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?
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.
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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.
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