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mmessina1 01-07-2010 09:13 PM

New Home Cracking & Shrinking Problems
I just moved into a new home in May 2008. A 3 Story town-home. Since then I've notice a lot of shirking and cracking of materials around the home. Many of my corner beads have cracked (twice) even after re-securing with drywall screws and a coat of mud. Baseboard joints open up more in the winter. As well as the base around my stairwells (twice as well!). It looks terrible and I want to do something PERMANENT ABOUT IT. I have repaired some and the builder has repaired some as well. But as the seasons changed again the problems return. It's obvious it is a humidity problem, I don't have a humidifier nor a central AC unit. My humidistat on my thermostat says very low humidity ("lo"-25%) in the winter and quite high (70-80%) in the summer. I've heard before that major humidity fluctuations are not a problem with new homes but it seams to be in mine. I was thinking to get a a whole home humidifier but before I do that I want to know if there is something that I am missing that may be causing the problem. I had a thought of inferior materials and workmanship in my home but it cant be the WHOLE house. Anyone have any Ideas? Thanks very much in advance!

Ron6519 01-08-2010 06:37 AM

Despite the crystal clear, in depth analysis of the previous poster, I will ask a few questions.
Do you have a furnace? If you do, I would definitely get an integrated humidifier, to help reduce the dramatic swings in the humidity.
What signs , if any, show up in the attic? Cracked joists or rafters? Separation of rafter/joist connections? Check the lumber grade stamps on the exposed framing. Was the house framed with green (Grn) wood?
What about the foundation? Slab? Any cracks?
The "dangerous" classification is absurd, given the information supplied. The "chicken little " posting serves no purpose.

tpolk 01-08-2010 08:14 AM

those are big swings in humidity, getting those stable will help alot

mmessina1 01-12-2010 08:33 PM

Recommended Humidfier Models?
I've been a way for a bit and I haven't had a chance yet to look at in the attic. I will as soon as I can. I guess if it is Green wood it would be an inferior product? If there are a lot of cracked joists and rafters is it a major problem? I don't have any foundation cracks. The foundation sat for a few months before the house was framed, so I think it had time to fully cure a bit more than usual. One minor floor crack appeared last year but it was repaired by the builder. The swings in humidity are a result of humid summers with the windows open (no central air) then cold dry winters with the windows closed.
We have a forced air furnace I was thinking about the humidifier. Any recommended models? I was looking at the "Desert Spring" Humidifier. Although it looks a bit 'toy like' but its features and efficiency are attractive. I was also looking at the HE220A1035 by Honeywell which is somewhat less expensive, but i think it might use more water. My goal would be best humidification for the buck, including running costs. Can anybody recommend any models? Thanks.

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