Wall & Ceiling Crack Repairs-- Beginner How To?

bobbi_socalNovember 19, 2006

I have some wall and ceiling cracks that need repairs for painting. One ceiling crack runs wall to wall in front of a corner, one wall crack runs down an interior corner and the other wall crack runs horizontal from the bottom edge of a window to the corner.

Are these normal types of repairs expected for a 40+ year old home? Can they be done with taping and mud? Or do I need to look for structural problems?

I'm a newbie to home repairs and can only afford my own hourly labor :-)! Is this something a novice could handle?

Thanks for your input!

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A few more pieces of info please...

Plaster or dry wall?

Straight cracks or irregular?

Textured surface or not?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 6:26PM
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Kudzu9 thanks for the reply! Here is more info:
All drywall. Light texture on wall, heavy texture on ceiling. Windowsill to corner is about 3 - 3 1/2 foot.

The inside corner is straight up and down in the corner, though attaching to the horizontal crack now, hard to see in the pics, but it's there.

The horizontal crack is a bit irregular as it slopes down from the window to the corner.

The ceiling is heavy texture and very irregular.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 9:14PM
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The photos you have posted clearly show cracks in the drywall caused by shifting, or movement, of the actual wooden structure that supports the walls and floors. Most likely, the wooden framing is moving because some portion of the foundation is sinking. Has there been an extended drought where you live? The soil can shrink and subside if it gets too dry. I am not suggesting that your house is unsafe-cracks like yours are fairly common in older homes. If you check out the basement walls, you might find some sign of movement there, as well.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 11:15PM
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I agree that it could be settling, but those straight cracks also look a lot to me like a sheetrock joint where no tape was used over the joint.

As for your first question about doing it yourself, it's possible, but it's not totally simple. You can't just use spackle on the crack, because it will open up again. The "easiest" fix would be to sand down a wide strip on both sides of the wall cracks, and then to embed tape, let it dry, and do a second or third coat to feather the joint out. Then you would have to re-paint with something that gave a heavy texture to try to make it all blend in. If you've never done work with joint compound, it's a skill that takes some practice and it would be easy for you to end up with the crack gone, but a more noticeable mess if you're not skilled with this. As for the ceiling, that's a tougher one because of the heavier texturing, and I can't tell you a good way to make this go away without a lot of work of the same kind.
The only other think I can suggest is that there used to be a product you could buy in a spray can that laid down a thin, flexible film that bridged the crack and then you painted over it. It might not work well for you given the size of your cracks. You could try spackling the cracks, which would close them up better, and then try the spray can approach. No matter what you do, though, you're going to have to re-paint.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 12:52AM
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I been for the last week or so, here and there hearing this noise I really couldn't explain where it was coming from my outer wall area of my family room and bedroom. This morning I heard the noise 3 or 4 times and got worried. Looking around I found on the outer wall of my family room there is cracking down the seam vertically. I kinda am freaking about it. Well we just put this new drywall up in October. The weather outside right now is about -6, very cold. There is some snow and ice on the roof, but my husband dont think it is a real lot. Please reply. I worry alot.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 7:41AM
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You can fix these cracks very easily so they do n ot return with our new Stress Crack Tape Products available from www.macarthurpainting.com. These products will cover the cracks easily and you will only have to do repair once even if th walls move again which they will.

Here is a link that might be useful: macarthur painting

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 9:11PM
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