Huge diagonal cracks at bonus room window?

Hello all! First time posting here. Looking at the MLS photos for a home I’ll be inspecting next week, I spotted what appears to be two pretty substantial diagonal cracks running from the middle of a window opening all the way to the ceiling, and continuing across the top of the drywall from one crack to the other. Looks like a slice of pizza. This window is located in a bonus room above a garage and directly over the garage door. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? I suspect it could have something to do with the garage door opening. Just trying to get an idea of what could be going on before I arrive on site. Also, does anyone else “inspect” their properties via the real estate ads before showing up on site? I usually find quite a few things just by scrolling through the photos and make notes to follow up once I’m at the property.

First yes I do the same by starting my inspection with available pictures and information. Comes in real handy when you are there to inspect.

As for seeing this no I have not. If I took a giant SWAG I would expect it is so symmetrical, without any exterior or interior indications of movement (that are visible from the pictures) that it may be related to an unsual framing method used. If you use thermal imaging you might be able to catch the underlying framing to see if that may be the case.

In any case I would, on site, look closely at that area both first and second floors, and look for signs of shifting/movement. Obviously I also would not offer any causes in the report as the cause may not be identifiable without removing surface covering materials.

Thanks for the reply Emmanuel!

I too thought those lines were unusually straight and symmetrical. I’ve also never seen any cracks starting halfway up a window like that. Normally see them starting at the top of the window frame. I do use thermal imaging so I will be sure to try and see the stud pattern there. Great point.

That is one of the nice things about inspecting; you report what you see and do not try to “guess” the cause. Refer it out to a qualified contractor and let them figure it out…that is unless you are absolutely sure of the cause.

Happy inspecting. :smile:

Good point Larry. Most home buyers expect us to be structural engineers, master electricians, etc. Hard to make them understand that we are generalists sometimes. As I believe you’ve stated before in some of your other forum posts I’ve read, managing client expectations from the get go is a must.

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At first I thought it might of been a deflection of the garage door header, but the cracks are too symmetrical plus this is a gable end.
I would recommend a Qualified builder to investigate and repair.
I have a gut feeling it is in the drywall installation and/or framing.
Studs can be located with a basic stud finder.

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To me it almost looks like a cable or piece of rope… it is too symmetrical and straight… looks like someone did it for decoration.


It’s not a crack, it’s a wire or antennae.


I looked at it again and I believe you are correct Dom.

This should be better…

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I was thinking decoration. Maybe a rope light.
Let us know when you have done your inspection.

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LED rope lighting

That works for most but I can’t ever use them. Every time I turn them on, even out in the open, they alert on me! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Hey Richard - I’m not a certified detective, but I would ask myself (if I was viewing this listing)… would the photographer have featured a giant wall crack in the listing photos? Or…could that be one of those digital light-strings, like my daughter has all over her room?
Let me know, after you check it out. :+1:

One of the long-term side effects of being a HI is developing pareidolia :upside_down_face:

THAT, Simon, is a diamond…it is just where they choose to hide it. :joy:

Wow guys, thanks for all the great replies. After reading everyone’s posts and looking at the enlarged image (thanks Roy) I’m starting to lean in the direction of foreign object attached to the wall as well. Now the problem is the growing anticipation to find out what it is! And Simon, I definitely suffer from HI-induced pareidolia :crazy_face:.

I agree that it looks like a rope light or maybe antenna…I’m sure everyone here would make a beeline to that room to check that first!

Good eye everyone. It was an LED light strip with adhesive backing; sort of like what you would use for under cabinet lighting or a make-up mirror.