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Old 01-08-2011, 12:26 PM   #1
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what to do about this crack? pic inside.


Hi all,

I live in a rented apt and when I moved in there was a small crack in the drywall in the bathroom which has grown quite a bit. I cant stand looking at it anymore, and the landlord hasnt shown any initiative to fix it. I figured I'd give it a shot and watched some tutorials on patching drywall, but I wasnt able to find any examples that fixed the problem I have. I've got a crack about 1.5 ft long that is protruding from the wall. The surface of the crack is quite thin; a thin layer if that makes sense..

What would be the easiest way to go about repairing this?


Thanks!

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Old 01-08-2011, 12:43 PM   #2
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what to do about this crack? pic inside.


Because you live in a rented apartment I would take pictures of the crack and write a letter to the landlord indicating the problem and that it should be fixed by him. If he still shows no initiative or intension on fixing the crack then I would write another letter asking if you can fix the problem before it gets any worse and have him sign the letter releasing you of any damage or ill repair you may cause. This way you can cover your butt if he decides to hold your security deposit because of the repair.
I know it is an easy fix but you should also get at least (3) quotes and include it with your letter that way all your bases are covered. I have seen many of my friends fix things because of the neglect of the landlord and then turn around and bite them in the butt…
Just my .02 cents.

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Old 01-08-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by epson View Post
Because you live in a rented apartment I would take pictures of the crack and write a letter to the landlord indicating the problem and that it should be fixed by him. If he still shows no initiative or intension on fixing the crack then I would write another letter asking if you can fix the problem before it gets any worse and have him sign the letter releasing you of any damage or ill repair you may cause. This way you can cover your butt if he decides to hold your security deposit because of the repair.
I know it is an easy fix but you should also get at least (3) quotes and include it with your letter that way all your bases are covered. I have seen many of my friends fix things because of the neglect of the landlord and then turn around and bite them in the butt…
Just my .02 cents.
Thanks for the reply. I'll likely take that route of giving the landlord another chance. Any suggestions on the fix, if I'm going to take care of it myself? Never did something like this before.
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:41 PM   #4
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what to do about this crack? pic inside.


Tools that you will need:
1) A 6’’ taping knife
2) A 10’’ or 12’’ taping knife
3) A plastic mud pan
4) Drywall compound
5) Drywall tape (paper)
6) Fine grit sandpaper and a sanding block.
7) Primer
8) Paint roller or brush
9) Finish paint coat
10) And if needed paint try

Now the work: clean out the crack by using your 6’’ taping knife to scrape the edges of the crack to remove any dust and peeled paint. Apply a light coating of compound to the crack using the 6’’ taping knife and embed the tape in the compound immediately and use the 6’’ knife to push the tape into the compound now scrape the tape with the 10’’ wide knife to scrape away any excess compound and then apply a thin coat of compound over the tape using the 6’’ knife and be sure to feather the edges. Let the patch dry completely. After the first coat is dry, apply a second coat with the 10’’ wide knife over your patch and feather out the edges again and allow to dry. Apply a final coat let that dry and then sand the patch until smooth by using the fine grit sand paper to smooth out the surface. Remove any dust from sanding and then apply a primer over your patch when the primer is dry apply your paint finish. Note: even if you still had the existing paint you will notice a difference in color on the wall I would suggest to paint the entire wall.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:25 PM   #5
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what to do about this crack? pic inside.


It looks like drywall. If so, then you need to find the studs on each side of the crack. Your going to take a square out of the wall from center to center on those studs. I would take a drywall saw and start sawing from the crack to the right and to the left until you hit the studs. At that point you know that you have 3/4 of an inch to the center of the stud. But to be safe mark at 5/8" and cut more if needed, trying to stay close to the center. Take a level and plumb off of that mark making a line that you will use to cut rock with knife later. If no level, just use the saw going both ways on top and bottom of the crack to the studs to be able to make marks 5/8" in. Use a straight edge between marks to make line. Once you have lines on the studs on each side, you determine where the sheetrock crack stops on top and bottom and go an 1" or 2" above and below the crack to get back to the strength of the sheetrock, using a level or measuring from the floor or ceiling to get a line on the square that you will be cutting out. Once you have marked all fours sides of the square to be removed, you take your knife and slice moderately the first time to get it started and then put more pressure with multiple passes to finish cutting through the rock, you can use a saw on top and bottom, but take it easy so you don't do more damage and have to cut more out (get rid of all loose pieces). Be aware that there are fasteners on those studs so you will probably go through a few blades of your knife. Once you find a nail, if it is in your way you can either pull it, or take a screw driver and using it as a punch you put it just under the nail head and lightly tape it out of the way, back into the existing sheetrock.

