cracks in seams of ceiling drywall

tshermanDecember 9, 2006

There seams of the ceiling's drywall are cracking badly in certain areas of the house. (I assume they are seams because they are where the hall way meets the kitchen, and where the stairwell meets the upstairs hallway.) We tried spackling and painting, but it just recracked a few months later. Any suggestions on a permanent fix?

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drywall_diy_guy

To get a long lasting repair, you need to score on each side of the seam, lift the old tape up, apply mud, retape, and finish. The new tape will last a while. Perhaps it was not even taped?

A detailed procedure for doing this is given at the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Retaping Cracks

    Bookmark   December 9, 2006 at 7:51PM
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texasredhead

What type of foundation are you on? Are you having any problems with doors closing properly. Often cracking drywall seams is a sign of another problem such as a shifting foundation.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 10:07AM
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tsherman

I guess we are on poured concrete, with a basement. Doors seem to close ok, but the floors creak like crazy. There do seem to be several cracks in the ceilings where seams meet. How do you tell the difference between "normal" settling, and shifting foundation?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 8:38PM
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HandyMac

There is also another cause of ceiling cracks----truss shifting. Often during construction, trusses get wet before/during installation. If installed wet, and sheetrock is installed, the trusses can move as they dry and crack the rock.

One way to tell if the cracks are truss rellated or foundation related is by location. Most foundation related cracks start at door/window corners and move up towards the ceiling or at bottom corners and move down towards the floor.

Truss related cracks usually show up at wall/ceiling joints or at openings in the ceiling. In two story/split entry designs, floor joists can sometimes act the same way if wet when installed.

If the crack seem to follow the seasons----showing up during spring or fall when the temps/humidity make the winter to summer/summer to winter transitions---it is a good indicator the cracks are wood movement related.

Fixing them as outlined above by drywall guy more than once is sometimes necessary before the situation is resolved. Now and then, a stressed piece of wood will move regardless and fixing is impossible for the long term.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 1:07PM
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Lukens7_Q_Com

Can I repair a cracked ceiling by taking a piece of drywall out and placing a thicker drywall peice in place of it and featurer it or is it better not to and do it with the same thickness piece.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 12:14PM
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