Many older homes still have plaster walls and ceilings and it's common for the plaster to crack.
These days, the walls and ceilings of your home are probably made from drywall, also known as sheetrock. It's fairly forgiving when it comes to patching holes and it resists cracking. But extensive cracking could be the sign of a larger problem.
A house in Baldwin, Md., has wood lath behind the plaster. The wooden pieces that form the lath attach to the framing and hold the plaster in place. Over time, the lath can deteriorate and cause the plaster to break loose and fall. Here's what you need to know to patch the problem:
1. Check cracks to determine if plaster is loose and sagging.
2. Repair large holes with pieces of drywall sized to fit the hole. Then fill with plaster patch.
3. For larger areas, cover the entire wall or ceiling with drywall. Then tape, sand and paint.
Plaster walls and ceilings can last a long time. Just keep an eye out for the cracks and holes and you'll avoid a plaster disaster.