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Old 07-11-2010, 09:22 PM   #1
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Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall


Hello guys and gals. First post here.

I recently purchased a house that was built in 1999. It is a 2 story house w/ crawlspace. I'm seeing 2 pretty nasty cracks in the drywall and I'm not sure what to do about them. I'm worried that if I just patch them, they'll return...and I'm uneasy about cracks this severe in a house this old.

I went through the crawl space and looked around, especially underneath the area where these cracks are. I don't see anything that looks broken or shifted. The house was inspected when we bought it and the home inspector went underneath as well and didn't note any problems.

Here are several pictures I've taken that will hopefully show the story (from the outside, anyway). I'm worried about pulling drywall off to see structure underneath of crack #1 because the living room wall it is on is a vaulted ceiling. Crack #1 is difficult to see but it goes left from the corner of that opening into the kitchen, and then goes up about an inch or two from the wall (I'm assuming along the corner bead). Crack #2 goes up diagonally to the left from the top of that door.

If I can provide any more info or pics, please let me know. Just trying to get a good idea of what I should do as a novice handyman...I've patched my share of drywall but never done a real structural in-wall fix.

Thanks in advance!
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Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall-wall2.jpg   Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall-wall1.jpg   Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall-crack1.1.jpg   Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall-crack1.2.jpg   Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall-crack1.3.jpg  

Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall-crack2.1.jpg  

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Old 07-11-2010, 09:23 PM   #2
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Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall


One last pic of Crack #2
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:56 PM   #3
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Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall


Hi tenthirtytwo,

I have the same issue in our house which is also 10 yrs old which we recently purchased. Did you get any replies to your question? How did you resolve your problem? We are thinking of getting a foundation expert come and take a look but are not sure since we might spend thousands of dollars even though it might not be required.

Thanks,
Gowri
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:50 AM   #4
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Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall


Before you lay awake at nite worrying about the structural integrity of your home, keep in mind we are talking about drywall.

The first rule of hanging DW is that you never put a seam at a corner.
Joints should break over the top of a door, window or other opening.
Never in a corner.

Lazy hangers do this because it's quicker
See that seam going up the left side of the door?
That WILL crack



See how there's no seam on the edge of that door?
That's the correct way.



Improper installation is a probable cause.

On the structural side of things......framing members expand and contract through the seasons.
This usually telegraphs through the drywall.
This can be due to incorrect fasteners, faulty methods or just junk lumber.

Hope this helps
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:08 AM   #5
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Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall


Does this also apply in a basement situation? Above a door opening?

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by tcleve4911 View Post
Before you lay awake at nite worrying about the structural integrity of your home, keep in mind we are talking about drywall.

The first rule of hanging DW is that you never put a seam at a corner.
Joints should break over the top of a door, window or other opening.
Never in a corner.

Lazy hangers do this because it's quicker
See that seam going up the left side of the door?
That WILL crack



See how there's no seam on the edge of that door?
That's the correct way.



Improper installation is a probable cause.

On the structural side of things......framing members expand and contract through the seasons.
This usually telegraphs through the drywall.
This can be due to incorrect fasteners, faulty methods or just junk lumber.

Hope this helps
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:12 AM   #6
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Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall


Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeKy55 View Post
Does this also apply in a basement situation? Above a door opening?

Thanks
Absolutely............

but more info on that one needed.
Is it in the middle of the door or on the edge/corner?
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:20 AM   #7
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Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall


Sorry, a bit vague I guess. I just framed a basement in my home and drywall goes up next. I have a wall that I already hung because of having to do some work on the stairs that required me to hang the walls on either side. The sheet on the side with the door opening happens to have landed about an inch into the horizonal above the door.

Last edited by MikeKy55; 09-11-2011 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:59 AM   #8
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Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall


Thanks tcleve4911 for replying.

Is there a fairly simple way for me to distinguish between just the drywall cracks and the structural integrity?

If I decide to get the house inspected, where do i start? Do I get a structural engineer OR one of the foundation repair guys? I already got the house inspected by a structural engineer about a year and half ago. he said that there is nothing wrong with the foundation and it is all cosmetic and the house might have moved due to some very heavy winds we have had in the recent past. but I have seen more such cracks since then. I am a lil skepticle about getting the foundation repair guy since I am afraid I might not get an honest answer and might be forced to spend tons of money.

Also how do I repair such cracks? The cracks in my house are very very similar to the pictures posted by the first person who started this thread.

Thank you so much.

Thanks,
Gowri

Last edited by gowri; 03-14-2011 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:28 PM   #9
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Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall


Quote:
Originally Posted by tenthirtytwo View Post
Hello guys and gals. First post here.

