Cracks in Drywall(?) around Windows

Help Support House Repair Talk:

_Dan_

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
6
Location
USA
IMG_1581.JPEGIMG_1583.JPEGIMG_1584.JPEG

I've noticed these cracks around my windows and I'm not sure what caused them. What should I do to patch/repair them?

(Also I apologize if this isn't the right place to be asking this or if I'm not being descriptive enough. This is my first time using this site and I don't really have any knowledge about this type of work, but I'm eager to learn!)
 

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
6,534
Reaction score
2,485
Location
Erie, PA
Looks like expansion contraction that is kind of common in older homes. I have had lots of places like those in homes and normally I just clean them up and fill them with painters caulk if in painted wood or drywall compound in plaster with maybe mesh tape in some cases and repaint. Sometimes they stay good and sometimes they will reform a little.

Welcome to the forum.
 

_Dan_

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
6
Location
USA
Looks like expansion contraction that is kind of common in older homes. I have had lots of places like those in homes and normally I just clean them up and fill them with painters caulk if in painted wood or drywall compound in plaster with maybe mesh tape in some cases and repaint. Sometimes they stay good and sometimes they will reform a little.

Welcome to the forum.
Thank you so much for your response! I think the material is drywall as opposed to painted wood, so I'll give your second suggestion a shot. When you say drywall compound in plaster, what exactly am I looking for material-wise? And is there anything I could do to prevent future cracks from forming?
 

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
6,534
Reaction score
2,485
Location
Erie, PA
Thank you so much for your response! I think the material is drywall as opposed to painted wood, so I'll give your second suggestion a shot. When you say drywall compound in plaster, what exactly am I looking for material-wise? And is there anything I could do to prevent future cracks from forming?
Most hardware stores and home centers sell premixed compound in sizes from a quart to 5 gallons. A small container will be enough as it has a lifespan. It will be good if opened for a year and if you add a little water it will last longer. They also sell blades to put it on with from a couple inches wide to 18”. There are two types of tape made for Drywall a paper product that needs to be stuck down to a thin layer of the compound and then covered with compound and a mesh tape that has sticky on it and then when you cover it acts as reinforcement against future cracks. That is the one I like for jobs like this. Get the compound on as smooth as you can, but if you can’t it can be sanded very easily with sand paper or special sanding cloth made for drywall compound. Let it dry a day sand and then give another thin coat, repeat. If you use the tape it requires a little build out so the tape is covered. Most of the time when you feather it out over a wider area you can’t tell. YW
 

_Dan_

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
6
Location
USA
Most hardware stores and home centers sell premixed compound in sizes from a quart to 5 gallons. A small container will be enough as it has a lifespan. It will be good if opened for a year and if you add a little water it will last longer. They also sell blades to put it on with from a couple inches wide to 18”. There are two types of tape made for Drywall a paper product that needs to be stuck down to a thin layer of the compound and then covered with compound and a mesh tape that has sticky on it and then when you cover it acts as reinforcement against future cracks. That is the one I like for jobs like this. Get the compound on as smooth as you can, but if you can’t it can be sanded very easily with sand paper or special sanding cloth made for drywall compound. Let it dry a day sand and then give another thin coat, repeat. If you use the tape it requires a little build out so the tape is covered. Most of the time when you feather it out over a wider area you can’t tell. YW
This is exactly the information I needed. Can't thank you enough for taking the time to explain all this to me. I'll give it a go with the mesh tape!
 

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
6,534
Reaction score
2,485
Location
Erie, PA
Next step is to go to google and enter drywall finishing and watch a few vids. good luck
 

tomtheelder2020

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2020
Messages
239
Reaction score
87
Location
95620
Next step is to go to google and enter drywall finishing and watch a few vids. good luck
I recommend more than a few videos. Find some that go into a lot of detail and, particularly, try to find some that include working in corners., First-timers can find getting a small patch in the middle of a wall challenging and it is my experience that working in corners is more difficult.

It looks to me like this might have been previously patched and it looks like some surface material is flaking off. Anything loose should be gently removed - you don't want to removed any more than absolutely necessary. I some of the paper on the surface of the drywall comes off with the loose material, drywall compound placed where the paper was removed will soak into the underlying material and loosen it too. Lighlty coat such spots with an oil-based primer before patching. Also before patching, I like to knock off any high spots using 100 grit sand paper on a hard sanding block*.

You also might consider checking Yelp for a local handyman to tackle this. You can watch, learn, and do the next one yourself. A lest expensive, but more risky alternative is to ask on a Facebook group for your community. I my town, that would likely result in a couple of dozen responses ranging from people with decades in the building trades to people who once patched their own drywall and figure they can earn a few bucks for fixing yours.


*I use a Dura-grit carbide sanding block* that has a dead flat bottom so you only get the high spots and a 90 degree edge for getting into corners. Expensive but I think well worth it: Amazing Carbide Hand Sanding Block! DuraGRIT 90° TruSander. Mine is about 2 years old and good as new.
 

_Dan_

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
6
Location
USA
Hi, guys! Just wanted to check in and say I've since tried my hand at spackling a couple areas in my home and all your insight seriously helped! The mesh tape seems to be working well for me; we'll see how it holds up over time! It's a little tricky getting the edges of the mud perfectly flat and neat after going over it with the blade, but I think I just need practice. Again, thank you so much for your guidance!
 

Eddie_T

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
916
Reaction score
653
Thanks, I love those who come back to post. Some just hit and run · · · and we never know.
 
Top