Next you will need to determine the size of the sheetrock. Usually 1/2" on the walls. So cut new rock for the patch 1/8" to 1/4" shy of your height and width, cutting away any bumps from the gysum to make lines as straight and smooth as possible. If you feel that you would like to strength the span on top and bottom of the cuts where there is no nailing member like the studs on the side of the patch, you can use a number of blanks (say 1 x 4, 1/2 plywood, 3/4 plywood). A blank then is cut to fit the length of the span (doesn't need to be tight). The width is determined by letting yourself have plenty of room for screwing( width of blank can be 3 1/2 " or more). Before the sheetrock patch is placed, take the blanks and hold them behind the sheetrock, center the board so 1/2 the width is hidden behing the sheetrock and 1/2 the width is exposed for the patch to lay up to. Once you have the blank held and secure, screw through the existing sheetrock into the blank spacing three or more screws. Your blank is then held solid by the existing sheetrock. Now put the patch in and screw into studs and blanks using 1/4" screws.

Since this is a painted wall you need to sand all around the patch with a heavy grit sand paper (80 grit works well). You need to scuff the surface (approximately 15" around patch, because you will be using a 12" knife later for finishing) especially if it has been painted with some type of gloss. Wipe dust away with wet cloth.

Prefill all gaps with mud, doesn't matter what kind of mud. Let dry and put taping mud and tape on. Mixing your taping mud loosely. Not quite runny.

After that drys, You put on a second coat of finish mud, I usually use 8" knife for that. Sand with fine sand paper and apply the next coat with a 12" knife, always feathering the edges on all applications. Sand and touch up. Remember, being a beginner you can play as long as you want with. If you don't think it is quite right, put more mud on it, and sand some more.

I also take it that it is not textured? There are tricks with that too.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:28 PM   #6
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Thanks Epson, that doesnt sound too difficult. The only part I'm unsure of is, when am I pushing the surface back into the wall? Would that be during the cleanup with the knife or while applying compound? I think when pushing the layer down it'll crack more.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:38 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice, redmanblackdog.

This method sounds a bit more intense for me. I'm curious to hear which of these approaches would be better in my situation
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by liquidskin View Post
Thanks Epson, that doesnt sound too difficult. The only part I'm unsure of is, when am I pushing the surface back into the wall? Would that be during the cleanup with the knife or while applying compound? I think when pushing the layer down it'll crack more.
You will remove any excess cracking paint, dirt, and expose the clean crack, then apply mud into that crack and press the tape into it. You just apply enough pressure to squeeze out the mud under the tape to make it flush and remove excess mud. Don’t worry your crack won’t get any larger.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:54 PM   #9
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what to do about this crack? pic inside.


Both sets of directions are good--depending on the severity of the crack--

I think Redman sees this the same as I do---The drywall in that section looks broken,not just a crack opening up.

Take a carpenters knife and open that up a bit and I think that you will find that the drywall is broken

and that someone did a hasty thin patch over the bad board--


If I am right a section will need to be cut out--a couple of wood backer boards screwed in--then a piece of new drywall---paper tape--two or three thin coats of mud and sand.

If the drywall is still sound --then Epsons directions will apply.
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:23 PM   #10
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If the area is getting larger, I would find the underlying cause before trying to fix the area. Looks like it's the paint and/or joint compound turning loose. Could be a water leak. Is there a another bathroom above that could have a tub or commode leaking??

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