Cracks in Drywall

My home is about 3.5 years old. On some load bearing walls, I noticed diagnol cracks in the drywall which run from the top corner of a door jam for about 6 - 8 inches. I have seen this a lot on other homes, so I am not too concerned that this is nothing more than some minor settlement cracks. Question is why does the drywall crack in this particular area and secondly, whats the best way to repair these kinds of cracks .
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Roger there a couple of reasons that you are getting these cracks, but I'll let others address that. As for repairing the cracks this is how I do it.
Materials/tools needed:
1. Fiberglass drywall tape. 2. Utility knife 3. Drywall mud pan 4. 6" drywall knife - metal not plastic 5. Drywall mud pre mixed in 1 or 5 gallon buckets. 6. Sandpaper or sponge
The Process:
1. I first run a utility knife thru the crack to remove loose drywall and it leaves a larger area for the drywall mud to flow into. 2. Apply fiberglass drywall tape over the crack. It is self sticking and there is no chance of getting bubbles under it like paper tape. 3. Put some drywall mud into the pan and mix it thoroughly to a creamy consistency so it will be easier to apply smoothly. 4. Apply the drywall mud over the taped crack. Apply <just enough mud to cover the fiberglass tape> You can always apply more later, but if you apply too much or have big blobs it will have to sanded off later (AND YOU KNOW HOW MUCH YOU HATE SANDING). Let this dry. 5. After the first coat dries I scrape off the <SMALL>goobers & globs with my 6" drywall knife and then sand with a damp sponge or sandpaper. 6. Apply a second coat on either side of the first coat over lapping the first coat by 50%. This is to blend your repair into the flatness of the wall. 7. After the second coat dries repeat step #5 and also with your sandpaper or sponge blend the edges of you repair with the old wall surface so you don't have a "fat" edge but a nice smooth transition. 8. If you see <ANY> imperfections fix them now before painting or they will be magnified many times over by the paint.
This is basically how I do it, but if I am having a bad day or the planets are not aligned just right <G> I might apply up to four coats of mud to get my repair flat and smooth enough to become invisible after painting. It is usually better if you have your wife do the repairs so you won't miss the game. She can bring you beer and snacks in between steps <G>
Have fun,
Craig in AZ
www.azcraig.us

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HAHHAHAHHAHAHHA
J

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I have been repairing wallboard cracks myself today. I moved into a house (my first) a year ago. I immediately painted one of the spare bedrooms, which had a few cracks in the drywall above doors and at window corners. I don't remember for sure what I used but I think it was spackling putty. All I did was spread it on and try to even it out. After about six months about half the cracks came back.
So now I am trying doing it the right way, in both that room and another spare bedroom that is even worse crack-wise. There are some cracks too along the corners both with the cieling/wall junction and up and down between two walls. Last year I marked my walls with some pieces of tape at corners to guage wall movement. I was afraid my house was settling in one direction, but turned out it moves one way in the summer (hot no rain at all for six or seven months, then rain like a banshee in the winter)and back the other way in the winter. I don't think that the previous owner ever cleaned the gutters (four inches of dirt like material in them all the way), and the extensions were missing, water was dumping right onto the house edges. I rectified those problems in the hope of maybe reducing this seasonal movement.
Anyway, now I'm digging out the cracks with a utility knife, putting down a thin layer of joint compound and putting a piece of the self sticking "fibra" or soemthing like that wallboard mesh tape. Letting it dry and then putting on more thin layers and going further out until with sanding I can get it to blend in smoothly with the wall.
In the corners at the wall junctions and wall to ceiling junctions, I'm trying something different. I have read of some people doing it, and others say no, but I'm trying it. I dug out the cracks with the utility knife. I got some elastomeric paintable caulking and ran it into the corners, and smoothed it out with my finger. Almost seemed too easy.
It's going to look good, but I'll have to check back in a year to say if the crack repairs hold this time!
ss
P.S thanks to whoever it was who mentioned the name for the "curved wallboard knife" as I had read about it somewhere and it sounded like it would make things much easier. I went to hardware store and no one knew what I was talking about, but I couldn't remember the name of the tool or where I had seen it. Now I know the name.
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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net (ss) wrote in

Yes! My house, too! I'm so not savvy to know what's going on, but in the summer, one door (and only one door) there's a gap of about 3/8" between the upper corner of the door and the inside of the door jamb. In the winter (and it only takes about two weeks) the gap closes to about 1/32". Two doors right next to this one *seems* to not do this. (Probably does but I haven't noticed.)
This one door got so bad I had to shave the corner down just to shut it.
There are other places around the house where there's cracks (that corner metal stuff that connects to the slabs of drywall, for example).
But that door...
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