Drywall joint tape coming off

In a lot of areas in the house the drywall joint tape is coming off. When this happens it breaks thru the paint and cracks develop along the tape edges. This happens on both edges of the walls (when it meets the ceiling) and when two pieces of drywall meet on a sheer wall. The cracks due to this are sometimes large so it is not possible to hide them with just another layer of paint.
Our house is 16 years old. Is it typical for drywall joint tape to peal off like this after a decade and a half?
What is the best way to fix this cosmetically?
Jason
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ceiling)
this
off
This is far from typical. It shows that the drywallers did not do their job properly. Off hand I would guess that they used too dry of a mix. About the only way to cover this properly is to grind off the drywall mud and start over and do it the right way.
-- Mike D.
www.stopassaultnow.org
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This can also be caused by whoever did the mud-and-tape not putting enough mud down before setting the tape. Not enough adherence. So eventually the tape bubbles and/or peels. Happens especially on inside corner tape jobs.
There's one or two pretty easy ways to deal with it, depending on the situation. For areas where only one side of the the tape has lifted off, you can lift up the edge of the peeling tape slightly, shove in a new layer of mud, and press the peeled tape back down. If it's a bubble instead of an entire peel-away, you can cut three sides of the bubble with a razor knife, lift up the flap you've now made, pop in a little new mud, and press the flap back down.
FYI, for anyone having mud-and-tape done by a contractor, there's an easy way to check his work so you don't have this sort of problem pop up in the future. Simply take a fingertip and lightly start tapping the entire length of the tape work. Good mud-tape work will sound solid; bad spots will have a hollow sound to it. Hollow-sounding spots should be fixed before the mud guy gets paid and you never see him again.
AJS
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