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Cracks in Crown Molding

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Your crown moulding looks excellent, but one day it starts to crack or chip or become damaged. Prevention is indeed the best cure, and knowledge is power, so if you know what can cause crown moulding damage, you are better equipped to stop the damage before it occurs.

There are some common causes of crown moulding damage, and there are ways to fix your crown moulding if it does become damaged.

The 5 Common Causes Of Crown Moulding Damage

Moisture

Moisture causes damage to a lot of things around the house, and crown moulding is no different. Crown moulding is made from wood, and wood expands when it is exposed to moisture. When this happens, the paint can start to crack and chip.

Moisture often gets into crown moulding when it has not been sealed properly. It can also happen when there is flooding from something like a broken pipe.


Heat or Cold

If there is excess heat or cold, your moulding can become damaged. Both extremes can cause the paint to fleck and chip. Heat will cause the crown moulding to expand, and the cold will cause it to contract. If the temperature change is quick, it will cause more damage. And, if the temperature affects the surrounding area, the crown moulding can come away from the wall or fracture.

Prevention is the best cure here, and maintaining the temperature of a room is the easiest way to protect the moulding. If an accident occurs (such as a furnace breaking down in the winter), fix the problem as quickly as possible.


Pressure

A house will shift over time, whether with snow piling up on the roof or the ground around the house shifting. The structural integrity of your home will also waken as the house ages. All of these shifts put pressure on your crown moulding. If the walls, floors, or ceilings shift, the crown moulding can twist and buckle.

You might think that you can’t prevent this from happening, but high-quality installation can stop this problem. Good carpenters will leave small gaps at installation to account for the change in pressure over time.


Impacts

What’s the best way to damage something? To hit it with something hard. Crown mouldings around a high ceiling will be harder to damage, but it is still possible. Objects can be thrown by mistake (or on purpose). If the crown moulding is lower down, it might take multiple impacts. And, if you have children in the house, your chances increase. If the moulding is struck by a heavy object, it can chip the paint at best and crack the moulding at worst.


Pests

Crown mouldings are made from wood, meaning they are the perfect home for termites. While it is unlikely termites will make their way through your home to burrow in your crown mouldings, it is possible. The best way to prevent it is to look for signs of termites in other wood. If you see eggs, holes, or wood dust, you should call in a professional to take care of the termites before they can do some damage.

There are other pests out there too, and other bugs and beetles might make their way into the moulding. The best way to stop this is to ensure that the mouldings (and your home in general) are well sealed.


Could It Be A Sign Of Structural Damage?

Yes, and no.

If you have structural damage, your house is going to shift, and that is going to lead to pressure being applied to the crown moulding. So, yes, structural damage can crack your crown moulding. If you believe this to be the case, it is recommended that you call in a professional to assess the damage to the house before you even begin to assess the damage to the crown moulding.

But, structural damage to a home is rare, especially a new home. Unless your home is an old one, it is worth considering other reasons for the damage to the crown moulding before you jump to structural damage. It is far more likely that the damage is caused by one of the reasons listed above.


How Do I Repair Crown Moulding?

If the damage is minimal, you can fix the crown moulding. You can paint the affected area for small cracks, chips, or flaking paint. You might have to use a wood filler if the damage is more severe. Small gaps can be filled and then painted. For more severe damage, or if the crown moulding is coming away from the wall, you might have to call in the professionals. And, if you have termites or some other pests, you will have to call in the professionals.

Prevention is the best cure for crown moulding, which means hiring a professional to install your crown moulding. That way, you will not have to worry about the moulding coming away from the wall, from pressure, temperature changes, or bad installation. If you are worried about pests infesting your crown moulding, you can consider plastic, plaster, or MDF moulding. They might not look as good as wooden crown moulding, but they can save you a lot of trouble.

The crown moulding looks excellent in almost any house, but you need to take care of the moulding to maintain its appearance. Most of the reasons for damage to crown moulding can be avoided. Keep the temperature in a room constant, have someone install the crown moulding for you, make sure that the moisture in the room is not too high, and deal with minor repairs as soon as possible so they don’t lead to more significant problems.