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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! My wife just told me to come look at something. When I followed, I looked up and saw the following underneath our cathedral ceiling:


Here is a little bit of a closeup of the top and bottom of the crack.



I have never seen this crack before tonight. Admittedly, I don't look there all the time, but I would've hoped that I would've seen this developing if it was a slow crack. I'm guessing it happened very recently.

Because we found out about this roughly an hour ago, I've been reading on this site and others about possible causes. It has been very hot in Louisiana this last month. I haven't noticed any other cracks in the house except for one. That crack was from tape (that's what the guy who built my house said when he came over for a different reason and looked at it) and has not moved.

Basically, I'd just like to know...how worried about this should I be? I obviously want to fix it, but my DIY skills are a bit lacking. Is there an easy fix to try, or with something like this, should I call the contractor and ask him to stop by and have a look? My house was built in 2003, and this is the first major crack that I've seen. I'm hoping it doesn't expand any further...:(

Thanks for your help!
 

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Tileguy
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You better call your contractor again. That shouldn't be major fix but it also won't be a quick or easy fix for a DIY'er.

Let's see now. Louisiana...is your heating and air conditioning system located in your attic?:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You better call your contractor again. That shouldn't be major fix but it also won't be a quick or easy fix for a DIY'er.

Let's see now. Louisiana...is your heating and air conditioning system located in your attic?:)
Yes. In fact, if you see the photo, you'll see the main vent next to this crack. Seeing this reminded me to change the filter too. :)

I think it is the problematic drywall, a great product liability issue prevailing these days. It is better that you get it checked because with it comes many other problems as well!

you can get a bit of info about Problematic Drywall in here :

http://www.chinesedrywalladvisors.com/chinese-drywall-problem.html
Ugh, I hope that's not it. I thought our house was built before all that started happening, but that link says that it started in 2001. I didn't realize that it went back that far.
 

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KemoSabe
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While that may well be Chinese drywall, I don't see how that has anything to do with a crack in the ceiling.

My guess is there has been movement due to temperature extremes and atmospheric conditions, such as humidity or lack thereof.

Depending on how the house is framed, movement of the roof trusses may also have been a factor.

If the metal fixtures in your house are corroding, or you smell rotten eggs, you may have a Chinese drywall problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
While that may well be Chinese drywall, I don't see how that has anything to do with a crack in the ceiling.

My guess is there has been movement due to temperature extremes and atmospheric conditions, such as humidity or lack thereof.

Depending on how the house is framed, movement of the roof trusses may also have been a factor.

If the metal fixtures in your house are corroding, or you smell rotten eggs, you may have a Chinese drywall problem.
I haven't noticed any fixtures corroding, and obvious jokes aside, I can't say I've smelled any rotten egg odors. It has been unseasonably warm (even for Louisiana summer) for the last month or so. I'm just surprised by how fast that crack appeared.
 

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Tileguy
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I was thinking the vibrations from the heat/cool units may have contributed. I know in that part of the country those units are usually placed in the attic. When I lived in Texas years ago, cracking of the ceiling drywall in the vicinity of the units wasn't unusual. If I remember correctly the units were sometimes hung from the roof rafters also.:)

Your contractor is the place to begin.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was thinking the vibrations from the heat/cool units may have contributed. I know in that part of the country those units are usually placed in the attic. When I lived in Texas years ago, cracking of the ceiling drywall in the vicinity of the units wasn't unusual. If I remember correctly the units were sometimes hung from the roof rafters also.:)

Your contractor is the place to begin.:)
That makes sense, and it's really close to where the main A/C unit is. I already called and left a message, so I anticipate a call back relatively soon, considering that it's a holiday weekend. Now I just have to hope that it's not an expensive fix. :)
 

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The fix will (or should) involve cutting out the bad section and re drywalling that place---

Depending on the situation,the drywaller might 'float' the board over the parts that are moving(no screws) to prevent the moving stud from tearing the drywall again.

Fix is cheap---paint ,however is another matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
The fix will (or should) involve cutting out the bad section and re drywalling that place---

Depending on the situation,the drywaller might 'float' the board over the parts that are moving(no screws) to prevent the moving stud from tearing the drywall again.

Fix is cheap---paint ,however is another matter.
That doesn't sound as bad as I was thinking (I have visions of knocking out entire sections of the wood or the a/c brace to fix it). Now I just have to remember what shade of green we used eight years ago (or just bring a lot of green swatches home)! I wonder if contractors keep notes on jobs from that far ago....(although if they're cutting a piece out, I could always try to match that. Hmm..)
 

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Some times parts just move---Good luck on the paint. Your wife just might want a nice new color!
 

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Tileguy
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You can take a small piece of the old painted drywall (after it is removed) to any paint store and they can scan the color and match it perfectly. The miracles of modern science.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You can take a small piece of the old painted drywall (after it is removed) to any paint store and they can scan the color and match it perfectly. The miracles of modern science.:)
Now I just need the automatic painting Roomba and I'll be set! :thumbup:

What? There is no such thing?? Come on science!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Born on the Mississippi where ya?:)
More yonder, really. :)

I got in touch with my contractor this morning. Due to various holiday vacations on both of our parts, he won't be able to come by until next Saturday. He did say that he's seeing a lot of cracking in our area due to our drought (he mentioned that his own house has developed one near his door).

I walked around my house yesterday, and I saw three corners of our foundation had cracked, along with other cracks in the bricks & mortar, as well as a bowing walkway wooden post, so I'll have a list of items to discuss with him. I just want to make sure everything is checked out. I plan on having this house for awhile. :)
 

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If indeed the AC unit is contributing to the crack, you may want an HVAC guy to place the unit on some rubber bumper pads to reduce the effects of vibration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well..

I talked with my contractor just now. He basically said that what I'm seeing (drywall crack, brick & mortar cracks) is due to the extreme drought we're having now. He recommended that I put a soaker hose on the side of the house that is experiencing the cracking. He also said that he wouldn't fix the drywall until it starts raining again or sometime in the fall when it cools down.

He said that a lot of people have called him about foundation problems, and they're all experiencing the same thing. It's just too darn hot out here. :furious: He told me that there's just not a lot I can do. I asked him about repairing the bricks, and he said that there wasn't much to do except put some silicone caulk in there.

At least I feel better that I'm not the only one out here having similar problems. I've just been worried about my house suddenly failing. Just like doing a web search for medical problems, doing a search on Google for drywall cracks and related items can scare the life out of you. I'm still thinking of getting an independent structural engineer out here to have a look at the foundation to ease my mind. But until then, I'll have a soaker hose to buy tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for their help!
 

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Tileguy
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That soil is probably heavy clays and without moisture that soil will shrink tremendously. Once moisture is applied the soil will begin to expand and more than likely stabilize if you keep it moist down below.

I know in North Texas people actually install underground soakers to keep the soils around their homes stabilized.:)
 
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