Can a New Roof Cause Cracks? (Helpful Answer!)

Over the years, I have read a whole bunch of complaints about cracks appearing on wall and ceiling surfaces shortly after the installation of a new roof.

But I’m not entirely convinced that reroofing is the culprit in many of these cases. After all, a great number of reroofing projects have taken place without wall or ceiling cracks being the aftermath.

So, what then is a likelier cause of cracks in a recently reroofed home, other than, well, the reroofing that just took place?

Keep reading to find out!

Here’s if a Reroof Causes Cracks:

Reroofing, if done correctly, shouldn’t cause cracks, but a good number of homeowners still experience this problem after a well-executed reroofing job. It’s best to get an expert’s opinion in situations like this, as the cracks could result from something unrelated to your roof.

How Do I Really Know Reroofing Caused My Cracks?

It’d take a professional to definitively ascertain that reroofing is the cause of the cracks in your home. But you just might be able to answer this question yourself if you take out time to study the cracks closely.

There are two types of cracks that can occur in a home,

  • Non-structural Cracks: Cracks referred to as non-structural are easy to identify and aren’t so concerning. They are super thin; to be more precise, they have a width of fewer than three millimeters. These cracks are caused by vegetation, hydrostatic pressure, and movement in your foundation.
  • Structural Cracks: Just like non-structural cracks, structural cracks are super easy to identify. They can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and are caused by overloading, poor construction, or soil movement. You should be very concerned if you notice a structural crack in your home. The width of these cracks is above three millimeters.

Now, to the question you’ve most definitely been waiting for an answer to, how do you really know reroofing caused your cracks?

The answer to this isn’t so simple. Reroofing entails installing a new layer of shingles over an old layer; this will put additional weight on the supporting structures of your home, which might lead to cracking.

Slight or significant structural movement can cause cracks in your home, and this is inevitable when a roof is being worked on.

Cracks caused by reroofing are usually non-structural and are quite easy to fix. If you notice a structural crack appear after you reroofed your home seek professional help immediately.

Can a New Roof Cause Cracks in Walls?

When a roofer suggests that you get a new roof installed instead of doing a reroof, there are probably enough layers of old shingles on your roof that covering them with new or unused shingles will spell disaster.

A new roof on a pre-existing structure can be put in place only when the old shingles are pried off the roof deck. Do not mistake this process for reroofing.

You can use the phrase roof replacement and new roof installation interchangeably, they mean the same thing.

A new roof can cause cracks in the walls and, in some situations, ceiling of a home if integral roofing components are left out during the installation process.

It is also quite possible for cracks to appear in a home that recently underwent a roof replacement and the cause is completely unrelated to the project that took place.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why the walls or ceiling of a home might develop cracks.

  1. Type of Roofing Materials Used

Replacing a roof with weightier claddings or installing new shingles over several pre-existing layers can put a considerable amount of weight on the structures that anchor your home.

The type of roofing material you use can have significant effects on your home. Roofing shingles like slate tiles are quite weighty compared to other types of shingles.

If your home is newly built it should be able to withstand the weight. Older structures aren’t so strong so stick to roofing materials that won’t put much stress on them.

  1. Foundation Problems

Cracks in walls due to the new roof might actually be because of an issue in the foundation. You often pay so much attention to the new roof that you forget the foundation may have developed issues.

When the foundation of your house starts shifting, any change in weight (a new roof) can cause cracks. Fixing these cracks will not solve the problem as they would reappear after a while, so get a foundation company to see if your foundation is intact.

  1. Thermal Expansion and Contraction

When your roof or walls crack after installing a new roof, it might be because of something unrelated to your roof like the expansion and contraction of the roofing materials used to build your home.

Expansion and contraction can happen in and outside a home.

  1. Faulty Gutters and Downspouts

If your roofer failed to replace the roof gutters and downspouts when the installation of the new roof was taking place then this could be why cracks developed in your home shortly after your roof replacement.

Observe your roof gutters and downspouts when it’s raining to see if they are functioning properly. The rain water being directed off your roof by these structures must be emptied at a spot that is far away from your foundation.

  1. Home Left Vacant:

If a house is left vacant for a long period, cracks will start to develop because the interior of the home isn’t protected from climate changes.

The regulatory instruments that stabilize the ambient conditions in the home will be turned off, therefore, causing materials within a home to respond to harsh external conditions.

  1. Addition of New Structures to the Roof

You might have decided to construct structures like chimneys, attics, etc., in tow with your new roof.

If you decided to add these structures, it might have led to cracks due to the amount of weight the structures put on your home.

Also, during the installation of a roof, builders’ errors can cause the load capacity of a particular wall to be exceeded, thereby resulting in cracks.

What Can I Do About The Cracks?

There are several ways you can fix cracks in the walls of your house. These may be dependent on the type of wall you need to fix. Let’s take a concrete wall, for example; you’ll need to:

  1. Scrub the areas around the cracks and clean
  2. Use a nail to align attachment points together
  3. Spread an epoxy sealer onto the space.
  4. Apply and reinforce with a larger batch of sealer.
  5. Fill up the ports
  6. Cut out the necks of the ports

Here’s another effective way to get rid of cracks on a ceiling and exterior or interior walls,

  1. Climb up the roof using a stable ladder.
  2. Apply a large amount of mastic glue to the crack.
  3. Get a piece of webbing and stick it into the crack alongside the glue.
  4. Smoothen up the webbing and apply another layer of glue
  5. Cover and leave to dry.

Final Thoughts

You might decide to get a new roof for several reasons. Some of these reasons include improving the look of your home, repairing damages, or adding value to your house.

Although, in some cases, reroofing can come with issues but this happens only when it is not done with care.

If you notice cracks appear shortly after your roof replacement, get a professional to take a look at it and then use the insight he or she gives you to tackle the problem.