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Old 01-08-2013, 01:02 PM   #1
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drywall and installer both cracked


I've been reviewing a lot of the older posts around recurring drywall cracks. I have one hairline crack (vertical) that just appeared.

I guess I broke a couple of the cardinal rules (1) I used mesh tape instead of paper, which I gather a lot of you frown on, and (2) the seam is right dead center under a tall casement window (I gather you should keep drywall seams away from over / under doors and windows). But here's the thing: I have 3 other windows with same install method and since install a couple years ago they have no issues to date. In fact his particular window also was fine until this past month. I had it all primed for a couple years, finally got my trim, flooring, etc. in and room almost finished. I did a final re-inspect on the walls for any marks, damage, etc, before I rolled on the top coat. Almost 100% done and then this crack appears. Like it was just waiting for me to finish just to pi$$ me off.

I rarely ever open any of these windows, which makes me think that a lot of window movement isn't really a factor.

I'm thinking of just making a bit of a v-groove in the crack, mudding, sanding, a touch of primer, and repainting along that vertical spot. I used a latex flat so I think I can get a way with re-applying a touch up paint in one spot (not repainting the whole wall). I really don't want to tear off the baseboard, window trim, etc. and re-tape. Are there any new products / techniques / etc that can help me out here? Thanks for having the patience to read yet another drywall cracking plea for help....


Last edited by rtoni; 01-08-2013 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:17 PM   #2
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drywall and installer both cracked


Sherwin williams has a product called "Stress Crack Tape" comes in a little box not a roll. Is very DIY friendly and easy to make disappear. May be what you are looking for.

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Old 01-08-2013, 04:46 PM   #3
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drywall and installer both cracked


Thanks ToolSeeker - is this available in box stores? not sure if there's a SW dealer / paint store near me...
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:27 PM   #4
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drywall and installer both cracked


Rt,
the mesh tape did not cause your crack. Neither did the fact that the seam was located under a window. Don't automatically assume the reason for your problem is something you read. Wood framing shrinks, sometimes studs stick in or out a bit, could be a slew of reasons for your crack.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:28 PM   #5
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drywall and installer both cracked


firehawk - thanks for the reply. I did assume based on many other posts on the subject, but you're right I don't know the root cause for certain. I'm finally getting to the point where I can finish the room, after a couple years, and now it cracks. I really hate to tear back into it now, but maybe I have no choice? Almost thinking a quick repair, then tackle it again when I repaint in a few years, as I'm getting tired of the never-ending project. or just my luck, I'll repair, repaint, re-trim, then another crack will appear on another spot. Sorry for rambling on...
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtoni View Post
Thanks ToolSeeker - is this available in box stores? not sure if there's a SW dealer / paint store near me...
Not sure about big box stores, but you could try some of your local paint stores.
OK I might as well start the argument. Yes mesh tape could have caused the crack. If you take a piece of mesh tape, grab the ends and pull it has tremendous strength. But if you grab opposing corners and pull very slightly it has no strength. The point being on a vertical seam any movement at all will cause cracking. And around any door or window is subject to slight movement.

I don't know how to move the link over here but the website for the tape is
StepSaverProducts.com they have videos and can maybe tell you of a local distributor.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:48 PM   #7
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If you try that product, let us know the outcome... Did a quick search of reviews; http://reviews.homedepot.com/1999/20...ws/reviews.htm

http://www.amazon.com/Stress-Crack-T...ews/B003IGJQQM

http://www.renovateforum.com/f208/as...ck-tape-96590/

Sounds as if a skim coat is required to hide the ragged (on purpose) edges or they will show on smooth walls (or the smooth strip down the center), and the material is stretchy that could easily leave a blister or ridges when a crack tightens back up. Usually because of humidity changes causing shrinkage with wood framing; http://www.paintsource.net/pages/sol...ood_shrink.htm

