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Recurring Drywall Cracks

Repairing Drywall CracksA common problem in most homes is a drywall crack that keeps appearing. It seems that no matter how much care is taken in repairing, some cracks just keep coming back. Most such cracks are due to settling or the repetitive movement of the underlying framing members, and are commonly found over doors or windows, or where unusual stresses exist.

But there’s an easy solution that will cause most of these cracks to permanently disappear, or at least, become less visible. Small cracks can be filled with painters caulk and smoothed with a wet finger making certain the repair doesn’t extend higher than the surrounding wall. Allow the caulk to dry overnight and if shrinkage has occurred, add a second layer. The caulk provides a flexible bond that will compensate for slight movements in the surface without creating an unsightly crack.

Once the caulk has dried completely it can be painted. It’s best to paint an entire section of wall to avoid differences in texture or color. (I find it best to spot coat the repair with a roller to create the same texture as on the wall; allow it to dry, and then to recoat the entire wall section.)

If the crack has opened excessively—greater than 1/8”—it’s best to first clean out the crack and to fill it with joint compound. Touch up the paint as above and wait for a small crack to appear. Once a crack is visible it can be filled with caulk and painted.


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