Cracks around door frame


I have an inside door that has a wall crack all the way around the door frame. I tried to find some info on this on the net, but the assumption seems to be that cracks are extending out from the corners of the door frame. That's not what's happened here. The door frame is framed, if you will, by a crack all the way around. I know how to fix cracks, but I'm concerned about whether this could be indicative of bigger problems. What's your thinking?
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It sounds like the problem is embedded under whatever your wall is made of, like the door size was reduced, and/or poorly rebuilt at some time, or an old, wider molding was covered up, or? Had any earthquakes lately?
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Jo Ann wrote:

On both faces (sides) of the doorway, or just one side? My first thought would be that the door is not solid in the rough opening, and/or the casing was nailed too tight, putting stress on the drywall. If the jamb is one of the self-adjusting ones, aka a split jamb, and the wall is thicker than normal, perhaps it is squeezing the edges of the drywall. Or maybe just a sloppy drywall job, and the opening in the drywall was just too big for the trim they used, and they tried to fake it with drywall mud. If the rough opening was too big, and the door is screwed through a stack of shims, the unsupported drywall or mud over the gap will crack if you look at it wrong.
I'd start by carefully uninstalling the door and frame, and checking everything with a framing square and Mark I eyeball. Zero cost other than labor, and you will likely need to pull the door and frame at some point in any repair process anyway. If the door is square in the opening and operates well, and no other windows and doors are having problems, I doubt it is anything serious like the house settling or anything. Once you open it up, the problem should be obvious. May just need to be remudded properly, or you may need to cut the drywall back and re-rock that part of the wall on one or both sides. Bottom line is that material cost to repair will be low, but there will be labor. If you are brave, this is not a difficult DIY project, and you can learn how to shim and install doors, and patch and mud drywall.
Some pictures would help a bunch, if you can post some somewhere with a link back here.
-- aem sends...
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Sounds like the door opening was framed to big or the builder ordered the wrong sized doors and framing was added when they went to install the doors and it was patched after the drywall was already done..If that is the case I bet the other interior doors were too and just haven't cracked YET if they are all the same size....Hard to tell from here if either the extra framing wasn't attached good or just the door being opened and closed is cracking it..Only one way to really tell and you know what that means...I would try cutting out a V where the crack is and use Durabond to tape it to see if it holds.....HTH...
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----------------------------- Remove the trim around the door to gain view of the rough opening. That should tell what the source of the problem is. My guess, as suggested by other posters, is that the rough opeining was too large and was patched amateurishly.
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Thank you, everyone! I feel somewhat reassured, and will put "remove door frame" on the (ever-lengthening) to-do list. The house is old, and the bathroom is certainly an add-on. The door trim is original to the house on that door, but most of the house's walls have been redone with drywall, so it's entirely possible a new doorway was created with reused trim, and I've uncovered a lot of poorly done repairs throughout the house, so also entirely possible the doorway was not sized right and a patch was attempted. There are two doors into the bathroom; the door with the crack around it is the right era for the house, including hardware, so possibly original. The other is clearly newer, different trim, hinges, and all. I'll get some photos posted somewhere so you can get a better look, but in the meantime, MANY thanks for the advice and reassurance.
Jo Ann
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