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Old 07-13-2011, 07:02 PM   #1
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Baseboards/ Crown Molding/ Casing


I have a home that was built in 2001. Gaps are appearing between a good bit of my baseboards, crown molding and walls. Most of the miter joints in the door casings are spreading. Gaps are also appearing where the casing meets the wall. I also had an about an 8 inch crack appear where the drywall met the ceiling but that closed up during once it got warmer.

Is this to be expected with normal expansion and contraction or is something else the issue? Is there anything I can do to help minimize this?

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Old 07-13-2011, 07:39 PM   #2
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That's a normal reaction of wood to seasonal changes in humidity.---Usually the gaps close up with high humidity and open most during the dry winter heating season.

Some woods move more than others. It's a vegetable---we build houses out of it.

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Old 07-13-2011, 07:47 PM   #3
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Baseboards/ Crown Molding/ Casing


I can only address one small part of your problems. And this is one of my pet Pievs!!!!!! (I just tried to install spell check and it did not work and I have no idea how to spell Pevs) New construction goes as follows: Drywall goes in, mudded and sanded, next comes the trim carpenter and slaps in the mouldings, then comes the painter, he or she then slaps on caulk and then paints. Putting caulk on raw mud is like trying to glue some thing to a piece of chaulk, just wont stick. Raw mud needs to be primed first prior to doing any caulking, then it will do its job. When doing custom painting on new homes I spend more time taking out the old caulk, mudding and sanding as needed, priming and then put the new caulk in and be good to go for painting.

Hope you get help with some of the other issues.

When I install new trim, I use trim screws, not nails, for some strange reason the failure is alot less.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:47 PM   #4
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Baseboards/ Crown Molding/ Casing


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Some woods move more than others. It's a vegetable---we build houses out of it.
Mike, I think it's only a vegetable if you're a termite.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:55 PM   #5
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Would this cause nails to pop in the crown molding and baseboards? As well as shoe molding to seperate and have nail pops?
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:11 PM   #6
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Careless nailing can cause that---or ???

The nails should have hit the studs, if done carefully.

The house might have been unusually wet when built (got a lot of rain or snow before the place was closed in)

This will lead to unusual shrinkage of finishes ---the problems usually shows up in the first year when that occurs.

Is all this happening now after ten years?
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:37 PM   #7
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Careless nailing can cause that---or ???

The nails should have hit the studs, if done carefully.

The house might have been unusually wet when built (got a lot of rain or snow before the place was closed in)

This will lead to unusual shrinkage of finishes ---the problems usually shows up in the first year when that occurs.

Is all this happening now after ten years?
We moved in February of 2009 and these problems were evident then, we caulked everything up and its reappearing now.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:55 AM   #8
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The house probably had excessive shrinkage when new----then a lot of caulk to hide the problems.

About the best you can do is renail any parts that are loose and do an extraordinary job caulking and repainting.

If the trim is beyond saving---it might be time to learn the fine art of installing trim.

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Old 07-14-2011, 05:44 PM   #9
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I may have not made myself clear on my earlier post here. I would remove all the old spliting caulk, then PRIME getting the primer behind the baseboards and onto the walls and then caulk again and paint. If you recaulk over caulk that in the first place is not sticking you will only bond to the old caulk, not the wall because the wall has raw mud. If the trim is nailed in the right way the issue IMHO is the caulk failing. Caulk will not stick to raw mud!!!!!!!!!

I truly hope this helps. I have done many repaints in newer homes and have never been called back because the baseboards were splitting away from the walls.

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