Bathroom ceilings cracking

Help Support House Repair Talk:

Tmanni

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
We are having cracking in our bathroom ceilings. It is in multiple places, not just over the shower. Some has fallen off and seems to be thicker than just paint, plaster maybe? A few questions. 1, what is this? 2, what is causing it? And 3, how do we fix?

20170123_173848.jpg

20170123_173725.jpg

20170123_173705.jpg
 

nealtw

Contractor retired
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
24,769
Reaction score
3,395
Location
Chiliwack BC Canada
Just a guess but it looks like someone did a skim coat of filler and did not get a good bond.
Maybe you have to much moisture, do you run the fan for a while after a bath or shower?
 

slownsteady

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jun 5, 2009
Messages
6,932
Reaction score
1,318
Location
Sussex County, NJ
Bad bond or excessive moisture, or both. looks like a cement product, but the picture is a little blurry. What is your ceiling made of? Is there anything above it (of course there is, but what is it)?
 

Tmanni

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
I will grab a better pic when I am back home thid afternoon. We did just replace the fan. We have lived in the house for 2 years and bought it from an apparently not so great flipper. Though it passed inspection with only 1 small problem they fixed 😑
 

Tmanni

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
I have no idea what the ceiling is made of (obviously new to this ) but the attic is above the bathrom.

We have some ceiling issues and straight wall cracking elsewhere but the bathroom is the only spot we have this problem
 

Snoonyb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
3,921
Reaction score
749
From the 2nd of the 3 photos, the 2 grey spots are indications that this appears to be gypsum plaster over lath, and the age of the dwelling will be an indicator of the type of lath.

However, the repair was not properly prepared, and moisture inherent to bathrooms has left with a couple of alternatives.

Remove the loose material, install a ceiling fan, if there isn't one, prime with an oil based transitional primer and apply a finish coat of Dura-bond, prime again and paint.

Remove the loose material, install a ceiling fan, if there isn't one, locate and map the ceiling joists, apply a layer of 1/4" drywall, finish, prime and paint.
 

kok328

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
2,918
Reaction score
289
I'm thinking possible roof leak in combination with shower humidity.
Hope I'm wrong.
 

Tmanni

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
There is no evidence of water spots under where it is chipping off. Would I see these if there were a leak? Also no water spots noticable in the attic.

Is chipping off thencracking spots and repairing a realistic option? Can I assume there will not be further damage to the areas we do not fix?

Could the attic insultation be not allowing for full ventilation? I was reading that often it is too far in certain areas.
 

Snoonyb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
3,921
Reaction score
749
Is chipping off the cracking spots and repairing a realistic option? Can I assume there will not be further damage to the areas we do not fix?
Were there a roof leak you would see the spots usually resembling toast, in color.

Since the repair was so poorly done, removing as much of that, that is loose, to a secure edge is the practical method, prior to priming and applying the patch material.

Could the attic insultation be not allowing for full ventilation? I was reading that often it is too far in certain areas.
The ceiling and the painted surface are an effective barrier to moisture transition to a ventilated and insulated attic, so the attic insulation will have no effect.

However, the lack of an effective ventilated bathroom will leave the accumulated moisture clinging to the ceiling, causing the affect you are experiencing.
 

Tmanni

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
There is no evidence, so far, of a brown coloration. Only the grey where chipped.

I am attempting to do as much of this myself as possible, so they you all for your help and patience.

I will start by removing all of the chipping/ceacked areas and as much of the not yet affected areas as possible. I also noticed peeling paint last night so that will need to be removed also. This will be a several day project as I am pregnant, have a 2 yr old and my husband works long hours.

I will post pictures once I have completed this first step
 
Last edited:

Snoonyb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
3,921
Reaction score
749
Thanks.

There is a learning curve to patching and because it is overhead, some upper body strength.
 

Tmanni

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
I understand. It may just move slowly :) we could afford to hire but we just dropped several thousand on the other issue so I would prefer to avoid that.
 

nealtw

Contractor retired
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
24,769
Reaction score
3,395
Location
Chiliwack BC Canada
I understand. It may just move slowly :) we could afford to hire but we just dropped several thousand on the other issue so I would prefer to avoid that.
The fan in the bathroom is the first thing you want to look at with a problem in the bathroom.

If you have a fan it may not be run often enough or long enough or it is not effective enough.

Noisy fans are often blamed for reasons not to run the fan and people often replace them with a nice quiet one with more cfms but the problem is often just the size of the duct work or the number of bend in that pipe.
 
Top