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Why, Why, Why???

Posted by jb on January 11th, 2002 12:06 PM
In reply to Cracked Drywall Seams by Damon P. Lima on January 10th, 2002 06:59 PM [Go to top of thread]

Why have all the joints failed???? I can see if somehow they were ALL done incorrectly the first time around and now have failed, that you would need to re-do them all the right way. But what is to insure that the same thing doesn't happen all over again? Did the house actually move? Just because the house is old doesn't mean this can't happen. It might not have good wind bracing and it may sway with high winds. Is the sill rotted and settling? Is it a foundation that doesn't have footings down below the freeze line? Is it on piers that are heaving b/c of shallow footings, etc.? If any of these things are the real cause then you will probably have the same thing happen again after you fix it. When you did the gut job were any/many walls removed? If so, did they have diagonal bracing pieces in them? Your house may be swaying.

OK, if all my possible scenarios are NOT the cause then what could be the cause? What could the drywaller and plasterer do that could cause EVERY seam to crack? If they have mesh then it wasn't because of the lack of mesh. If the compound easily chips completely off the drywall then maybe there is something wrong with the bond between the drywall and the joint compound that was used. I have never seen this happen though.

Next windstorm I would walk around your house and put a spirit level (carpenters level) horizontally on the underside of the window headers (or resting on top of a window or door casing) on your top floor, on all 4+ sides of your house to see if the bubble is moving. You need to look when you hear a big gust. If it is, then your house is swaying in the breeze and popping all your joints. I would bet 50% chance of this, I have seen it before where bracing was removed from old houses. You would want to fix this before doing all your repairs again and again.

Either way, I would use durabond or durabond gold when you fix the joints. This is a harder, stronger, faster drying compound that you mix yourself. Perhaps it will be less likely to crack.

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