I have 1/8-th inch, jagged cracks along some of the vertical corners
of my drywall caused by earthquake. These cracks run at least half
the height of the wall.
These corners don't appear to be taped, so I'd like to know if I can
just fill these cracks with either mud, spackle, some kind of caulk, or
whatever else might work.
If I can fix with a small line of filler, then the touchup painting will
be more unnoticeable. Also, it sounds from this message board
like taping drywall corners requires some talent, and I'm a complete
novice with drywall but want to learn.
In addition to a recommendation for filler material, any comments
on tools or tips are appreciated.
Unless you're selling the home in two weeks, maybe a month, those cracks
will reappear if you just fill them. You need to tape them. Go to your
local home improvement store, get the self-sticking fiberglass tape, some
lightweight sheetrock compound, a corner trowel, and a sanding sponge.
Apply the tape, a thin layer of mud, let dry and sand. Repeat until it is
smooth. This is one of those things that does take either skill or
patience. First time around you'll need patience.
Thanks for your responses above, which may seem trivial or obvious
to you but really help me alot.
BTW, the cracks were caused by the Loma Prieta earthquake
in the Bay Area. I didn't bother fixing until now because I'm
preparing to sell.
I agree with Kyle. But don't skip the tape in the repair. I'd call
it a dirty trick to do so! On my very first repair (pre-10/15/89!),
not knowing any better, I just filled the crack with joint compound.
Within a very short time a hairline crack came through the paint.
Later repairs (for various smaller quakes) which I taped held up fine.
Gee, and here I thought I was the last one around to finally finish up
the drywall repairs after that quake! In my house (15 mi. from the
epicenter) there were cracks opened from every corner of every window
and door frame, diagonally to the ceiling and floor. Plus lots of
other damage, too. Curiously, relatively little corner damage like
that which you've sustained.
But like you, I never completed the repairs until I finally sold the
house two years ago.
Good luck with your sale--my house sold for 14x what I'd paid, 30
--John W. Wells
I agree about not making a cosmetic, temporary repair to
hide the problem.
I haven't repaired the cracks because I didn't want the
syndrome of repair-crack-repair. However, I didn't have
cracks before the quake, and there are no new or worsened
cracks since the quake, even with aftershocks and milder
quakes, so I thought that caulk might be sufficient.
It seems like your joint compound might easily crack since it may
not be very forgiving. A flexible caulk as recommended above
might be different.
Maybe I'll try putting my home on the market without
fixing. If it lowers the price appreciably, I'll take it off the
market and fix.
I was in my home during the quake. The floor was moving at
least 3-4 inches where I couldn't stand, but the only permanent
damages were four cracks in corners and two small horizontal
cracks. I was lucky.
BTW, it sounds like you got a great price for your house in
the middle of the post-bubble housing slump.
Congrats and thanks for your comments
"John W. Wells" wrote:
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