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riverrite 02-15-2010 09:07 AM

constantly cracking trim work
 
I have a friend who I do home repair work for and she has come to me with this problem; She lives in a town house and every few months her caulk work cracks between the 1/4 round on the stairs and drywall going up the stairs to second floor. Also trim is cracking on the miter around doorways and windows and on the second floor down the entire corner of one of the rooms. She recaulks, paints and in a short time it's cracked again. Is this normal settling????

Ron6519 02-15-2010 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by riverrite (Post 400170)
I have a friend who I do home repair work for and she has come to me with this problem; She lives in a town house and every few months her caulk work cracks between the 1/4 round on the stairs and drywall going up the stairs to second floor. Also trim is cracking on the miter around doorways and windows and on the second floor down the entire corner of one of the rooms. She recaulks, paints and in a short time it's cracked again. Is this normal settling????

There will be an opening of miters as the tempertures in the house increase and decrease as the wood expands and contracts. You can reduce the incidence when you initially install them if you glue the joints. On the unglued ones, caulking should have dealt with the seasonal movement. What sort of gaps are we talking about and what sort of caulking is she using?
How old is the house? Newer houses that were framed with green framing members will move a lot more the first year or so until the wood dries out to the surrounding daily humidity.
Do you have any photos?
Ron

Stillwerkin 02-15-2010 10:45 PM

Could involve a bigger issue involving a roof leak and/or condensation build-up.

Dealt with a condo flat leaking roof for years(with molding problems), until the ceiling joists had warped so much the 4-foot ceiling light wouldn't mount flush unless extra-thick foam was used to seal the edges.
Have her document it, and pass it along to the association. Keep at it.

william duffer 02-15-2010 11:14 PM

You can try to pull back the joints and molding a bit, throw some glue on it and reinstall them to the wall. If her molding is cracking and moving that much she has a problem that I would look into. It could be as easy as a piss poor install or as Ron mentioned a lot of movement from older house or green framing. Give some more info so that you can get a better answer to your question.

riverrite 02-16-2010 12:41 PM

Sorry folks, I meant to mention the condo is 20 years old. She has been using the most extra non-cracking elasticy caulk on the market according to her. Most of this cracking is on the first floor. And yes I did note some shody work by the original builders in this home. I though about removing the molding and sealing the ends with paint or poly to reduce movement.
Any other suggestions are appriciated.

riverrite 02-16-2010 12:44 PM

This is some solid 1/8 in cracking. Since I do a bit of home repair work I am used to what is normal, this seems a little excessive to me.

Ron6519 02-16-2010 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by riverrite (Post 400935)
This is some solid 1/8 in cracking. Since I do a bit of home repair work I am used to what is normal, this seems a little excessive to me.

Do the openings close up during the Summer?
Ron

nking 02-16-2010 07:49 PM

where do you live? what does she keep the thermostat at?

riverrite 02-17-2010 12:50 PM

She lives in the Phila area. Some cracks close in the summer and some are new this winter so we'll heve to see on those.

topshop 02-17-2010 04:52 PM

Sounds to me that she needs to run a humidifier in the winter to keep the humidity level.

riverrite 02-18-2010 01:02 PM

She keeps her house noticeably warm in the winter.
I'm thinking sealing the ends of the trim might help, anyone?

riverrite 02-18-2010 01:04 PM

I'll see if she has a dehumidifier to run too.
It sounds like the popular consensus is it's weather related and not structural. Thanks for all the input friends.

Ron6519 02-18-2010 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by riverrite (Post 402129)
She keeps her house noticeably warm in the winter.
I'm thinking sealing the ends of the trim might help, anyone?

Glueing the miters and nailing the joint on the top and side will reduce the issue. You should also have the humidity remain as constant as possible. In the Winter that will mean adding moisture to the house and in the moist months, removing it. Have her buy humidistats and put them on each floor so she knows what the storey is. A company called Klockit sells them for about $8.00.
You can't keep track of the levels if you don't know what the levels are.
Ron

riverrite 03-05-2010 09:15 AM

Thanks for all your help DIY community!


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