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What It Really Means When Your Walls Crack
There are a number of reasons your drywall may crack, including fluctuations in temperature and humidity levels, faulty taping (which may cause a thin, straight crack), or a structural problem, among other issues. If you see a bit of discoloration around the edges of the crack, you may have a leak.
Hairline cracks, which usually appear over doors and windows, are likely due to a home's age and shouldn't cause too much concern, because they can be re-taped and painted. To determine whether you have a hairline crack or a settling crack, Andy Beery suggests using the penny test.
"While holding the penny between your finger and thumb, press the edge against the crack," he tells Realtor.com. "If the crack is thinner than the penny, you have a hairline crack — but if it is wider than the penny, especially if it tapers and widens, this is a settling crack."