Are traffic vibrations damaging my ceiling?

22 May 2013
Reaction score
United Kingdom
I'm not sure if this is the right place for this query, but here goes...

I've noticed quite a few long hairline cracks appearing on the ceiling of a front bedroom. Most are deep and run at least half the length of the room, in all directions. All seem to be getting worse.

I wondered whether this could be linked to traffic vibrations caused by the condition of the road outside my house. It's a very busy residential street but the road surface is very poor indeed. The section outside my house has around a dozen wide potholes and ridges/ ruts running all the way across the road where shoddy repairs have been made. The surface is also worn and rough, causing a low, rumbling noise from all passing traffic.

It is regularly used by buses and HGVs, which make the bedroom rattle and make weird clicking/ creaking noises (which I think are coming from the ceiling) when they drive over the rough spots.

City of York council is aware of it but is point-blank refusing to resurface it. If the potholes reach a certain depth, someone comes along and bodges them with tarmac, which crumbles within weeks and makes the overall surface more uneven.

I'm worried the traffic vibrations may be damaging the plasterwork, or worse. My query is:
1) Does this sound likely - or are the cracks more likely to be due to climate/ age-related wear etc?
2) If it might be linked to traffic vibrations, is there any way to prove it (surveyor's report etc) and how should I approach the council?
3) Any other thoughts/ advice?

Please point me in the right direction if there's a better place to post this. Thanks in advance for any help.
Sponsored Links
What an interesting thread!

1)No-one can say for sure what is causing the cracks even though your thoughts are quite plausible. So eliminating as many reasons as possible my be one way to start.

2)If it is traffic, then start digging to see if there is any case law on the matter. i.e. Has anyone successfully sued on a similar matter. That may help what is considered in law to be reasonable proof. If you can feel the traffic then perhaps a local seismologist would be interested in recording levels for comparison with background vibrations. Certainly a surveyor may have experience where they have dealt with traffic vibration problems elsewhere and can demonstrate some level of expertise.

As any legal action is expensive always try persuasion first. Enlist the help of your local councillor or maybe even the MP.

3)I would be interested to know how you get on!
Perfectly plausible but can't say for sure I do know that at work when building the houses and heavy machinary go past I can feel the vibrations on my feet. So cod be a cause. Also is the ceiling skimmed with plaster or is it taped can you see popped screws or nails

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

Sponsored Links