How to Tell if a Wall Crack Is Serious

First, determine the crack's direction. Thin, vertical fractures in drywall or plaster are usually the least worrisome since they're caused by "settling"—the movement of a home's structure over time.

 Newly built houses settle more dramatically: the foundation might sink and the frame wood can shrink.

Lack of temperature control may also cause cracks in a property that isn't inhabited year-round, like a vacation home.

These cracks may be readily mended and shouldn't scare you. If your home is spanking new, wait a year before repairing them since you'll likely notice more when the house settles.

Level, horizontal fissures aren't frequently a problem. If they're thin and near drywall seams, it's usually bad taping.

If your crack is angled, jagged, or combines horizontal and vertical fractures in a step-stair pattern, it may be a major issue.