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Why Did This Crack?

 
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:26 AM   #1
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Why Did This Crack?


This was a remodel, there was a crack in the ceiling when I started. So to repair it I applied mesh tape, went over it with hot mud, then with cold mud. It looked fine but about three weeks later it did this. Was it the mesh tape? I used hot mud over the mesh tape which is what you're supposed to use. Maybe that's not enough and we should just skip mesh tape all together and use paper? But I like using mesh on existing drywall because it's thinner than paper tape, easier to spread the mud out and blend in without sanding into the tape.

Btw, why is this site loading pictures upside down? It's not like that in my file.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:31 AM   #2
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


What is above the drywall?

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Old 06-07-2012, 09:32 AM   #3
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


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Originally Posted by slowsol View Post
What is above the drywall?
Attic, 2x8 ceiling joists I think.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:54 AM   #4
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


Looks like you may need to run some extra screws to secure it and then open up the crack so it can be filed. Skimming over cracks without opening them up a little will usually end up with the crack coming back. Mesh tape shouldn't make a difference (better or worse). Something is still moving.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:05 AM   #5
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


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Originally Posted by Jason Whipple View Post
Looks like you may need to run some extra screws to secure it and then open up the crack so it can be filed. Skimming over cracks without opening them up a little will usually end up with the crack coming back. Mesh tape shouldn't make a difference (better or worse). Something is still moving.
Yeah that makes sense. I should have thought of that, I've done that before with cracks when the drywall is obviously unsecured and separating. This one didn't look like it was loose, so I thought it would be fine.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:19 AM   #6
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


Something's moving - could be a lot of things causing the movement. On ceilings where I expect movement, a lot of times I make sure edges like this don't fall on framing, then I use 4" wide plywood backer to screw to so the edge floats.

For fixing cracks like this where the framing is moving, I use Durabond with 50/50 water / acrylic admix. Even the thin set mortar admix works well. Dig out the crack, like usual, then tape and Durabond. It'll take a long time to set and dry - make sure it's dry before going over the top with pre-mix. Hot mud only requires it to be set-up before skim coat.

The Durabond ends up being stronger and more flexible and sticks better than unmodified Durabond. Very tough to get it to crack.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:27 AM   #7
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


Is this a truss house and are those ceiling panels attached to the trusses. Sometimes the trusses can have large movements. If this is the first in line and the other ceiling joist are not trusses one will move and the other will not, pulling the joint apart.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:38 AM   #8
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


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Is this a truss house and are those ceiling panels attached to the trusses. Sometimes the trusses can have large movements. If this is the first in line and the other ceiling joist are not trusses one will move and the other will not, pulling the joint apart.
That was my first thought, but I couldn't see upper angle cracks in the picture. He'll have a lot more work if it's truss uplift...
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:19 PM   #9
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


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Originally Posted by Leo G View Post
Is this a truss house and are those ceiling panels attached to the trusses. Sometimes the trusses can have large movements. If this is the first in line and the other ceiling joist are not trusses one will move and the other will not, pulling the joint apart.
No, this house was built in 1960, it's a stick framed roof. It surprised me because I would think the house is done settling after that much time. And the crack is going perpendicular to the 2x8 wood ceiling joists, the middle of the joists are hanging on a large beam going through the attic.
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:13 PM   #10
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


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the middle of the joists are hanging on a large beam going through the attic.
??

Are two pieces butting together at the corner on the ceiling?
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:58 PM   #11
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


Get an old can opener scrape out the crack fill with durabond. Tape and finish. Cant see how drywall was hung or what is above it. Dont know what else to tell ya.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:08 PM   #12
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


There are many reasons why sheetrock ceilings can crack, most common causes are the house settling, drastic temperature changes, seepage of water, seasonal movement, etc not to mention, improper installation, what mud or tape was used, etc.

Try to investigate a little further see if you can find the problem, if not in either case you will have to repair the ceiling, make the repairs and see if it will happen again.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:06 AM   #13
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


You always need to try to peel existing loose tape off as much as possible. Clean up any loose paper on the drywall. V out if needed. Add some screws. I use mesh and durabond to finish.

If you do not ''prep'' it properly the cracks will always come back.

And some joints just can't be fixed. No matter what you do.

Good luck.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:17 PM   #14
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


Quote:
Originally Posted by boman47k

??

Are two pieces butting together at the corner on the ceiling?
Two pieces of what? It's hard to explain since I don't have a picture. Since the ceiling joists can't span the house, there is a beam in line with the ridge carrying the joists. But I don't know if that had anything to do with the crack.

The durrabond is a good idea. I should have figured it was caused by movement since there was no water damage and the crack was not straight, so it wasn't from a seam, the crack was jagged.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:23 PM   #15
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


well to me it looks like you are useing 1/2 inch drywall and not 3/4 for flooring, this is a common mistake up north. you might try adding 1/4 inch on top of the 1/2 inch.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:42 PM   #16
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sunkist
well to me it looks like you are useing 1/2 inch drywall and not 3/4 for flooring, this is a common mistake up north. you might try adding 1/4 inch on top of the 1/2 inch.
Where do you live where they use 3/4" on ceilings? I didn't tear off any of the ceiling so I don't know how thick it is. But In the past I've seen 5/8" on real wood ceiling joists in old houses. Adding 1/4" would be out of the question since I'd have to do that to the entire top floor.
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:54 AM   #17
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sunkist View Post
well to me it looks like you are useing 1/2 inch drywall and not 3/4 for flooring, this is a common mistake up north. you might try adding 1/4 inch on top of the 1/2 inch.

What! Explain please.


Or is that a joke because the picture is upside down...........I get it.......I think Not enough coffee yet.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:25 AM   #18
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


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Originally Posted by KennMacMoragh View Post
Two pieces of what? It's hard to explain since I don't have a picture. Since the ceiling joists can't span the house, there is a beam in line with the ridge carrying the joists. But I don't know if that had anything to do with the crack.

The durrabond is a good idea. I should have figured it was caused by movement since there was no water damage and the crack was not straight, so it wasn't from a seam, the crack was jagged.
That is actually what I meant by "two pieces butting together".
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:29 AM   #19
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


Hey guys here's some News for you, if it's built in the 1960's I will bet that the ceiling is plaster, rock lath then portland scratch coat and a plaster putty coat, you should V cut the plaster use 90 Durabond Brown bag, make sure you sand paint finish on ceiling around crack let the durabond set, then take 6" and shave off high spot then pull it tight with Topping Compound sand prime paint.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:47 AM   #20
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Re: Why Did This Crack?


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Originally Posted by Frankawitz View Post
Hey guys here's some News for you, if it's built in the 1960's I will bet that the ceiling is plaster, rock lath then portland scratch coat and a plaster putty coat, you should V cut the plaster use 90 Durabond Brown bag, make sure you sand paint finish on ceiling around crack let the durabond set, then take 6" and shave off high spot then pull it tight with Topping Compound sand prime paint.
I wasn't building during the 1960's, what is rock lath? I did tear out some of the drywall behind the sink and found it was ordinary drywall, the way we do things now.

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