Cracked drywall is an eyesore, but it could also be a blessing in disguise. Cracks range in severity from a simple fix to a serious signal that something may be wrong with the structure’s foundation. Homeowners should always check on their foundation if they see cracks anywhere, because it could mean there are also cracks forming under their feet – a problem that requires expert foundation repair.
Knowing how to fix cracks in drywall successfully takes some solid DIY skills or the presence of a foundation maintenance services team. This guide will help you understand what’s behind this issue so you can make better decisions about taking care of it.
The Typical Causes of Drywall Cracks
The most common cause of this problem is stress on the drywall’s joints and seams, and the most common locations are in room corners or above doors and windows. These seams are held together by tape and mud that are specialized for drywall, but sometimes this bonding can be compromised, which leads to the appearance of cracks. Some typical stress sources are:
Fluctuations in temperature can affect a structure from inside and outside, especially during seasonal transitions. This causes drywall to contract when cold and expand when warm, and this repeated process eventually puts it under enough pressure to crack. The wood frame that’s attached to the drywall is vulnerable to the same cycle, which can also cause drywall cracking.
Screws or Nails Popping
Nails and screws attach drywall to studs underneath it. Their heads are prone to slightly popping out through the drywall, but it can be enough to cause vertical or horizontal drywall cracks.
Every property settles on its foundation over time, so the older a house is, the more likely it will be to see drywall cracks. A few factors such as weather changes, soil shifts, or moisture-related issues such as transpiration can cause ground shifts beneath your foundation.
The slightest hairline crack is a sign that something negative is already underway. Whether it turns out to be a cosmetic fix or a much deeper job depends on how thoroughly and quickly the issue is appraised and remedied.
What Are 4 Fixes for Cracked Drywall?
Cracking can take many forms, ranging from barely visible to deeper, more jagged ones, which pose the greatest structural threats. Tackling them takes the right tools and knowing how to use them. Here is the most important step you should take and a general overview of three more to help get drywall cracks under control.
1. Schedule a Foundation Inspection
The best repair method is the one that removes the need for any further repairs being necessary. An inspection from foundation maintenance experts will give you peace of mind by doing one of two things: They will repair cracks while assuring you it’s nothing to worry about, or they’ll uncover a more significant problem that can be fixed for greater structural stability.
2. Nail or Screw Pop Repairs
This requires removing the nail or screw and adding a new, longer one
just above the previous spot. Metal studded drywall will require fine-threaded drywall screws, while wood studs need course-threaded ones. New nails or screws can be covered with joint compound and sanded, but more damaged removals may require mesh tape and an extra coat of compound.
3. Surface or Deep Crack Repairs
Surface cracks are the least worrisome and can be fixed by retaping or adding new compound before sanding and painting. Deeper cracks require more extensive taping and multiple compound layers, which must be applied slowly and thinly to ensure a smooth finish.
4. Corner Bead Repairs
Workers can cut these plastic or metal edges above and below the damaged area using a hacksaw before being replaced. Careful hammer use is required to remove the drywall nails that attach beading to corners. A new section of corner bead is then cut to properly fit the damaged area before being laid on a layer of joint compound and covered multiple times with the same.
These fixes must be made with confidence and skill, regardless of how minor they are. Any repair poorly done makes a problem persist, and it may even create new ones. The best move is to get professionals on-site before attempting any fix or to appraise any DIY you’ve undertaken.
What Are 4 Common Errors With Cracked Drywall?
Every repair job can cause further problems if it isn’t carried out with care. The worst response is no response, which guarantees homeowners more trouble down the line. Here are some other common errors in drywall repair:
1. Even the fixes can cause quite a mess.
Be sure to operate in a well-covered area where furniture, carpeting, and other possessions are shielded from fillers and fine particulate material, and always work in a well-ventilated space.
2. Never rush a drywall repair job.
The cutting, sanding, and finishing processes should be done with care to ensure a pleasing visual finish and a long-lasting, practical solution.
3. Wires and plumbing are often casualties.
This is especially true in hasty drywall work, as with the people performing it. Always make sure there are no water or electrical lines running behind the repair spot, no matter how far from an outlet the issue is.
4. Time is of the essence.
Every moment spent living with a drywall crack is wasted time toward repairs. A quick fix or appraisal today could save a lot of worry and money in the future.
Caring enough to address cracks in your drywall is a good reaction. Becoming stressed or worried about them is unnecessary when quality foundation maintenance services are there to assist you.
Contact the LUX Experts With Your Questions
The LUX Foundation Solutions team provides friendly and reliable inspections free of charge to fully assess whether foundation issues are causing your drywall cracks and suggest the best fix in every case. Our skilled workers use the latest techniques and technologies to diagnose the problem and make lasting fixes. Contact our offices today to speak to an expert about your foundation repair needs.