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Old 01-16-2014, 10:36 AM   #1
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Horizontal crack in ceiling next to exterior wall


Good morning,

I'm a first-time homeowner who's never done any DIY projects or knows much about these kinds of issues, so please excuse my ignorance in advance. I have a horizontal crack in the ceiling (I think it's drywall) that runs the width of my master bathroom (the crack is probably 6 feet long) in an interior unit TH. There are also possible nail pops occurring at regular intervals along the crack. The TH was built in 1984 in the DC suburbs and I've lived there for almost three years. This is the first time I've noticed a lot of nail pops throughout the three-level house, and also what appears to be truss uplift in the master bath's interior walls. I do also have several roof leaks that I'm getting fixed.

Is this crack indicative of structural damage or is it just common settlement and drywall issues? My coworker who's renovated his house says it's the latter but because of my roof leaks, my dad thought it could be due to those instead. The bathroom is below the attic, which is covered in cellulose insulation, so I don't have a feasible way of going up there to see what's above that spot in the attic.

Any help or advice people could give, I would gladly take. I don't know if I should get a structural engineer out to look into it or if it really is just regular old drywall issues. Thank you!
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:17 AM   #2
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Horizontal crack in ceiling next to exterior wall


Just looks like a bad tape job to me.
Had any ice dams on the roof?

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Old 01-16-2014, 11:51 AM   #3
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Horizontal crack in ceiling next to exterior wall


Thanks for the reply! I hope it's just a bad tape job. The DC area has had some snow recently and I did notice one small dam on the other end of the TH, so it's possible that there were dams hanging off of the eaves that went unnoticed. Should I try repairing this and then if it re-occurs, I'll know it needs additional work, or is it too risky to leave since there could be water damage?
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:14 PM   #4
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Horizontal crack in ceiling next to exterior wall


Only thing that looks remotely like possible water damage is where the paint blew out.
What's up with the roof leaks? Fixed those yet?
What's the issues with the leaks?
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:21 PM   #5
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Horizontal crack in ceiling next to exterior wall


The roofer is supposed to come tomorrow to fix the leaks. I have faulty flashing where my TH abuts the neighbors' TH, there's a something wrong with the chimney flue that needs to be fixed, and the rear bathroom vent pipe collar needs to be replaced. This has actually caused water to slide down the pipe into the insulation and is causing a sag and cracks in the ceiling drywall in another part of my master bath. So, the roof has been the bane of my homeowning existence for the last few weeks.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:42 PM   #6
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Horizontal crack in ceiling next to exterior wall


With that many leaks it may be time for a new roof.
A simple fast cheap fix for the leaking waste stack vents is one of these. No glue, no having to mess with old shingles.
Takes about 30 sec. to install.
http://www.oatey.com/products/flashi...roof-flashings
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:45 PM   #7
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Horizontal crack in ceiling next to exterior wall


As far as the crack I agree it's just the tape.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:05 AM   #8
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Horizontal crack in ceiling next to exterior wall


Ceiling cracks cannot be vertical or horizontal. Those designations are reserved for walls.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:28 PM   #9
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Horizontal crack in ceiling next to exterior wall


Thanks for the responses, everyone! I appreciate them. The roofer came out today, so my next step is to repair the damage caused by the leaks and then I'll try to tackle the bad tape job. At least I feel more assured that there isn't any imminent roof collapse now!

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