Cracked ceilings

14 May 2009
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United Kingdom
Can anyone advise.
I live in a bungalow and have ceiling cracks which i have tried to stop repeatedly.
The ceilings are artexed and cracks appear in the lounge and bathroom they are on the joints of the plaster board.
I have had the joints retaped with the plastic type scrim they use it was OK until we started the central heating and back they came.
I checked in the loft and notlced that at sme points the nails which should have been holding the board were in space so screwed timber to sides of ceiling joist and glued to ceiling board.Again no success after re artexing areas.
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Putting the heating on should not make any difference if the problem is correctly sorted. If you’ve been unsuccessful after several attempts, you need look further & correct what could be an incorrectly boarded ceiling, poorly supported boards or both. Is the loft boarded over? Do you use the loft for storage or regularly walk around up there?

The ceiling boards must be securely fixed to the joists with screws & the joists need to be of sufficient size to ensure there is no undue flexing or differential movement; see comment above regarding storage etc. Once that’s achieved, the cracks can be taped (after removing the Artex locally) & the whole ceiling re-skimmed which should provide a permanently repair. You then have the added benefit of a nice flat ceiling, far better than some grotty Artex pattern!
does sound like the boards aren't fixed to the timbers adequately, meaning they are probably moving, causing the cracking along the board joints.

like richard says, they need fixing up properly, as long as the boards are sound you can take some drywall screws and set about screwing them to the timbers better then once they are fixed nice and tight get it skimmed.
Hi Richard C & Trowelmonkey1
Thanks for advice.
Regarding your comment on probable ceiling board wrongly fixed.
I have noticed that the joints that crack are in a straight line accros the ceiling. Should the boards be staggered when fixed at half the length at
4ft so that you do not get a continuous joint accross,ln my case this is 14ft
I shall probably screw as advised and then fill. Leave for a while and if OK then skim the ceilings.
Any comments would be appreciated
Geoff N
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yes should be staggered, like brickwork, bit late for your ceiling though ;) just try securing with screws, hopefully this will solve the problem and you can get on with repairing the surface

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