Cracks in my paint and between molding

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  #1  
Old 12-04-09, 03:14 PM
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Cracks in my paint and between molding

We just purchased this home three months ago. Now all of the sudden I am seeing cracks between the original molding pieces and in every corner of each room. We sort of feel like they did a quick "touch up" paint job to maybe hide some issues, not sure because there is no reason this has started out of no where that I can think of.

Here is a link to a few pictures. Picasa Web Albums - Linda - Cracks

Any idea why this is happening or what I need to do before I start painting my rooms? I guess I need to remove the cracking paint, sand and then fill it in with some type of compound before I paint. Just wish I knew why this is happening.

Thanks for any help you can give me. This is the original paint that was on the walls upon purchase. I am getting cracks at the ceiling where the molding meets the ceiling all over the place as well.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-04-09, 03:39 PM
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Remove any loose chips, buy some paintable caulking from your local hardware store or Home Depot, fill the gaps & paint those sections. You should be able to match the paint well enough so you don't have to paint everything.
 
  #3  
Old 12-04-09, 03:40 PM
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Cracks commonly appear because of the expansion and contraction of the various peices.It can often be tough to stop this process and I'm not going to suggest anything to try because I'm not sure you really can stop this.

Sometimes caulking is used but some of the places your pics show are not normally caulked or it would be difficult to get caulk into those locations.You can try it but you'll have to open some of those cracks up to get it in there.The best time for that would have been at construction.

Perhaps the painters here have some ideas but I wanted to comment that this is not uncommon and not to fault your painters etc but so much.
 
  #4  
Old 12-04-09, 03:43 PM
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I have found the color to match the molding paint so I had planned on repainting all of that in the home anyway as well as the walls. The colors are not what we like and some of the other rooms have very dated wallpaper so I have 3900 sq ft to paint...ugh...

I am just concerned over why this is happening all of the sudden. We keep the temperature the same as the previous owner so it shouldn't be that. I am worried that I will spend a large amount of time painting everything only to have this happen again in a short amount of time.

Thanks.
 
  #5  
Old 12-04-09, 03:53 PM
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I don't think it will crack again after it's caulked but if you are really concerned that it might happen again after you do all that work, make a test. Patch & paint a few places that aren't conspicious & wait a few weeks. That is if you're not in a hurry.
 
  #6  
Old 12-04-09, 04:27 PM
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There are 3 basic reasons for caulking to crack,
#1 - substrate not stable, either not nailed correctly or had a high moisture content when installed and caulked - shrunk as it dried and the caulk was unable to stretch
#2 - use of an inferior caulk
#3 - poor caulking technique
It could also be a combination of the above.

Do you know if the moulding is original to the house? I assume this isn't a new construction.

You shouldn't need to remove all or most of the failed caulk but it is a good idea to scratch a little of the caulk out of the crack.That will give the new caulk more surface to adhere to. You want to use a good quality siliconized acrylic latex caulk. If it just says latex caulk - it's probably substandard. You need to recaulk all the cracks as paint alone won't fill the crack.

While cracks are fairly common with new construction, it's rare for them to continue to be a problem. It helps to use a damp sponge or rag to smooth out the caulk and remove any excess. You do not want to use so much water that you dilute or wash out the caulking!
 
  #7  
Old 12-04-09, 07:38 PM
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Were these areas previously caulked?It doesn't look like it to me or if it was very little was used.Unless very cheap caulk was used I'd be surprised by the cracking.As for this just now happening since you've only owned the house 3 months you don't know what went on in the past.changes from you newly living there like new heat and cool cycles etc could have brought this on but generally cracking at points like this go on for years reoccurring over and over until something more serious is done to stop it.

That one spot "in=line" looks more like a somewhat uneven joint between two sections of molding and paint build up around it and/or a sloppy caulk job.
 
  #8  
Old 12-04-09, 08:30 PM
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Thanks for all of the information. This is the original molding from when the home was built 30 years ago. There is no caulk what so ever in any of the joints.

What would anyone suggest that I do to deal with the ceiling issues. The paint has cracked and there is a gap between the molding and the ceiling all over the place. The paint looked fairly new so I feel sure they painted it before putting it on the market but it is just molding and the ceiling, no filler.

We also just found pulling a baseboard that the ceilings are 8 and 1/2 feet tall and they used 8' sheetrock. Yes there is 1/2 foot of nothing under the baseboards in the rooms...sigh....

We kept the previous owners heat/cooling settings that were programed in. They are fine for us and saw no reason to change them so it's running on the same settings they had and it also ran this way when the house was empty before we purchased it so I don't think it's a heat/cooling change issue but I am no construction person. They also didn't use mud tape between the ceiling sheetrock and the wall sheetrock. Yeah I am loving all the stuff I am finding under the wallpaper and baseboards.
 
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Old 12-05-09, 04:27 AM
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I always caulk all joints on painted woodwork - it just looks better that way. Besides the gaps in the wood, it should also be caulked to wall/ceiling. Maybe I didn't look close enough I just assumed everything was caulked, just not correctly.

If there isn't any drywall behind the base, how was it installed? shimmed out? or was the base installed directly to the studs and the drywall rests on top of it

"They also didn't use mud tape between the ceiling sheetrock and the wall sheetrock"

Is there crown moulding to hide the gap? If so, that should be ok, otherwise you need to mud and tape it. IF the gap is fairly tight and consistent you could cheat and use caulking.
 
  #10  
Old 12-05-09, 04:59 AM
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Just so you know, the expansion and contraction is normal. I just shows up more on painted woodwork. I assume you are in the U.S. and are experiencing winter. With winter comes lower humidity and shrinking of wood. If the wood was rather wet when installed and/or it was hot and humid, the wood would have been longer when measured and cut. that would mean when it dried out it shrank. Some woods can move 1/4in or more during a year. Remember wood is organic and subject to changes in the environment.

My suggestion would be to run a bead of caulk along each joint. That should hide most of it.
 
  #11  
Old 12-05-09, 11:29 AM
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If the 1/2 in gap is to the studs and is causing cold air to leak into the house I'd find some moulding or similar wood strips and tack those in,caulk the seams then place your crown over it just to seal the leakage.You could also probably use something like foam weatherstripping etc but those materials eventually age to the point of falling apart.
 
  #12  
Old 01-18-10, 04:03 AM
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Update. We found some of the problem. Seems our five year old roof was leaking non stop allowing water into every wall in this house. I guess "find the source of the leak" on the inspection report meant nothing to these idiots. We just had a new roof installed and had a ton of rain yesterday. All the wall leaks are fixed. The bad thing is this has been leaking for five years so I don't even want to think about what the sheetrock looks like under all this wallpaper. We are planning on replace all the sheetrock ourselves, one room at a time. I have gaps at the top of my molding at the ceiling line that I can easily stick my finger into. That is how far this has dropped. I have support walls moving, fireplace moving and other issues.
 
  #13  
Old 01-18-10, 10:28 AM
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Because of the likely presence of significant mold I suggest you move out of the house until the work is complete as you may be exposing yourself to a harmful environment and eventual health issues.
 
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