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Old 01-26-2014, 08:49 AM   #1
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


This crack is on the wall separating shower and bathtub in the second floor master bath. To me it seems to be crappy tape job, but not sure. This is a six year old two-story colonia in New England.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:53 AM   #2
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


The crack is about 1 inch from the ceiling.

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Old 01-26-2014, 09:52 AM   #3
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


Could be a number of things.
Poor taping job.
Someone just used way to much mud and it cracked.
Not enough fasteners so something moved.
In any case that old tape needs to come off.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:55 AM   #4
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


If you have an engineered truss system for your roof framing, this is quite common in the winter months. The wood in the trusses gets dry from the dry winter air and they actually lift up ever so slightly causing these types of cracks. On the other hand, it could indeed be a poor tape job. In either scenario, it's worth a shot to fix it by pulling out the old tape, remudding the joint, inserting new tape, and finishing up with 2 or 3 coats of joint compound. Sand, remove dust, prime, and repaint.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:23 AM   #5
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


Thanks so much for the reply.

I have attic above, and we rarely go there. I know it is hard to judge from the pic, but do you think it is worth of calling a structural engineer?
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:55 AM   #6
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


Calling a structural engineer sure won't be cheap. If there's no other indications of damage I would agree it's a crappy drywall job with a house settling. Do you know if this is even a load bearing wall?
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:04 PM   #7
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


I don't know if this is a load bearing wall or not. It is a short wall separating shower and bath tub, maybe 3 to 4 ft long.
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:15 PM   #8
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


Quote:
Originally Posted by shiyang100 View Post
I don't know if this is a load bearing wall or not. It is a short wall separating shower and bath tub, maybe 3 to 4 ft long.
Do you have adequate venting in the BR? I ask because you could also have moisture issues which could be contributing to the problem.
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:17 PM   #9
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


Here's something that might help you out:
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/load-be...all-39130.html
These are the little things you need to know or owning a house will be very expensive if you have to call out contractors for minor/non-issues. Either way I'd still say it's from settling and over contraction from the freezing weather or bad tape job. Certainly not worth dropping a couple $100 on for a structural engineer to come out if there are no other issues with the house.

Also good call on a moisture issue. Make sure the fan is adequate and vented properly and that it stays on for at least 20 mins after a shower.

Could you post a picture taken from a bit further away?

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Old 01-26-2014, 03:30 PM   #10
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


Here is the pic of that wall. On the vertical side, there are some hairline cracks which I guess they are from corner beads cracking. We do have a good vent, use it regularly. May not be 20 min that long.
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Old 01-26-2014, 04:18 PM   #11
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


House 6 years old I would lean toward just settling.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:25 PM   #12
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


So in that picture is the bathtub right below? If so are baths taken on a regular basis? Between the weight of the person and the water in the tub, that can cause some stress and ever so slight flex in the floor that it might pull the wall down from the ceiling. I'm talking minuscule movement, but could be enough to cause the mud to crack. Just a thought. I might be totally wrong.
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:36 PM   #13
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


Hi JB1234,

Yes, the bathtub is in the front, and the shower is on the back. We don't use tub very often. Only used twice so far this year. But you made an interesting point. Do you think this crack is a structural problem if caused by the weight? Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:52 PM   #14
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


Could it be structural, sure. But not structural as in the house is going to fall down and there will be devastation. Ha. Between the bitter cold, things settling and the house will always "move", you are bound to have some movement and cracks or seams open up. It's been very cold by me and was -17 this morning. I have definite movement at some of my seams and had a hairline ceiling crack open up. It's going to happen, but yours appears cosmetic. I'd wait until at least spring to even attempt a fix.

Remember your house is made of wood, drywall, compound, screws/nail, siding of brick or vinyl/other. Everything has a different expansion/contraction rate. Even the ground will move causing different stresses. Commonly all the above is on a minor scale, but when you think about it, it's pretty amazing to just have one small crack in one corner of a wall. So I'd say you're doing ok. Obviously keep your eyes open for other issues to make sure it's not the beginning of an issue.

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Old 01-28-2014, 06:57 PM   #15
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Drywall crack near the ceiling


Google "truss uplift" common with abrupt and large changes in temp and humidity.

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