I recently purchased a house that was built in 1999. It is a 2 story house w/ crawlspace. I'm seeing 2 pretty nasty cracks in the drywall and I'm not sure what to do about them. I'm worried that if I just patch them, they'll return...and I'm uneasy about cracks this severe in a house this old.

I went through the crawl space and looked around, especially underneath the area where these cracks are. I don't see anything that looks broken or shifted. The house was inspected when we bought it and the home inspector went underneath as well and didn't note any problems.

Here are several pictures I've taken that will hopefully show the story (from the outside, anyway). I'm worried about pulling drywall off to see structure underneath of crack #1 because the living room wall it is on is a vaulted ceiling. Crack #1 is difficult to see but it goes left from the corner of that opening into the kitchen, and then goes up about an inch or two from the wall (I'm assuming along the corner bead). Crack #2 goes up diagonally to the left from the top of that door.

If I can provide any more info or pics, please let me know. Just trying to get a good idea of what I should do as a novice handyman...I've patched my share of drywall but never done a real structural in-wall fix.

Thanks in advance!
I highly doubt it is due to structural integrity or you would have many more cracks in the drywall, basement concrete walls, etc.

Crack #1 certainly appears to be slight movement or settling of the house...very common actually.

The new construction homes I finish I have it in the contract to go back after one year of closing date and complete a punch list of any settling or movement that may occur.

Chances are your house has finished its settling being ten years now.

To repair take a utility knife and cut a "V" approx 1/8" on each side of the cracks. Angle your blade toward the crack and make a cut all along the length of the crack. (This just removes any loose material and opens it up a little to place some fill into the crack.) The crack near your kitchen should have enough wood backing to put in a few drywall nails on each side of the crack and along the entire length of it. Yes it appears the crack popped the edge of the corner bead. May have to add a few extra nails along the entire length of it to get the bead to sink back down to be able to coat. Next (for best fix) mix up a cup full of setting style compound (durabond is fairly hard and strong but easysand will work too) and squish it into the crack to prefill it and wipe it tight and flush. Next when the prefill is set up you can mesh tape it and coat it with a tight coat with another panful of the same material you used to prefill. When that is set up then apply the finish coat.

Note: When patching cracks on painted walls the compound often forms bubbles or pocks because the painted areas don't absorb any of the compounds moisture and it all gets pushed out during drying. When this occurs simply let it finish drying and sand. Then take a damp sponge and wipe the patch to get the dust out of the pocks. Then mix up a little compound and squish it into the pocks and wipe it tight in both directions.

If I confused you or if you have any questions I can try and clarify.

Crack #2 does not appear due to where they made a joint in the rock when they installed the sheetrock because it appears to go up at an angle. (correct me if I'm wrong) Even when rock is properly hung cracks do occur sometimes exactly like your crack #2. Some of the causes are possibly settling just like your crack #1 or sometimes the rough framing is not perfectly flush around the doorframes and the drywall may crack due to nailing it off on both sides of the upper corner (both sides of the offset studs that aren't flush). Most of the time tapers catch it when it is a crack from offset framing...but sometimes around doorframes the taper may not catch that there aren't nails or screws on both sides of the upper corners...then when the trim is applied and nailed on it sucks the rock in on the side of the offset framing and cracking it in the process. Usually this is caught and fixed on the punch list just before closing.

Anyways crack #2 likely does not have wood backing along the crack because of it being angled up off the studs. To fix this cut a nice deep "V" along the entire length of the crack to allow plenty of prefill to be squished into it. Likely nothing to nail to so don't bother trying to nail off both sides of the crack. The prefill with the setting compound should work just fine. Then mesh it and coat it just like Crack #1.

There are many, many reasons cracks may form and I could make a very long list of possible causes. It takes a very experienced drywaller to nail it down...but the ones you have I think I am close.

Last edited by MnDrywallRanger; 03-14-2011 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:33 PM   #10
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Cracks in 10 yr old house drywall


Welcome to the forum, gowri!

The original poster of those pictures has not been back since then, +- 8 months ago.

As said earlier, if no structural cracks in foundation, they could be from a cathedral roof/ceiling flexing or moving. If similar to pics, just use some setting compound and mesh tape, and cover that with paper tape and regular all purpose joint compound. The paper tape is stronger and will hide some cracking where the mesh will show all and stretch with the movement; http://www.usg.com/rc/technical-arti...e-en-J1190.pdf The mesh is fine for flat seams but the paper is better for structural cracks at corners and plane intersections, be careful when applying both: http://www.usg.com/rc/data-submittal...ata-MH1178.pdf
I agree with MDR, above, water may be present there. Do you have a moisture meter?




Gary

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