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!
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.
Not bloody likely. If the "cracks" are straight, they are at joints.
Back when, lots of sheetrock was installed without taping joints.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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! ;)
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.
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.