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Old 04-21-2014, 01:12 AM   #1
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New home - ceiling cracks on every joint


Hi, I'm looking for some advice on the best way to repair cracks on my ceiling. Pretty much every seam on the ceiling is cracked. The cracks are not large and mostly wash out with the daylight in the day, but at night with the lighting I have in the house they become an eyesore, especially in a new house.

I don't have any problems with the walls, just the main ceiling, and the same person who did the walls did the ceiling. The labour was done for free (a relative) and I have no desire to ask him back to try to fix it and would like to attempt it myself.

With that said I am hoping I can get some advice on how to approach this. I know the original job was done with all purpose compound and mesh tape. He used paper tape mostly on the walls and mesh on the ceiling because it was harder on the ceiling to use paper tape. I think this may be part of the problem.

I am wondering what the best method would be to repair the job, to rip it all down and put new stuff up, to scrape all the joints down and redo it with paper tape, or to just go over the existing tape with more tape and mud.

If it matters the roof is constructed with 30' attic trusses (no center beam), and the trusses are bridged and strapped. The drywall is attached to the 1x4 strapping. The but joints also have 1x4 between them to stiffen the joint a bit.

Thank you.

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Old 04-21-2014, 07:19 AM   #2
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New home - ceiling cracks on every joint


What thickness and type is the drywall?
And your right, web tape should not have been used.

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Old 04-21-2014, 01:47 PM   #3
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New home - ceiling cracks on every joint


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
What thickness and type is the drywall?
And your right, web tape should not have been used.
Hi, it's 1/2 inch drywall, 4x8 sheets, the strapping is on 16" centres. The brand is CGC ultralight, from home depot.
Thank you
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:02 PM   #4
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New home - ceiling cracks on every joint


A few other things that have caused it to fail would be not enough screws, and seams where not feathered out enough.
With web tape it would need to be about 12" wide to get it to look flat and even.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:37 PM   #5
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New home - ceiling cracks on every joint


We really need more info here. It might not be a problem with the drywall finishing. It could be framing issues, it could be "green" lumber drying out, it could be a chimney or fireplace settling in that area. You may have rafters for your roof construction and rafters tend to raise up and down ever so slightly with the change of seasons causing hairline cracks.

Eliminate any potential problems that could be causing these cracks FIRST before you dive into a bunch of repairs that may end up cracking again if the problem wasn't addressed.

If it's just a tape issue, I would tear it all out and redo it properly with paper tape and a redo of the mud. It's gonna be a LOT of work.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:07 PM   #6
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New home - ceiling cracks on every joint


Wrong drywall on ceiling should have been 5/8."
Wrong tape should not have been mesh.
Wrong mud if you do use mesh should use hot mud.
Wrong drywall 1/2" lightweight is known for not holding screws especially on ceilings.

What to do now. Remove the tape and mud from the seams should come off pretty easy. Push along the edges and see if there is any movement, if there is add some screws. Be careful lite weight is very easy to blow the screws thru it which can add to the problem. Re-mud the seams using hot mud (powder you add water to) and paper tape this will add strength to these joints.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:20 PM   #7
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New home - ceiling cracks on every joint


If this is a NEW home,get back with whomever built it for you.....as they have made a mess of the drywall. Ron
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:32 AM   #8
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New home - ceiling cracks on every joint


thanks for the responses.

As far as going back to the builder, I was the general contractor ....and I had a close relative do the taping and mudding on the main floor for me..... He also helped me frame the house (journeyman carpenter). Since he didn't charge me for the labour I don't feel that I have much right to go complain to him about it. I knew he didn't have much experience with drywall but he offered to do it and I accepted since it is probably my least favorite thing to do. The walls turned out fine, it's just the main floor ceiling. Someone mentioned rafters, the house is constructed with 30' span engineered trusses. The house is very open concept on the main floor, not sure if that has any bearing or not.

I have used the same drywall 1/2" ultralight, in the basement and did it myself with paper tape and haven't had any problems there. As far as code goes 1/2 inch is fine on 16" framing. I think it is really a taping issue. The strapping might have been a bit green, I bought it from a lumber yard direct, whereas the rest of the lumber came from big box stores. I did notice that it seemed easier to work with when I installed it, (as far as minimal splitting when nailing). The strapping I used in the basement came from a big box store and seemed drier. HOwever, I have no idea on the actual moisture content of either, as I did not measure it.

Based on the responses I think I'll redo the seams with paper and hot mud.

Last edited by lameousername; 04-22-2014 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:24 AM   #9
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New home - ceiling cracks on every joint


I'm not a drywall expert....but I do have experience with that 1/2 lightweight stuff.

First off....in my area, 5/8" is code for ceilings....

I used lightweight for some of my walls....when your lifting 12' sheets....yea, it's nice. But as noted above, it does not hold screws as well. If I had it to do again, I would not have used the lightweight stuff.

As for mesh vs paper.....hmmmmmmmmm....I have my own opinion....for seams (long side)....I prefer mesh. For butt joints...paper. But I also prefer metal corner bead over the paper stuff for corners. A bit more work to install, but it's actually easier to mud IMO.

Can you post pics?

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