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Fixing drywall stress cracks

Hunter8it's picture

I have a 15 year old house and it is time to paint, but there are several stress cracks in the drywall around the house. They are very fine cracks, but some of them are really long.  I have them in the middle of walls, and at the edges of the corner beads.   How can I repair these so they do not come back?  I think I can't just mud over them, there is no "space" to fill and they will just crack again.  Do I carve them out a bit and then fill them?  Thanks

(post #85863, reply #1 of 6)

The best approach is to convince yourself that they give the house "character".

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -John Kenneth Galbraith

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #85863, reply #2 of 6)

Naw, they mostly make it look junky. 

(post #85863, reply #3 of 6)

if   they  move  with  the  seasons ,  they  will probably  be  back

IE:  if  they  are  open  in  the  summer  and  closed  in  the  winter  (  or  vice-versa )

then  the  framing  is  shrinking  and expanding  with   the  humidity  levels  in the  house

so,  you   have  to  control the  humidiity  level  to  stabilize  the  framiing

... then  to  fix  the  cracks   ,  i  like   fiberglass   mesh  tape  and  durabond,  with  a joint  compound  finish

edit:  if  the  stress  is  from a  point  load   that  is  not  being  correctly  carried,  then  you  have  to   increase  the  bearing  ...  maybe    install  a  header  in  the attic... or  a post  in the  basement

so.. either  way... first  thing  to  do   is  fix  the  "stress" 

or..... patch  it ... and  sell  the  house  before  the  crack  returns



Mike Hussein Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

Edited 3/14/2009 1:15 pm ET by MikeSmith

Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore


(post #85863, reply #4 of 6)

I would just tape over them, mesh tape and all-purpose, feather it, sand and retexture to match.  No biggie.

"...craftsmanship is first & foremost an expression of the human spirit." - P. Korn

(post #85863, reply #5 of 6)

I don't know about drywall, but what you say about digging out the crack is the best (?) approach for plaster. Anyway, I had some serious cracks in a cover where drwall met ceiling (rounded there, originally plaster). I repaired once with tape and expanded metal lath and joint compound and it opened up again a year later. Last time I scraped all the loose stuff out and gouged out cracks to give the compound a place to go--but this time I used some DAP elastic spackle. (It used to come in little quart tubs, which was wonderful, now I can only find it in caulk-type tubes.) Anyway, I used the elastic spackle like joint compound. The problem is, you cannot sand this stuff, so you basically tool it with a wet taping knife while it is still pliable. That repair has held.

For your hairline cracks in drywall, what the others said about taping over them may work--probably not worthwhile to open the cracks up--and a lot of work! If just covering them works, fine, If not, you can try more involved surgery later!

(post #85863, reply #6 of 6)

I agree with those that said to tape over them.  I don't think it's necessary to enlarge the crack before re-taping.

I wouldn't use regular joint tape.  There are specialty crack repair tapes that can be found at professional paint stores that will do a much better job.  They are pre-glued (just wet and stick), very thin (which makes spackling over them a lot easier) and they are slightly flexible which reduces the chance of the crack returning.

If I could find the product online I would post a link, but I can't so you'll have to ask around.