Mesh cracks at less movement; "In the case of paper tape, approximately 30 lb./lin. in. of tensile force (pulling apart) is required to break the tape with no measurable movement or elongation (no stretching). On the other hand, glass-fiber tape elongates (stretches like a rubber band) 0.03" before reaching maximum or breaking load of 70 lb./lin. in.
Research investigation has shown that hairline cracks or nail pops are visible at 0.01" of movement with veneer plaster system joints treated with glass-fiber tape. Actual load at that amount of movement is only 20 lb./lin. in. or about 30% less than the breaking load of paper tape (with no movement). As such, paper tape provides greater joint strength and is recommended where greater movement and shrinkage is anticipated." From: http://www.usg.com/rc/technical-arti...ems-en-PM5.pdf

Did you force the setting-type compound into the mesh when applied, or just wipe it smooth over the mesh; http://www.usg.com/rc/data-submittal...ata-MH1178.pdf You didn't use a drying-type mud that could show a crack after the wet paint is applied? I've had that happen in a bathroom because of the moist environment, setting-type is unaffected by water/moisture later. Mesh requires "hot" (chemical setting-type) mud, and should only be used on flat, tapered joints-not butts, perfect for MH's; http://www.usg.com/rc/installation-a...-en-MH1216.pdf
Do you own a moisture meter, you could check that joint for moisture/water from the window leaking into the wall framing above, at least you could rule out that possibility.

Gary
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
If you try that product, let us know the outcome... Did a quick search of reviews; http://reviews.homedepot.com/1999/20...ws/reviews.htm

http://www.amazon.com/Stress-Crack-T...ews/B003IGJQQM

http://www.renovateforum.com/f208/as...ck-tape-96590/

Sounds as if a skim coat is required to hide the ragged (on purpose) edges or they will show on smooth walls (or the smooth strip down the center), and the material is stretchy that could easily leave a blister or ridges when a crack tightens back up. Usually because of humidity changes causing shrinkage with wood framing; http://www.paintsource.net/pages/sol...ood_shrink.htm

Mesh cracks at less movement; "In the case of paper tape, approximately 30 lb./lin. in. of tensile force (pulling apart) is required to break the tape with no measurable movement or elongation (no stretching). On the other hand, glass-fiber tape elongates (stretches like a rubber band) 0.03" before reaching maximum or breaking load of 70 lb./lin. in.
Research investigation has shown that hairline cracks or nail pops are visible at 0.01" of movement with veneer plaster system joints treated with glass-fiber tape. Actual load at that amount of movement is only 20 lb./lin. in. or about 30% less than the breaking load of paper tape (with no movement). As such, paper tape provides greater joint strength and is recommended where greater movement and shrinkage is anticipated." From: http://www.usg.com/rc/technical-arti...ems-en-PM5.pdf

Did you force the setting-type compound into the mesh when applied, or just wipe it smooth over the mesh; http://www.usg.com/rc/data-submittal...ata-MH1178.pdf You didn't use a drying-type mud that could show a crack after the wet paint is applied? I've had that happen in a bathroom because of the moist environment, setting-type is unaffected by water/moisture later. Mesh requires "hot" (chemical setting-type) mud, and should only be used on flat, tapered joints-not butts, perfect for MH's; http://www.usg.com/rc/installation-a...-en-MH1216.pdf
Do you own a moisture meter, you could check that joint for moisture/water from the window leaking into the wall framing above, at least you could rule out that possibility.

