Drywqll House Crack ?

Hello,
Have a 35 year old house; split level style.
Never had any drywall cracks, etc.
I have just noticed a (new) drywall crack running vertically along a wall Beginning at the ceiling, ends at a window, and picks up again underneath the window down to the floor.
This is all on the second level of the house.
Nothing has propagated to the first level.
I guess the simple thing is just to say the house has "settled," a bit, but after 35 years ?
What causes these sort of cracks ?
Any thought on would be appreciated.
Thanks, Bob
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The causes are many and varied. A few: * Soil around the foundation got wetter or drier than usual and expanded or shrank, causing the house to move a little. * Wood in the wall or floor or ceiling or window changed moisture content, swelling or shrinking a little. * Water from a window leak or condensations ran into the wall, causing wood to change.... * Someone leaned or fell against the wall. * Carpenter bees ate something critical, causing a shift.
There's no simple answer. Cracks radiating from the corners of windows and doors are common, especially around here where we have expansive clay soils. If they're small, use some flexible caulk to fill them in, then paint the wall. If the come back, especially if they're bigger, we call a foundation guy for a free estimate.
--
Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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A little more info , please... Type of basement or foundation??? Area of country??? unusually cold or wet winter???Heavy snow load on roof??? Type of heat?? Anything new???(pellet stove or wood stove) Recent leaks??? New heavy furniture??? Recent renovations or other changes????
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