Whether your home is new or old, you may have come across one or more of these issues. An inspector can tell you if they are more serious problems, but here are some wall and ceiling issues we commonly see:
Cause: Truss uplifting. In the 1950’s trusses began to take the place of rafters. Trusses are prefabricated triangular structures that proved to be lighter, more efficient and stronger. They also allow a wider span to create more open areas.
In colder temperatures the ceiling in your house will actually lift up. This happens because the bottom chord (board) is warmer and dryer because of insulation, the top chord is colder and has more moisture causing them to elongate. This heaves up the bottom chord and lifts the ceiling. The cycle reverses itself in warmer temperatures. This is the reason you see most of your cracking on the top level.
Cracks in doorways can be caused by this. The reason they are prominent here is because there is much more timber around a doorway which has more shrinkage/expansion and more movement.
Problem: Throughout the whole house or in a straight line, you’ll see nail heads protruding out of the drywall.
Cause: The studs have movement which pull the drywall backwards. This movement can be caused by settling, the wood having too much moisture when built, or poor installation.
Ceiling Stains (Thermal Tracking or Soot Lines)
Problem: Dark stains that appear along the ceiling joists or wall studs.
Cause: Lack of insulation. The extreme temperature difference surrounding these areas causes condensation. Soot (possibly from burning candles) and other debris adheres to the damp surfaces. It can be painted over, but more insulation would solve the problem.
** All these issues could be caused by the home settling or possible structural issues. Remember, these are all possible causes. All issues should be inspected by a licensed professional.