How to Stop a Crack in Wood from Spreading: A Comprehensive Guide

Cracks in wood can be unsightly and dangerous, as they can lead to further damage if left untreated. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to stop a crack in wood from spreading. We will also explore the reasons why cracks occur in wood and provide tips on preventing them from occurring in the first place.

Why Do Cracks Occur in Wood?

Cracks in wood can occur due to several factors, including:

  1. Drought: Dry wood is more susceptible to cracking than moist wood. This is because water helps to keep the fibers of the wood together.
  2. Exposure to extreme temperatures: Wood can expand and contract when exposed to high temperatures, which can cause cracks to form.
  3. Excessive moisture: Too much moisture can also cause cracks in wood, as it can cause the wood to swell and put pressure on the fibers.
  4. Trauma: Sudden impacts or stress on the wood, such as dropping a heavy object, can cause cracks to form.

Preventing Cracks from Forming

To prevent cracks from forming in wood, you should:

  1. Keep your wood moist: Regularly apply moisture to the wood, either through a humidifier or by placing a tray of water near the wood.
  2. Avoid extreme temperatures: Keep the temperature in the room where the wood is located between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit (15-24 degrees Celsius) to prevent the wood from expanding and contracting too much.
  3. Protect the wood from trauma: Be careful when handling or moving heavy objects near the wood, and avoid placing any sharp objects on it.
  4. Use high-quality wood: Using high-quality wood that is less prone to cracking can help prevent cracks from forming in the first place.

Fixing a Crack in Wood

If you have already noticed a crack in your wood, here are the steps you can take to fix it:

  1. Clean the area: Remove any dirt or debris around the crack using a damp cloth or brush.
  2. Fill the crack with putty: Apply putty to the crack and smooth it out with a knife or spatula.
  3. Wait for the putty to dry: Allow the putty to dry completely, which can take up to 24 hours.
  4. Sand the area: Once the putty has dried, sand down the area around the crack using a fine-grit sandpaper.
  5. Apply stain or paint: If you have stained or painted the wood, apply a small amount of the same product to the repaired area and blend it in with the surrounding area.

Case Study: A Real-Life Example of Stopping a Crack in Wood from Spreading

One of our readers, Sarah, had noticed a crack in her wooden floorboards that was spreading rapidly. She tried several home remedies, but nothing seemed to work. After consulting with a professional woodworker, Sarah learned that the crack was caused by the drought in her area. The woodworker recommended applying moisture to the area and using high-quality oak wood to replace the damaged section.

"I was really worried about the cost of replacing the entire floorboards," says Sarah, "but the woodworker assured me that it would be more cost-effective in the long run. Now my floors look like new again!"


Cracks in wood can be unsightly and dangerous if left untreated. By understanding why cracks occur in wood, you can take steps to prevent them from forming in the first place.