Plaster walls getting cracked is one of the biggest problems homeowners face as their homes get older. However, cracked plaster walls are always an eyesore, so you would not want them all over your house. Therefore, many people ask questions about which way is best to cover cracked plaster walls.
The best way to cover cracked plaster walls is by preserving the existing plaster and fixing it. This method works better than ripping out the chunks of plaster and replacing the entire setup. However, because removing the slabs of plaster causes more damage, it is advisable to take it slow and employ patience.
A while ago, I moved into a students’ apartment without first vigorously checking the walls. Unfortunately, after paying for the apartment, I realized that there were a good number of cracks around the entire house. It took a lot of calls and nagging before the Landlord finally fixed the cracks. Nevertheless, after I fixed it, all the efforts were worth it.
You should note that making repairs to your cracked plaster walls could be a rigorous task that takes time. Despite this, with the right volume of attention and focus, you would achieve this goal cleanly. So keep on, as I would take you on a step-by-step journey towards covering your cracked plaster walls with perfection.
Why are My Plaster Walls Cracked?
Cracks are a regular occurrence on plaster walls as they form over time. Cracks may plague plaster walls for several reasons. While it may be due to climate, the quality of construction may also be a cause. Here are a few reasons why you find cracks on your plaster walls.
- Unfriendly weather conditions are significant factors responsible for the cracking of plaster walls. While some building materials lack properties to survive in winter, some do not fancy summertime weather. Therefore some building materials shrink in summer but expand in winter, causing the entire wall set-up to lose balance.
This occurrence causes cracks in plaster walls which would subsequently need to be repaired or hold the risk of more damage.
- Vibrations are another principal cause of cracks on plaster walls. Here, the multiple sources of vibrations such as earthquakes, nearby construction work, or heavy-duty equipment incite cracks on plaster walls.
- Thinner cracks occur on plaster walls when the top coat of the plaster degrades. These are identified as spider-web cracks because of their delicate nature.
How can I Repair My Cracked Plaster Walls?
Making perfect repairs on your cracked plaster walls could require some heavy physical work, especially when you do the work yourself. Although many people would instead employ handypersons to correct this issue, a few would prefer to save some money. Nevertheless, this would be a regular task that would take a little while to complete for these kinds of people.
Regularly, a few persons make the mistake of attempting to remove large pieces of plaster to make replacements. Unfortunately, this singular action sets off the damaging of these plaster walls, which break off little by little as preceding pieces are removed. In order to avoid this occurrence, the already installed plaster is preserved and fixed in carefully mapped out plans.
What are the Materials I Will Need to Fix My Cracked Plaster Walls?
There are specific essential tools and materials you will need to obtain before you commence the activity of fixing your cracked plaster walls. These materials are vital in ensuring that your cracked plaster walls are appropriately repaired and devoid of damage.
The tools required include:
- A utility knife.
- A short vacuum.
- A pair of scissors.
- 6-inch drywall knife.
The materials needed include:
- 150-grit sanding sponge.
- Drywall joint compound.
- A paper drywall tape.
Steps in Repairing My Cracked Plaster Walls
There are some series of steps that yield excellent results when followed to correct cracks on plaster walls. Although experts have tried other methods, this proves to be the most efficient by far. Furthermore, when strictly followed, these steps aid in correcting these cracks without exacerbating the already existing problem.
I’ve comprehensively discussed these steps below.
- The first thing to do is to test the crack. You’re doing this step to get a deeper insight into the level to which the crack has affected the plaster wall. Nevertheless, it would help if you used the utility knife to cut around the edges of the crack at this point. Afterward, you should open out the crack area a little bit and remove the loose material.
The forthcoming compound would need an area to stick to, which you’re doing to create space for the subsequent repairs. It would help if you understood that it is not necessary to scrap the cracks vigorously. Although it is essential to remove the loose material, you should do it with care.
- Now, cut the paper drywall tape to fit on the crack. Understand that if you fit the drywall tape more appropriately, the repair on the plaster wall gets stronger.
- Go ahead and spread the joint compound after thorough mixing. Using a 6-inch drywall knife, fetch a small portion of the joint compound and spread it over the crack. Do well to note that you should spread the joint compound wider than the size of the paper drywall tape.
However, because the joint compound dries up rapidly, you shouldn’t waste time before you move to the next step.
- Apply tape to the crack and smooth the tape with the 6-inch drywall knife. However, you should ensure that you perfectly smooth the tape so that no irregularities form on the plaster wall surface.
- Add another layer of joint compound over the taped area and smooth using the 6-inch drywall knife. In addition, you should apply the joint compound so that it blends with the surrounding plaster and is allowed to dry.
- Go ahead to lightly sand the compound with a 150-grit sanding sponge or paper to irregular ridges present on the patched plaster wall. However, do not sand too hard, or the tape gets damaged.
- Finally, clean the repaired area and surrounding area with a vacuum and wipe with a dry cloth.