Have you ever observed plaster wall cracks and wondered what, if anything, they signaled?
These ceiling and wall plaster cracks in this particular pictured below were observed in an 87 year old multi-family property. This property was masonry walled, so these were more likely to be due to settlement of the building over the course of almost a century.
However, the second floor side of the building these cracks were observed in, was taking on constant water at the garage/basement level, due to the driveway sloping towards the building, with inadequate driveway drainage. This water issue has probably accelerated the structural settlement of the building, and appeared to have accelerated the minor movement of these cracks.
The structure was a solid structure, with minimal settlement observed in the exterior brickwork (structural brick), meaning very few areas in need of tuck-pointing the brick.
Overall, these cracks did not appear to be of major concern. When I asked the tenant who lived in that specific unit how long they’ve been there, she said “for as long as I’ve lived here”, which was over 20 years. So, not a huge concern, but should be monitored over time. Especially if the driveway drainage issue is not addressed.