drywall moving after 25 years

datura-07July 26, 2009

We have a 30 foot load barring wall in the center of our house that started cracking a year ago. We noticed that the wallpaper started buckling. We had a wallpaper man pull back the paper and we cut out the bad drywall and repaired it. WE were busy for the last three months and didn't have time to have our paper man back BUT then last week we noticed that the wall is cracking again.

There is another supporting wall and it hasn't had any problems and the house was designed by an architech.

Anyone have any idea what's going on. You'd think if it was a settling problem, it would have showed up years ago.

My plan is to call the wallpaper guy and see if he knows of a drywall person to help us.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

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Does this 'cracking' occur at the top of the wall where it joins the ceiling?

Does this occur on the 2nd floor of a 2 story home? 1st floor of a ranch?

If so then the problem is from 'truss lift'.

'Truss lift' occurs when the dimensions of the wood in the trusses change at different times of the year from changes in humidity.

Truss lifting can even pull up entire center bearing walls from their sole plates.

The key to eliminating truss lift is to remove any fasteners between the bottom of the truss and the top of the 'bearing' walls (which really aren't bearing in this case anyhow), and by removing the fasteners in the ceiling drywall on both sides of the bearing wall for a distance of about 12-18".

This will allow the truss to move without any craccking the drywall joints or moving the partitions.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 1:48PM
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Not knowing anything about the construction of the house and foundation it's hard to even guess what could cause this. The truss lift theory above is a possibility, but somewhat suspect if this never happened before. A drywall guy is not the right person to ask as the drywall cracking is only a symptom of the cause. I would hire a structural engineer to come out and asess the problem. Could be minor or major. It's best to get an opinion sooner rather than later as some possible causes (underground water, ground settlement, etc.) could make it worse if not corrected.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 7:27PM
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sorry I didn't get back sooner. I started this on vacation and we just returned home. I did post a reply but we were having a bad internet connection and I guess it never went thru. Never really noticed but the crack is at the same level as the ceiling that is connected to this wall (east side). There is a bedroom above. Then the entire south side of the house has a catherdral ceiling. The west side has the master bedroom above it and there is another load barring wall but there are NO signs of cracking on that one.

Thanks again for the help. We'll find someone to look at it.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 11:56AM
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