We moved into a 90 year old brick house last November. Over the course of the past year, we have noticed a lot of cracks appearing in the plaster ceilings of all three levels of the house. Is this a sign of water damage or of the house settling? There are no cracks in the walls at all.
The house was freshly painted when we moved in, so maybe we just didn't notice them at first?
We replaced all gutters and windows in the house. The roofer who did the gutters checked the roof in the spring and said that it looked to be in pretty good shape, although it is old.
None of the plaster feels wet, even in the attic.
A pipe from the bathroom broke in February and water did come out then and spilled down into the living room ceiling - cracks there obviously were caused by water damage, but it seemed to be fairly localized where that water collected, and again nothing feels wet now, but new cracks are continuing to appear.
A Walgreen's was recently built in an adjacent lot. So we are concerned that that construction could have caused new settling in our lot.
How do we tell what is causing this? We don't want to fix the plaster until we figure out why it's cracking.