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Cracks & Peeling Tape on Vaulted Ceiling

3047 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  SPS-1
I have several vaulted ceilings where the tape is peeling off in the vaults. No water problem. The house is on a bay and the waves hit the bulkhead & cause movement in the house. This in turn causes slight movement in the vaulted ceiling. I realize that the house should have been built with X Crack on the framing and then the sheetrock added. That way the ceiling would have some give and not crack. But the house is totally finished.

My ceiling has been repaired twice and peeled off each time. Rather than taking the sheetrock off and starting over, I would like to take the tape off at the vaults and try something else that is flexible. Would a bead of flexible silicone work? Can this be painted over? Flexible tape? I do want to repaint the ceiling after I do this repair.

I would appreciate any advice you may have. Thanks.
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How are you certain it isn't a moisture problem? Vaulted ceilings are notorious for poor ventilation and on the flip side being near the water may be introducing moisture from the air. The tape letting go is a common problem with moisture but not a common problem with vibration.

Can you post a picture of the tape coming off?
What is in place for ventilation above that drywall?
And where are you in terms of climate?

Hi, Bud. Thanks for responding.
I am on Gardiner's Bay, facing North in East Hampton, NY.
The waves crash on my bulkhead when there are storms. I have hurricane
windows but you can feel the force of the waves in the house. The house was renovated from the basement up in 2005. The master bedroom on the top floor is the one with the problem. I know there is no moisture problem because the ceiling was tested by a contractor with a professional moisture meter the first time the tape was replaced. We made holes all over the ceiling. Bone dry. There is a concrete color through tile roof above the ceiling and insulation. No attic. All proper roofing and drainage. The ceiling was retaped but I think the wrong tape was used...paper, not flex. Not wide and not enough mud. The first tape job lasted from 2005-2015.The second lasted 1 year only. I am sure it was a bad tape job but there is an obvious movement issue. X Crack has been suggested by a dry wall guy but that requires taking the sheetrock down and installing the X crack on the framing to absorb the movement. I'm trying to do something less onerous!!
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There are vents all along the soffits. Roof drains properly, lots of leaders & gutters. Vents in the roof but no attic.
With no attic I would expect a full ridge vent. You say there are vents in the roof but to they serve all rafter channels?

Now, hard to troubleshoot from a distance so I'll just drop some thought and run.

Vibration I would expect to see cracks in corners or door frames. I'm far from the most experienced GC, but I have never seen tape letting go due to vibration. In most cases it goes up with 3 coats. Moisture, even in the form of humidity, can soften the mud that holds the tape. Humidity inside the house, which I assume you have plenty of will concentrate at the highest ceiling level. Humid air along with warm air is lighter than dry/cooler air.

Do you have any humidity readings in the main house?
What do the outside humidity readings run?

Yes, there are some cracks across the limestone floor and in a few places on the mar marino plaster walls, perhaps from settling. Also, the movement is beyond vibration. The waves pound on the bulkhead with a lot of force. I'm 20 feet up on the bluff but you can't miss the pounding!! The house is generally kept on a fairly constant temp 66-72 with radiant heat & a/c. I rarely use the forced air heat. I don't think humidity is an issue in the house & the showers have vents and fans. Everyone always thinks it's moisture until they pierce the ceiling & test it and then they say it must be something else.
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A vaulted ceiling is going to move. Should have used a flexible inside corner strip. Don't put mud or paint on the flexible vinyl center.


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