Best way to repair cracking sheet rock??

Does anyone have any advice/experience on this: I have some walls in my house that have small, thin cracks forming that I can't seem to clean up. There are a couple in the bathroom, 1 in the living room, & some in the bedroom. None are on seams or corners, just randomly down straight lines in the middle of the wall. It appears to be just the house settling. (about 50 years old) I tried using joint compound to clothes them up & it was totally obvious and still looked terrible. Plus after a few months the crack formed again right through the center of the compound. Also tried filling a real thin one with paint to try & clean it up & that re-formed just as quickly. Is there a correct way to patch these and get them looking better, short of cutting open the wall & hanging new sheet rock??? Thanks for any advice in advance!
Roger
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm confused, as I have never seen sheetrock crack in the middle of a sheet in normal expansion/contraction. On seams, joints, and corners, sure. But never in the field of a solid sheet. That could be indicative of a serious structural flaw. Was the framing changed in any way around, above, or below the problem areas?
Barring structural issues, where no amount of patching will help you until you correct the problem, the best way to correct in the field cracks is to joint over them with paper tape or fiberglass mesh and feather the compound from the slight mound over the tape to the sides. The larger the area you feather it out, the better and less noticeable it will look.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Not bloody likely. If the "cracks" are straight, they are at joints. Back when, lots of sheetrock was installed without taping joints. DAMHIKT.
Learn how to tape joints properly, and do each once- couple coats of course. Neither joint compound nor tape will join sheets. Get them joined properly. Then worry about appearance.
"Clothes" are items of apparel.
J
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If its something minor, put some more joint compound in there and go for it. (really get it good into the crack)
Another thing that may work in the use of phenoseal (sold at home depot) Its a paintable sealant.
Otherwise sanding the joint down a bit and retaping it might work better. Its just going to take some time and patience to get the joint hidden. Of course this is the more drastic solutions.
I personally wouldnt redrywall the walls unless your looking for a winder project.
Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@paragonNT.com wrote:

A 50 year old house shouldn't be doing much settling. A 50 year old house may have plaster or drywall walls. If they're drywall and the cracks are vertical and you're positive that they're not in the usual seam locations, it would definitely point to a structural issue. You also didn't mention whether the cracks are on interior or exterior walls or both. If it's just exterior walls, you might have termites and/or rot.
There are products such as Crack Kote that work well for covering up cracks without the bump in the wall that regular joint tape and compound would create. Just make sure that you're ignoring a more serious structural problem and focusing on the cosmetics.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The main thing you are doing wrong is not using tape to cover the crack. I would use the mesh type joint tape. Apply that first, then a coat of drywall compound or one of the similar compounds sold for crack repair. Those products are supposed to have a little more flexibility and resistance to cracking.
Some cracks may reopen regardless of what you do. Houses shrink and expand with changes in temp and humidity. If you set your heat real low when away for example, then crank it back to 75 when you return, that can be enough to cause a problem, in some cases.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Actually, the paper tape provides a stronger patch than the mesh tape,
Regards, Robert

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nospam wrote:

I've heard that argument before, but I've never seen mesh tape pull loose from the edges, bubble up, separate out from the compoud if it gets wet, or tear. When you say stronger, I think that there are just different failure mechanisms...and they all suck! ;)
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
And it's thinner- leaving a smaller "bump."
J
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Do you live in an earthquake zone? We do and we get those fine vertical cracks from time to time and not always in the same place. I blame it on the frequent earthquakes in the area. Over 300 per year. All small quakes that do no major damage. That's life in the Pacific Northwest. Phil

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.