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What are Drywall Cracks?

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The longer you live in the house, the more you’ll realize that nothing is long-lasting, and repairs are rarely permanent. Like everything else on the planet, Houses are continuously deteriorating and necessitate maintenance to stay in good condition. Drywall cracks are among the most perplexing signs of regular household wear and tear. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how to repair drywall cracks in general, and more particularly, how to fix a drywall crack that keeps reappearing, even after you think you’ve restored it appropriately. 

Where Do You Frequently Find Drywall Cracks?

Drywall cracks are most prevalent in places of the structure that encounter more pressure than others. The corners of doors and windows and the edges of wall openings are the most common areas. This applies to both external and internal doors and openings. 

A further common location for these cracks is where two parts of drywall meet. At the drywall seams, these cracks typically run horizontally or vertically. Homes with high ceilings may also develop cracks in the higher areas. 

Furthermore, drywall cracks are common where two pieces of drywall are barged together. This is due to a drywall joint stuck and afterward layered with two or three coats of drywall mud. Some cracks may form because these joint zones are relatively weaker than the center or field area of the drywall. 

Common Causes of Drywall Cracks

As previously stated, stress is usually the primary cause of cracks. However, there are numerous potential sources of stress; some of the more common ones are as follows: 

  • Wood framing dries out; as it matures, the wood cures or loses moisture, causing it to turn or warp slightly and even experience displacement. 
  • The structure is moving.
  • Storm-related wind loads create stress on ceilings and walls. 
  • Home settlement or soil movement 
  • Expansive soils are pushing up the structure. 
  • Changing seasons: wet and dry. 
  • Hot and cold climates cause expansion and contraction (This is common in vacation homes and homes that have been unoccupied because the internal temperature of the residence has been permitted to fluctuate based on the outside temperature). 
  • Earthquakes – if the house is located in an earthquake-prone area. 
  • Truss uplift can cause cracks where the interior walls meet the ceiling. 
  • Taping the drywall joints was of poor quality. Some causes include too much mud, too little mud, lacking drywall tape, and drywall protected with internal stresses. 
  • When “Popcorn” textured, or “cottage cheese” looking material is removed, it may end up leaving a drywall taping job that cracks at the drywall joint. This is common since the construction company knew they were going to texture the ceiling, so they had the drywall contractor apply fewer coats of drywall mud over the joints to save money and because the joints would’ve been covered with a contoured material. Specifically, a “popcorn” ceiling material. The fewer coatings applied to the joints, the more likely a crack will form. Under certain conditions, cracks may be a “red” flag. 

A “Red” flag could be wide cracks or cracks that run at an angle or diagonally. It is significant to mention that, while these cracks must be examined more closely, they may not have been severe. The specific circumstances determine the severity of these cracks. 

Drywall Crack Repair Methods by HydroHelp911

DRYWALL SURFACE CRACK REPAIR METHOD

In contrast to plaster, drywall has a continuous paper concealing that infrequently appears cracks or splits. When a crack appears, it is usually at the seam where two drywall sheets intersect, and it is simple to repair. 

If the crack is on a seam of the vertical or horizontal line, drywall crack repair contractors at HydroHelp911 will thoughtfully widen it with the corner of a paint scraper, utility knife, or chisel to see if it extends entirely through the paper concealing the seam and if the tape has come unstuck from the wall surface. 

If the tape is still unaffected and well-adhered, the crack has been most likely caused by the drying and dwindling of the old drywall compound. The contractors will re-apply the combination to the crack with the help of a knife swipe across the crack to apply the mixture. Scrape both sides of the knife over the edge of the pan to ensure it is clean. Allow the joint compound to dry before lightly sanding the area thoroughly. Scrub away the dust before painting over it. 

DEEP DRYWALL CRACK REPAIR METHOD

If the crack stretches through the paper tape on the seam or has worn away from the wall, a razor knife is then used to trim the video about 6″ to 12″ from both endpoints of the damage. The repair experts will carefully remove the drywall’s paper covering without tearing it away. The experts then scrape away the loose compound and use a razor knife or drywall saw to broaden the crack through the wall surface into the stud hole. It is avoided to remove solid, well-adhered mixture beyond the crack itself. 

The drywall repair contractors will fill the crack with a new drywall compound and then apply a thin coat to the wall surface where the old tape was removed. Next, a strip of fiberglass tape is placed over the seam while the compound is still wet, closing the gap between the endpoints of the existing video. 

After the compound has dried, apply a second thin coat over the taped area. 

Drywall compounds should be applied in numerous thin layers because thicker layers are difficult to smooth out and eventually cause cracking. 

When the second coat is completely dry, lightly sand to smooth out any bumps, the patch is given a third and final coat with a joint-compound taping knife. Make an effort to blend this coat as smoothly as possible onto the wall surface. After it has dried, the team will gently sand it, wipe away the dust, and repaint the entire area. 

NAIL POP REPAIR METHODS

Nail pops, or nail heads that disengage from the wood studs and protrude through the drywall tape or paint, are a common drywall problem, especially in newer homes. This is caused mainly by warped wood that was not properly dried before installation. The bumps are visible and unsightly, even though the drywall is rarely in danger of falling off the wall. 

The repair professional will scrape away with a utility knife until the nail is exposed. 

Then there are two methods of nail pops repairs: using a screwdriver or hammer to push the pin away into the studs, then adjusting each nail head with tightly packed drywall screws. Alternatively, the nail is removed, and a screw is driven into its place, along with a second screw nearby, to secure the drywall. 

When utilizing drywall screws, make sure to mildly recess the heads, creating a bulge in the drywall surface, which can be encased with joint compound, but take care not to split through the surface. If you have several screws in a row, spot-patch each one with a combination and cover it with a strip of fiberglass tape. 

See Best Way To Seal Foundation Vents.

FAQs

DOES LEAVING A HOUSE VACANT CAUSE DRYWALL TO CRACK?

Vacation homes and those vacant for a few months are prone to developing cracks in the walls and ceilings. This is because the house is not climate-controlled like it would be if it were occupied. Temperature and humidity fluctuations can cause framing members and drywall to flex, ultimately causing cracking. These, like other wall cracks, can be re-taped and coated. 

DOES DISCOLORATION AROUND THE CRACK INDICATE A LEAK?

Water leaking from a window or the roof, or even a leaking attic water line, can inundate the drywall within the framing and lighten and wither away, resulting in a crack with visible yellow or brownish blotches. If the leak is new, such as from recent rain, the area may feel damp to the touch. Before repairing the crack, which will necessitate substituting the damaged section of drywall and then re-taping, it is critical to locate and repair the source of the leak. 

WHAT CAUSES DRYWALL TO CRACK?

Drywall is most prone to cracking at the seams where two segments of drywall meet. These are the weakest points of the wall and are the most vulnerable to any disruptions. There are a variety of strains that can induce fittings to crack. 

Variations in climate can cause the drywall to expand and contract, putting pressure on seams. This is a common occurrence in vacation homes that are not permanently climate-controlled. 

The settling of the house itself can also cause drywall cracks. This type of damage is typically identified by vertical cracks extending along with the room’s corners, window frames, or door jambs, and it can occur in both new and older homes as they settle on the foundation. 

 

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