Gary
Have used the tape acouple times and it is really almost ready to paint.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:06 AM   #9
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drywall and installer both cracked


Guys thanks for the additional info. Gary I used a dura bond compound on the mesh tape (1st coat - worked it right into the tape). That was followed by regular mud (I think it was 3 coats I applied). Then primer and paint. I read that starting with the dura bond and mesh makes a strong joint. Did I screw up on using the drying mud to finish it? Maybe should have used Sheetrock 90 or something like that?
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:07 AM   #10
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No you didn't screw up the reason we don't normally recommend the dura bond is it is harder to work with than the EZ sand. But if you used it and it came out good then you have the strongest joint.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:37 PM   #11
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drywall and installer both cracked


Lot of Garys around here, lol. TS answered correctly. Imperative to use setting-type with at least first coat, I use it on all coats and for orange peel texture with patches for one day finish including prime and paint. The durabond is for interior/exterior because it is so water resistant, even on concrete racquetball/handball courts, pp.2; http://www.usg.com/rc/installation-a...s-en-J1780.pdf

Did you discover the reason it cracked yet? If a structural crack, just filling the crack with compound will not work long-term- need paper tape/setting compound. I'm very surprised it opened up now because it is the hardest one out there, even with mesh tape, it shouldn't have opened up. This link has both paper tape and mesh tape joint coverage and repair after varying degrees of lateral stress were placed on the wall sections. Only as an example of tape bubbling from that force;http://www.curee.org/projects/EDA/do...A03-public.pdf
Pictures of your problem would help us...

Gary
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Clean the dryer screen in HOT water if using fabric softener sheets.
They leave a residue that impedes air-flow, costing you money.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:57 AM   #12
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drywall and installer both cracked


GBR - thanks for the links. Off topic - there's an interesting bit of info in the CUREE paper about orientation of drywall vs wall strength e.g. wall is 50% stronger when drywall is applied horizontally. I'm sure I've seen that topic debated a few times, if I recall.

Anyway, apologies for no pics (had no camera with me at this location). I do have some interesting info though (I think). The crack almost appears to be along the right side of the tape, as opposed to the middle of the tape / joint (???)

Got me scratching my head and thinking back now - I might have done a bit of surface damage to this area on one side - scuffed or tore the top layer of paper a bit - and probably used a sharp utility knife / straight edge a couple inches right of the joint to tear the loose bits on the surface back to a clean edge. The tape wasn't wide enough to go over that line so I kinda have tape edge and paper edge meeting up there. Hope I'm making sense. I think this is where the crack is. I didn't want to leave bits of loose paper around the joint but maybe I should have left it alone. I doubt I would have cut into the drywall enough to score it, but just enough to peel the paper back to a clean line. I think this maybe was where I went wrong...?
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:23 PM   #13
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If I'm reading this right then all you need to do is feather your mud out past where this happened by about 4" and it should be OK
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:53 PM   #14
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drywall and installer both cracked


Thanks TS - since this is a butt joint (i hung the drywall horizontal on that wall) I thought I had done an ok job feathering the mud out pretty wide on both sides - it looked ok for @ 2 years but maybe I just made the coat too thin and I got lucky until now.

If I try to feather out another coat on top of what's there now, I have a few questions:
Is Sheetrock 90 or 45 (or 20) similar to the EZ Sand product (or is it the same thing?)?
Can I feather out new compound over the existing latex paint?
Should I route out the crack first, or just leave it as is and mud right over?

Thanks again for taking the time to help out....
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtoni View Post
Thanks TS - since this is a butt joint (i hung the drywall horizontal on that wall) I thought I had done an ok job feathering the mud out pretty wide on both sides - it looked ok for @ 2 years but maybe I just made the coat too thin and I got lucky until now.

If I try to feather out another coat on top of what's there now, I have a few questions:
Is Sheetrock 90 or 45 (or 20) similar to the EZ Sand product (or is it the same thing?)?
Can I feather out new compound over the existing latex paint?
Should I route out the crack first, or just leave it as is and mud right over?

Thanks again for taking the time to help out....
The sheetrock products and EZsand are the same
Butt joints are hard to cover the reason is on the long sides of drywall sheets they are tapered so when put side by side they form a valley this is where your mud and tape goes so when filled it makes a smooth place. On the ends of the
sheet they are cut square so now when you tape and mud you have a hump.
I would scuff up the paint a little and mud over it.
Since this has already been mudded I would use the all purpose mud in the green lid bucket. Hope this help.

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