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Old 12-05-2009, 10:15 AM   #1
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cracked ceiling-3rd times a charm???


Hello everyone,

I have a cracked ceiling that I've repaired twice and would appreciate some advice on repairing it or redrywalling the whole ceiling.

I have a 1955 brick ranch with full basement and the roof is prefabbed trusses spaced 24" on center. House shape is rectangular with a steel beam running the lenght in the basement. On the main floor is a wall running the length of the building in the center like the beam in the basement. The three cracks, in the kitchen, are approx. 6 feet long overall, run parallel to the center wall, roughly 3" to 12" away from the center wall.

I've lived here 11 years. About four years ago, one very cold midwest winter night, I heard a loud snap that came from the kitchen. I discovered the original crack. When the weather got warm I taped, patched, and painted the crack. That repair job eventually failed. This time I added braces for better support to the joists of the trusses, on both sides of the crack where feasible. I supported the drywall from underneath and screwed it up to the trusses and the braces. After patching the ceiling I left for a week vacation and upon returning found the crack is back!

What more can be done after bracing the joists? Is this a lost cause??

Is having a drywaller cover the existing ceiling with another sheet of drywall a reasonable way to coverup this problem? The ceiling has blown insulation in it so pulling down the old ceiling isn't an option.

Thanks,
Dmend

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Old 12-05-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
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cracked ceiling-3rd times a charm???


I'm no expert, but my thinking is that most houses will have certain weak spots in the framing or what not, these are the spots more likely to shift during weather. So cracks in the drywall near these areas will always come back.

I'm not sure of ways to stop it. At my parents house there was a few sections that would always crack when repaired, and I noticed a few spots in my hose too and a contractor even told me, those cracks will never go away. Right now they are plastered in but they might come back.

I also caused a small crack in the kitchen when I went in the attic. Oops. Was a very small piece of drywall that was just "glued" with plaster. I had a bad feeling about that one too.

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Old 12-05-2009, 10:05 PM   #3
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cracked ceiling-3rd times a charm???


The ceiling drywall is nailed too close to the inside corner at the wall. When you tape it, it keeps breaking because the roof system is raising with the season and the wall is not. A floating corner, Page #6, Fig.3: http://www.gypsum.org/pdf/GA-216-07.pdf If the roof is moving a lot, you can add metal to the top ceiling/wall corner. Remove some drywall- 4" down across the wall and 4" from the wall on the ceiling- across it. Add some metal L-flashing, 2x2", then replace the drywall. Screw the ceiling drywall into the flashing only (which is butted up to the trusses but not attached to them) between trusses. The ceiling rip alongside the wall needs to be 24" wide, enough to use two fasteners at the edge away from the wall. It is making the rip piece hinge there, so it can move up and down with the roof, yet not attached closer than 12" to the metal. The rip is screwed at the metal, then 12" out into the truss and more fasteners to the edge. If you look in the fig.3, they call for 7"- first screw from wall. This way would be 12" from wall. Use the metal system only if it breaks again. Hope this helps you.



Be safe, Gary
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:27 AM   #4
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cracked ceiling-3rd times a charm???


Thanks GBR,

To make sure I understand your recommendation, I need to cut a 24" wide by X feet long piece out of the ceiling and 4" strip off the wall, then install the 2" flashing only attaching it to the wall studs. Replace the ceiling piece attaching it to the flashing (not the joists) screwing it 12" into the joists from the wall outward. Thus, placing the seam far enough away from the wall to allow for flexing or the joist lifting away from the ceiling drywall. Then, replace the 4" wall strip. Tape it and use 90 degree corner bead, mud it, and finish.

The kitchen is about 18 feet long. By fixing 6 to 8 feet of the ceililng, do you think I could be creating a situation where more flexing could occur to the rest of the ceiling, thus causing new cracks in the remainder of the ceiling?


That drywall specifications document is a keeper, great resource.

Thanks,
Dmend
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:17 PM   #5
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cracked ceiling-3rd times a charm???


The best would be a full sheet of drywall out from the wall with metal in the corner. The first common nail 16-18" out from the corner, with the edge nailed to metal only. The ceiling/wall joint needs the flex, yet you need to support the drywall to the ceiling, also. Then use the rip in the center, with paper tape on all edges.
Be safe, Gary
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