Free Articles  >>  Home Improvement >>  Page 594  >> 

Causes of Cracks in the Plaster Along Exterior Walls of the Home

There are numerous reasons why the plaster along the exterior walls of your home will crack making the interior walls look very unsightly. It is important to determine the cause of any cracks you find so that you can repair them effectively. Some of the most important causes of these cracks are listed below.

1. Structural Cracks

Structural cracks, as the name implies, are caused by structural weaknesses in a building which are worn further by certain conditions, such as the bathroom shower. A steam shower or steam bath enclosure should be properly fortified with tiling.

The most important structural cracks include:

• Settlement resulting from inadequate or improperly located footings, the use of undersized or improperly spaced members, omission of bracing, or shrinkage of lumber

• These cracks are usually large and well defined, extending across the surface and through the plaster

• They may start near the corner of a door or window, or run up and down the corner where two walls join, or along the joints between walls and ceiling

2. Map and Shrinkage Cracks

Inferior workmanship and the use of poor quality of plastering materials are the main causes of what are known as "map cracks and "shrinkage cracks;" that is, shrinkage in the plaster itself. There are ways to distinguish between these two types of plaster cracks:

• Map cracks are usually caused by improper bonding between the plaster and the base

• They are less noticeable than structural cracks and go through the plaster, but do not extend entirely across the surface, as do the latter

• They are made up of a series of cracks running at various angles and embracing areas usually 6 inches or more across

• Shrinkage cracks, on the other hand resemble map cracks, except that the cracks themselves and the areas they enclose are much smaller

• They differ from the map cracks inasmuch as they do not go entirely through the plaster and are usually confined to the finish coat

• Careless workmanship is usually the cause of these cracks

• Steam from a sauna can dilate these cracks; an infrared sauna unit is the best way to go

3. Loose Plaster

Sometimes the keys or clinches that hold the plaster to the base break off or become loosened and cause the plaster to bulge and crack.

On ceilings, around plumbing, bathroom fixtures and kitchen fixtures, it will often hang in this condition for a long time before falling off, being held together by the hair or fiber in the plaster.

Occasionally the nails or fastenings used to hold lath in place may corrode and break, allowing that part of the plaster covering the loosened lath, or laths, to sag and crack.

Tools Needed for the Repairs

For cracks and small holes a small diamond-shaped mason's trowel or broad-bladed putty knife, for plastering larger areas a plasterer's trowel and a shallow pan.

Materials Needed

• Plaster of Paris or commercial patching plaster

• A small amount of ordinary glue if necessary

• Clean water

Mixing the Plaster

• All mixing boxes and utensils should be clean and clean water from your glass sink, bathroom vanity, or bathtub should be used in the mix
•Particular care should be taken that no traces of old set plaster have been left in the mixing box

• The water should be placed in the mixing box before the dry plaster is sifted into the water

• The mix should then be stirred thoroughly to dissolve all lumps

• It should be of such a consistency that the putty may be picked up on a broad-bladed knife and forced into the crack or break in the wall

Using Plaster of Paris

If only a small amount of fresh plaster is needed, plaster of Paris alone may be used. Plaster of Paris sets very quickly. If it is to be used without a retarder, only so much should be mixed at one time as can be put in place in 10 minutes or less.
About Author Allison Ryan :

Allison Ryan is a freelance marketing writer from San Diego, CA. She specializes in do-it-yourself steam shower, bathroom vanity, and sauna installation. For a selection of new bathroom fixtures or swim spa, check out <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.

Article Source:
Article Url:

Article Added on Thursday, April 30, 2009
Other Articles by Allison Ryan

Inspecting The Exterior Of The House And The Roof
Exterior Walls After the structure and equipment of the basement have been examined thoroughly, the inspection of the exterior of the home is the next step in the inspection process. If the walls are masonry, you should look for cracks or broken bricks or blocks, especially above the door and window openings. Look to see if the mortar joints require pointing. You also need to note whether or not there is any signs of efflorescence (moldy or white blotches or streaks) on the face of the wall,...

Damp Proofing and Repairing Walls
For damp-proofing a brick foundation wall, heavy penetrating bituminous damp-proofing paint may be used, after which a cement mortar coat may be troweled directly on the painted surface, to prevent the paint from flaking and peeling. The application of a coating of any material upon the inner surfaces of a wall such as a home sauna that is pervious to the sauna steam is generally ineffective. Infrared saunas need no such coating anyway. This should be made of 1 part Portland cement and 3...

Important Aspects of Your Home to Keep Up With
If you have wooden sills on top of the walls, see whether they are sound and whether cracks between wall and sills are calked to keep out moisture and cold air. See whether there is fire stopping on the sills between floor joists and, if so, whether it fits snugly, especially around pipe openings. Careless fire stopping allows fire to spread and permits rodents to get into the walls above. Any large wall hangings should also be checked periodically, although metal wall art requires...

