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md9693 05-12-2009 01:40 PM

Drywall repair question
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Hello there, My house is almost 3 years old and I'm having a problem with a crack on the wall in the living room ( corner area of the archway, please see pictures ). That's the only crack inside the house. Foundation is okay except for for a hairline crack at the other side of the house. This was noted during inspection when we bought the house and it is not getting bigger, so I don't think this is the cause of the wall crack. Last winter though was dry and noticed some of my hardwood floors shrunk a little bit and was squeaking. My question is, how do you fix or patch the crack? It looks like I need to tape the crack first but I'm not sure about the corner of the arch. Do you have any suggestions before I call the professionals to fix this? Thank you.

Nestor_Kelebay 05-12-2009 02:50 PM

I'd suspect that the crack is caused by movement of the exterior walls of your house up and down a little bit. That could be due to frost heave or the clay in the soil around your house swelling (due to lotsa moisture) or shrinking (due to it drying out).

I'm thinking that the reason why the crack is forming there is that the corner of a doorway is the weakest spot in an interior wall. Think of the doorway as a big notch in a wall spanning across the house. If the wall has to bend, and the plaster or drywall has to crack to accomodate that movement, it'll crack at the weakest spot, which is at the top corners of any doorways through that wall.

If the crack is due to up and down movement of the foundation (and hence exterior walls), then the movement will persist until you find out what's causing it. If you want to fix this crack in the mean time, what I would do is apply joint compound to the crack (just with my fingers) and then wipe the area on each side of the crack down with a damp sponge to remove the excess joint compound. Allow the joint compound along the crack line to dry, and then wipe across the crack line with a damp sponge to remove any excess joint compound in the crack line.

Now prime and paint with a matching colour paint using an artist's paint brush or a maybe a 3 inch roller sleeve.

md9693 05-12-2009 09:22 PM

Thanks for you reply, you don't think it's from poor plastering job? The crack starts from the corner and I can see that the plaster is really thin and hollow inside. I've been to my crawlspace many times already and I can't find anything that would suggest any movement below that crack. Is there any other stuff I need to check?

GBR 05-12-2009 09:42 PM

Is the warranty in effect from the builder? Here is how it should be fixed:

FAQ About Old Plaster

Is it wire lath under or what? I'm thinking when installed, it wasn't re-enforced at the corner for just this.

Is there a beam centered on the opening below, with the right side dropping?

Put a 6' level (or straight-edge and 4' level) on the floor, across the arched opening. Is the floor level? Be safe, G

md9693 05-13-2009 03:11 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the link GBR, unfortunately I'm not under warranty anymore. I do have a mantle just under that wall and used the leveler (see picture, I don't know if you can see it) and the bubble is in the center but very slightly towards the left. I mean barely touching the line to the left. The corner crack doesn't have any support behind it, just empty as far as I can see. What kind of joint compound can I use? Any recommendations? I found some plaster patch at Lowe's, woud that be okay? Thanks.

GBR 05-14-2009 11:19 AM

I had you check level to see if the one side was sinking, or not. Sounds like Nestor is right on. A site I agree with is:

FAQ About Old Plaster

Choose the topic at left side, enjoy. Be safe, G

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