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Old 10-09-2013, 10:33 PM   #1
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


I repaired a crack in a plasterboard ceiling that ran along a tape seam. The crack was not very wide (1/16") and joint compound was used for the repair. After sanding and painting, the next day the crack reappeared, about 4 ft long. I am considering using fiberglass mesh tape with joint compound to make the repair again. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 10-09-2013, 10:59 PM   #2
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


What was the extent of your repairs? I ask because you may not have taken care of the reason for the crack. Ceilings can be notorious for movement. People walking upstairs, vibrations from traffic, etc. can cause some movement in the framing which in turn affects the drywall. Also, there could be some insufficient framing problems. Or, perhaps there were not enough screws or nails used to hang the 'rock and there could be a slight sag causing the problem. If there is anyway you can address or eliminate these types of things as causes, well, that gives you somewhere to start.

If everything pans out, you may just need to clean out the crack better so your joint compound can really fill the crack properly. Clean it out good with a putty knife or other sharp-edged tool. THen apply your fiberglass tape. Mix up some quick setting joint compound and apply that. It will dry in 20 minutes to 90 minutes depending on what you are comfortable working with. Once it dries, you can apply regular joint compound over top of the setting compound being sure to feather it out so the repair doesn't show up as a hump on your ceiling.

THere are other variations of this process which I'm sure others will share.

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Old 10-09-2013, 11:56 PM   #3
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


If you just used drywall compound and no paper tape over the crack and you did not add some extra screws before adding the tape that's the reason it keeps coming back.
Webbed tape is not the answer. Use paper tape. If you use webbed tape your going to have to really widen out the joint to blend in the hump the tape makes.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:08 AM   #4
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


Agree with both the above except the one for mesh tape, that crap should be banned. What causes cracks is movement, If you can get to it you may need to add a little extra blocking. Try pushing up on both side of the crack and see if either moves. Sometimes hangers miss a stud or joist because it may be bowed or something so the first sheet doesn't leave enough for the screws in the second sheet to bite. But for whatever reason if the movement is not stopped it will keep coming back.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:53 PM   #5
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


I use mesh tape all the time and never have a problem with it. It's almost fool-proof.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:24 PM   #6
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


If your home was a particular model in the subdivision, you might want to check with other neighbors with the same model to see if they are experiencing the same problem. Sometimes it’s a built-in architectural flaw. No matter what you do it will crack again. Reducing the crack size may be your only option. The mesh tape is your best choice. I used to call defects like that part of the home's personality. I would repair the crack, but informed the homeowner it would probably return through no fault of my efforts. PERSONALITY
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:10 AM   #7
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


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I use mesh tape all the time and never have a problem with it. It's almost fool-proof.
Must be a lot of fools out there as I sure do a lot of repairs where mesh tape has cracked.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:09 AM   #8
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Some got it, some don't.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:21 PM   #9
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


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Must be a lot of fools out there as I sure do a lot of repairs where mesh tape has cracked.
It's usually a heck of a lot less of a mess than when paper tape fails.
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:50 AM   #10
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Webbed tape is not the answer. Use paper tape. If you use webbed tape your going to have to really widen out the joint to blend in the hump the tape makes.
Paper tape is better, but not because you don't have to widen the joint. If anything, the hump with paper is going to be bigger. (You need a layer of compound underneath paper tape, whereas mesh tape doesn't need that layer - you stick mesh tape directly to the surface and then compound over it.)

First, as someone mentioned, that crack needs to be cleaned out. Then, plain joint compound will not work. You either need to tape it, or you need to fill it with a paintable and elastic caulk that will move with any movement in the surface.
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:08 AM   #11
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


Cracks are caused by movement.The first thing you have to do when fixing a crack is stop the movement.Make sure it's screwed down on each side of the crack then tape and mud.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:32 AM   #12
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


I have has some luck with this stuff;

http://www.hardwarestore.com/good-by...ay-646591.aspx

After all repairs are made, and the joint compound has been sanded. You can spray the affected area with this stuff as extra insurance against future cracking.
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:20 PM   #13
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


Much appreciated, everyone. Thank you.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:34 PM   #14
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


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Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
Must be a lot of fools out there as I sure do a lot of repairs where mesh tape has cracked.
So have I but either tape will crack if the drywall is still moving.You have to stop the movement first.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:09 AM   #15
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Repairing a ceiling crack that keeps coming back


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So have I but either tape will crack if the drywall is still moving.You have to stop the movement first.
I agree but the mesh cracks a LOT easier especially when applied vertical.

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