Wall Waterproofing Methods
If waterproofing is to be applied, it should, of course, be done before back filling. There are various methods used, depending largely upon local conditions. While applying a coating to a wall, it is well to put it on the outside. Water is thus prevented from entering the wall, and water pressure tends to force the coating into tighter contact. If the water proofing is required for a bathroom, perhaps around a bathtub or other bathroom fixture, the technique is a bit more complex. This may...

Different Types of Hot Tub Enclosures
When you want an enclosure for your hot tub, once you start looking you will be surprised at the many styles that are available. It does add to the landscaping of your garden or your deck and provide you with privacy at the same time. It will also give you protection from the elements of the weather so that you can enjoy relaxing in your hot tub at any time of the year. Hot tub enclosures and gazebos can be open to the air or fully enclosed depending on your needs and your taste. Most of the...

Decorating Passages and Entrance Halls
The decorative scheme of a hall and entrance passage should not clash with the color schemes of rooms that can be seen through doors opening off. As a general rule, the scheme for hall and entrance should be bright and welcoming, but it should not be too vivid or too resting. If the entrance hall faces north choose ivory, primrose or beige for the main colors. If the front door opens to the south choose green, buff or stone for the entrance hall. If the hall is on the small side it would be...

Essentials of Remodeling
Before putting on the ceiling, all openings, through which fire might find quick passage to the structure above, should be adequately fire stopped. It is best to use incombustible materials for fire stopping, such as crushed refuse mortar, plaster, concrete, hollow tile, gypsum block, broken brick, or other similar material, containing sufficient fine stuff to fill voids. Such openings may be found around service plumbing and bathroom fixtures (especially bathroom light fixtures nearby...

The Importance of Household Upkeep
Thousands of householders who have the ability to make small repairs and improvements satisfactorily and who desire to affect the savings which result hesitate to undertake the work because they lack simple and specific directions for determining the causes of common defects and failures that occur in the house and its equipment and instructions for correcting them. There are books and articles written to help with simple and specific projects like installing custom steam showers. Steam...

Protecting Your Home From Moisture
One method sometimes employed to turn surface water away from cellar walls is to lay a concrete pavement, walk, or gutter, 2 or 3 feet in width, around the house with a gradual slope away from the walls. Where the sidewalk joins the wall, the wall surface should be roughened, cleaned, and moistened and the concrete rounded up to meet the face of the wall. This method will make a good bond and turn water away from the joint. The gutter type of construction is used to conduct surface water...

Inspection and Repairs in Frame Construction
If there are leakages around a window frame a careful examination should be made and repairs made where they are needed. Around the lower part of the window, look particularly for holes or large cracks at the top of the window sill. There may be a crack under the inside stool or window ledge, if it is not nailed down securely; and if the stool has been cut too short, there may be cracks at either or both ends. Also, where parting strips and pulley stiles meet the top sill there may be holes...

Click here to see More Articles by Allison Ryan
Publishers / Webmasters
Article ID: 131043
DELINK URL from Authors Bio
REMOVE Article
Tell A Friend
Leave A Comment!
Download this article in PDF
Report Article!
Search through all the articles:

123 Users Online !
Related Articles:
Latest Articles:
home improvement >> Top 50 Articles on Home Improvement
Category - >
Advertising Advice Affiliate Programs Automobiles
Be Your Own Mentor Careers Communication Consumers
CopyWriting Crime Domain Names DoT com Entrepreneur Corner
Ebooks Ecommerce Education Email
Entertainment Environment Family Finance And Business
Food & Drink Gardening Health & Fitness Hobbies
Home Business Home Improvement Humour House Holds
Internet And Computers Kiddos and Teens Legal Matters Mail Order
Management Marketing Marriage MetaPhysical
Motivational MultiMedia Multi Level Marketing NewsLetters
Pets Psychology Religion Parenting
Politics Sales Science Search Engine Optimization
Site Promotion Sports Technology Travel
Web Development Web Hosting WeightLoss Women's Corner
Writing Miscellaneous Articles Real Estate Arts And Crafts

Disclaimer: The information presented and opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the views of and/or its owners.

Copyright © AwareINDIA. All rights reserved || Privacy Policy || Terms Of Use || Author Guidelines || Free Articles
FAQs Link To Us || Submit An Article || Free Downloads|| Contact Us || Site Map  || Advertise with Us ||
Click here for Special webhosting packages for visitors of this website only!
Vastu Shastra

cPanel Hosting Provided By AwareIndia

Company IDS