… Step 2: How to Repair a Ceiling Crack in a Popcorn Ceiling and have it blend in! (PLEASE?)



  • Ruth Wicks Says:
    February 1st, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    How can I hire Mr. Mark to repair two places in my ceilings?



  • Tim Says:
    February 1st, 2017 at 11:08 am

    We’ve got a lot of plaster ceilings up north. After you patch the ceiling, you need to use an oil-based primer before painting, or the joint compound will bleed through and won’t blend correctly with the plaster. Of course, Danny knows that, but viewers and readers may not.



  • Jayna Mestayer Says:
    January 8th, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Roof & ceiling repair procedure & recommendations?



  • sorubarani Says:
    April 9th, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Need advice to repair ceiling crack in my house. Pls suggest experts to repair ceiling cracks.



  • Gwen Says:
    January 13th, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Will this procedure work on a double wide mobile home ceiling. It is not panels but all one ceiling – the rough material – pebbly like. Thanks


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How to Repair a Ceiling Crack