Cracks in ceiling, how do I find someone to look into it?

13 Nov 2016
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Hi all

We live in London in a block of flats (not on the ground floor) and have noticed a crack in the ceiling that runs across one of the rooms (room 1), through to the next room (room 2) and horizontally down two of the walls (in room 1).

I obviously don't want this to worsen.

Photos attached and I played around with the colour so the cracks show up. The cracks are under 1mm in width. Also there are 2 separate cracks in the ceiling of room 1, it is not a continuous crack, in the ceiling it starts and runs into a third of the room, then there is a break, and it continues about a foot to the right and the runs across the room.

I contacted the leaseholder and through the building insurance we got a loss adjustor / structural surveyor who said:

"These ceilings appeared to be on a solid concrete slab. The pattern and direction of the
cracking suggests that this may coincide with a structural joint in the concrete slab above,
or possibly a change of materials from concrete to steel. There are no signs of significant
corresponding movements or cracking in the supporting walls below and we find therefore
this is a maintenance issue related to the structural slab."

"I did not find evidence of foundation subsidence or another insured cause during this
investigation. There are no signs at this time that the damage may be linked to structural
movement of the foundations or load bearing walls. The causes identified tend to relate to
gradual damage, design and workmanship issues."
On looking at the survey when we bought the place 5 years ago, and immediately painted everything potentially covering up all the cracks, it said:

"Minor cracks were apparent in the bedroom and these were not significant."
The advice given in the report by the structural surveyor was:

"I recommend that test areas of plaster are removed around the ceiling cracks to investigate the backing and that reinforced repairs using cutting out and filling or plaster reinforcing scrim techniques are used before re-decorating."

My question is, what type of tradesman will be able to help us with this? And where do I go about finding them?
I don't know any general builders and don't know how to start in terms of finding the right person for this.

Any thoughts of guidance from you all would be greatly appreciated.


  • Room 1.jpg
    Room 1.jpg
    101.1 KB · Views: 105
  • Room 2.jpg
    Room 2.jpg
    61.6 KB · Views: 111
  • Room 1, ciling and wall.jpg
    Room 1, ciling and wall.jpg
    84.3 KB · Views: 107
Sponsored Links
17 Apr 2015
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Plasterer, unless there’s a requirement for more extensive repairs that you’ve not quoted above
24 Aug 2010
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Trying2bHandy, good evening.

Several things.

1/. cheapest option, re-paint the last time that option lasted about 5 years??

2/. plasterer to cut out the cracks install a scrim reinforcing and re-skim the entire affected ceilings.

3/. over board with plasterboard [most costly, and disruptive??] then skim + re-paint.

Your reports appear to point to the original construction, that is [probably] concrete slabs or planks that are causing and will keep causing plaster cracks, not an uncommon problem with such construction.

Sponsored Links

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