Cracks that appear on your homes walls can look shabby and visually unappealing. A few common causes for these cracks could be the materials that is the paint and plaster that make up your wall contract and expand because of fluctuations in humidity levels and temperature changes.
This commonly occurs in rooms that are exposed to constant sunlight or has air conditioning. An inferior quality of paint can also lead to these cracks.
While fixing cracks, you need to first identify as to why the crack came in the first place. There are three types of cracks that appear on the wall.
- Hairline crack
- Cracks caused by water seepage
- Structural cracks
Most hairline cracks can be fixed by yourself at home. Firstly, you need to create a deeper hairline crack (using any basic tools you have at home like a screwdriver) before starting the repair work.
This opens up the crack a little bit more so that you can scrape out the loose concrete, paint, debris or old filler before fixing the crack. Then using a cloth, dry brush or vacuum remove whatever remaining debris is there.
This also helps the filling solution to properly fill the insides of the crack.
After cleaning the crack, fill it with filling solution/joint compound. Make sure the filler covers the entire crack. Even out the surface with your scraper and let the filling dry out for a day.
Once the surface has dried, sand it down so the surface is completely smooth and even. Then apply paint. If you are applying two coats, always make sure the first coat has properly dried before applying the second coat.
When it comes to cracks that form because of water seepage, repairing the area that is leading to so much moisture in the wall is the primary concern that you need to fix.
The problem is normally around flat areas like sink walls and windowsills, especially where there are existing cracks, holes or unpainted areas where water can seep into.
You will need a good waterproofing solution to resolve this. To repair this kind of crack, scrape the raised crack open and check for signs of moss.
To kill the moss, you will require a biocidal solution and you need to give it enough time to dry before sealing the crack. Once it is dry, you can seal the crack and give it a fresh layer of paint.
Structural cracks are formed due to structural movement of the building structure and occur often. If the joints are not properly built in during construction, then structural cracks will occur.
Structural cracks are repaired by cutting expansion joints into the plaster which will allow for movement. These expansion joints are then filled with a very flexible sealant that will move inside the joint and fill up the space in them.
To repair a concrete wall, you will need an epoxy repair kit. The epoxy will make a watertight seal in the crack. Begin your repair by tapping 3-inch finish nails partially into the crack every 12 inches; these nails will attach injection ports.
Epoxy comes in two parts, A and B, which you need to mix just before using. Mix equal parts of the epoxy on a scrap piece of wood with a putty knife.
Apply a small amount of mixed epoxy on each injection port tab; attach each port against the wall by covering each of the finish nails with one port. Spread mixed epoxy over the crack, extending 1 inch on either side of the crack.
If the cracks are too wide, it would be best to consult an engineer who could direct you in the right way of resolving your issue.