Crown moldings act as beautiful finishing touches to interior spaces, adding aesthetic flair, sealing gaps, and concealing imperfections. Of course, like any other part of your home, these worthy additions can break down over time, especially if installed improperly or poorly maintained. In order to prevent this damage, it helps to know what might cause it in the first place.

Let’s explore five of the most common causes of crown molding damage.

1. Pressure

Every part of your home is connected. When the ground shifts or your roof gets pummeled with snow, for instance, these changes in weight and pressure are distributed throughout the entire structure. You might not be able to see these changes, but the laws of physics continue to act regardless. As support beams contract and the walls, ceilings, and floors shift around, your crown molding might buckle, revealing cracks or dislodging from the wall. While it’s impossible to stop the forces of gravity, the best finish carpenters account for these possible shifts by leaving enough room and leeway between moldings and surfaces. The more room to maneuver, the better.

2. Moisture

Water can wreak havoc on a home in so many ways, and it can certainly damage your wooden crown moldings. Properly painting and/or sealing your crown moldings helps prevent moisture from intruding, but water might still find a way into the wood’s pores, especially if you’ve put off interior painting for a while. As for where the water comes from, there are many possible sources. Broken, leaking pipes are one culprit. Or, if your home isn’t well-sealed, rainwater can make its way through the windows, doors, and even walls. The steam present in bathrooms and kitchens can also damage any nearby crown molding. Properly sealing and ventilating your home and maintaining your pipes will reduce the risk of this water-related crown molding damage.

3. Heat and Cold

Fluctuations in temperate also damage your crown molding. Hotter temperatures cause structures to expand, while colder temperatures cause structures to contract. And if these temperature changes occur in quick succession, structures and their paint jobs can break. Even gradual changes in temperature can dislodge or fracture parts of your crown molding. Maintaining a consistent interior climate is one way to keep your crown moldings secure and sound (and protect your home painting as well).

4. Impact

Obviously, a good way to damage something is by hitting it hard enough. While crown moldings are often slightly out of reach, they can still suffer from accidental impact. Thrown objects can ding up the corner of a ceiling, heavy items can get dropped on the mantle’s molding, and slammed doors or windows can send ripples upward that crack the crown molding. The best way to avoid this type of damage is to simply be cautious and gentle indoors.

5. Pests

Lastly, a pest infestation can eat up your crown molding, quite literally. To be more specific, termites, if they find a way into your home, will happily make a meal out of any wood available. If your crown moldings happen to be composed of wood, then they’re on the menu. Of course, termites, beetles, and other pests will have a hard time getting into your home if it’s well-sealed, so make caulking a priority and hire painting services to protect your wooden surfaces.

The crown molding in your home is always at risk of undergoing some sort of damage. The more prepared you are to mitigate these threats, the longer your beautiful moldings will last. If your carpentry is in need of repair or painting, All American Painting Plus can help. Our interior painting contractors can do much more than just coat your walls. We’ll install, fix, seal, and paint your crown moldings. And that’s only a taste of what we can do for your home.

To learn more about us and everything else we offer our clients in Northern Virginia, give us a call at 703-620-5563!