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    Jack Drowder's Avatar
    Jack Drowder Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 4, 2017, 02:15 PM
    Is the possible for dangerous cracks to form behind paint/wallpaper?
    I have this strange phobia of buildings like my house suddenly collapsing without warning. I know that most of the time visible cracks will form before something catastrophic happens and there will be other telltale signs that the building is in danger of falling apart, but I was wondering whether it is possible for paint/wallpaper to hide any dangerous cracks that may be forming in a wall so that you have no idea how serious the situation is until the wall gives way. Should this be something to worry about?

    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
    Uber Member

    Dec 4, 2017, 04:10 PM
    All buildings have cracks... paint can't hide them and neither can wallpaper, the Material is too thin to hide any significant imperfections. ever see how strong pain isn't? Wallpaper? Understand those two things and you understand A LOT.

    Are you getting counselling for the phobia? Perhaps it would help and alleviate at least this point of stress in your life.
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
    Uber Member

    Dec 4, 2017, 06:44 PM
    No way paper can contain a wall collapse. That is indeed a phobia, what is it called?
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert

    Dec 4, 2017, 07:05 PM
    Take a week off and watch non-stop home renovation TV shows.
    The amount of houses still standing after decades of people taking cuts out of beams and joists will boggle your mind.
    Fortunately, US building codes (assuming you are in the US), are so strict that it's very difficult for a residential home to fall down unexpectedly.

    Commercial buildings and high rises, however, are famous for contractor errors, cheats, and architectural mistakes.
    I think it's GOOD phobia therapy to read this, as long as you also watch the home shows too, and learn a lot about construction.
    Google 'famous building collapses' and look for 10 worst high rises.
    Jack Drowder's Avatar
    Jack Drowder Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 5, 2017, 12:03 AM
    Thanks for your responses! They've definitely helped to reassure me. The reason I'm asking this question now is because recently I had a bad nightmare that my wall was covered all over with minute, barely visible cracks, and one day the wall suddenly collapsed while I was asleep. Is that not something that could realistically happen then? If there were tiny cracks throughout my wall, would they actually pose any danger?

    I am looking into counselling for this phobia - I've only recently started having it, so it might pass after a while...
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert

    Dec 5, 2017, 03:55 AM
    It depends on what kind of structure you live in. A single family home, no, it isn't realistic.
    A 20 story apartment building, possibly.
    Again, so much depends on the construction, including the ground it's built on, that it might help you to learn all about construction.
    Even a one story ranch will 'settle' over the years, and no longer be perfectly level and plumb. I've lived in houses built in the 1800s that were well constructed but were sagging and tilting so much you could see it, and yes, the plaster was cracking, but there was no danger of it falling down. Nowadays, with 4 x 8 drywall, you won't see tiny cracks, the cracks will be along the edges. I have a modern house with a tiny cracks along the ceiling where a wall was removed. The attic only had to sag a 1/16 of an inch to create the crack. The removed wall was a bearing wall, so even though they put in wood between the attic joists to substitute for a beam, it wasn't totally flat.

    I worked in a new office building in the 80s that had inner courtyards with a lot of glass looking into them, and a lot of the huge glass panels shattered, probably because the building settled, and with glass, all it takes is a tiny bit.

    I had a vivid dream about 35 years ago that I was asleep and woke up to see a hole in the ceiling with a face looking down at me. There was something very ominous about it, as I imagine you felt. Once in a great while, I think about it again and find myself glancing up at the ceiling. It happens in times of stress. Give some thought to what sorts of uncertainties and worries you are having, totally unrelated to your building. That's what a therapist would do.

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