Caulked crown/ceiling gap - 6 months later it's separating


  #1  
Old 12-11-17, 04:26 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
Caulked crown/ceiling gap - 6 months later it's separating

Okay, I bought the caulk at Home Depot but I thought it was supposed to be decent caulk. (BF siad he uses this all the time and it should be fine.)

DAP Alex Painter's All-Purpose Acrylic Latex Caulk

Painted and caulked the crown/ceiling gap (that became noticeable after I painted cabs white of course) and it looked great, until about a week ago. I noticed a long crack down the whole length of the cabinets. BF tells me it's due to the cold weather and the fact that I keep it pretty cool in the house. So what the heck can I use to NOT crack? It needs to be paintable.
 
  #2  
Old 12-11-17, 05:14 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 27,085
Received 905 Votes on 831 Posts
Caulk is not glue and it can only handle so much movement. There is pretty much no amount of caulking (or any different type) that will prevent the crown moulding seam from cracking. You are dealing with separate things that move differently. The best you can do is simply caulk it again this time of year when it is the coldest outside.
 
  #3  
Old 12-11-17, 07:42 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
Obviously it's not glue. I know that. But I don't know anyone that has to re caulk their crown molding every year either.
I am fine with recaulking, once. But I don't want to have to do this every year. Is there a better caulk that I should be using?
 
  #4  
Old 12-11-17, 07:44 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 27,085
Received 905 Votes on 831 Posts
You must not know many people with crown moulding then, because it needs continual maintenance. If the crown moulding is installed against a ceiling truss, the problem is much worse because the trusses rise and fall with the temperatures. Much also depends on how well the crown moulding was nailed... the type of caulk that was used... whether the ceiling was painted or if you were caulking to raw joint compound. There are a lot of reasons the caulk could fail.

Maybe marksr will be along to give his caulk recommendation.
 
  #5  
Old 12-11-17, 08:43 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
It's ONLY the crown that is above the cabinets. The rest of it still looks good - no cracks anywhere.
I have to assume that ceiling was painted, I didn't paint it but it's white and I assume that it was painted when the house was built, 23 years ago.
 
  #6  
Old 12-11-17, 09:00 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 27,085
Received 905 Votes on 831 Posts
The crown probably is not nailed to the ceiling at all above the cabinets. (No backer to nail to)

Is there a 2nd floor above or is it attic?
 
  #7  
Old 12-12-17, 12:03 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 7,306
Received 489 Votes on 453 Posts
You must not know many people with crown molding then, because it needs continual maintenance.

Have to agree, a house moves a lot , more due to humidity than temps but they are related. I have a lot of crown in my house, everything is nailed and glued but some spots show some splitting of he caulk.

Usually it's a one off repair, to fill the fill but as noted if not secured it;s just going to come back eventually!
 
  #8  
Old 12-12-17, 02:29 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,097
Received 398 Votes on 354 Posts
I'm not fond of DAP caulk, I normally use White Lightning. There are some polyurethane caulks which will do better but they can be hard to find.

Humidity changes play a bigger part in the movement than temperature changes. As noted above - crown is problematic, mainly because in most houses it's difficult to nail it securely. The builders that add extra blocking in the framing seem to have less problems with the crown. Larger crown is more apt to have problems than the smaller crown.

Caulking over the cracked caulking won't help much, it's best to cut/pull out the failed caulk - then recaulk.
 
  #9  
Old 12-12-17, 06:43 AM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,495
Received 36 Votes on 28 Posts
Like Mark, I've not had much success using DAP products. What I use is Elmer's Squeez' N Caulk. This is a siliconized acrilyc latex caulk and unlike the DAP Alex it seems to stay flexible for years after I have placed it. It comes in tubes and also a plastic squeeze bottle with a resealable tip.
 
  #10  
Old 12-13-17, 07:09 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
XSleeper, the attic is above the kitchen.
 
  #11  
Old 12-13-17, 07:14 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
marksr, I looked up the White Lightning caulk. Lots of different types. Would the 3006™ ADVANCED FORMULA be the one I would want to use?

https://www.wlcaulk.com/product/3006-advanced-formula/

These products seem to get good reviews as well, with no cracking. Guess I will try one of them. Sure wish I had known about the cracking thing, I would much rather spend a few bucks on better caulk, the first time.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Big-Stretch...-Caulk/4411173
https://www.homedepot.com/p/DAP-Extr...8715/301531804
 

Last edited by yardnut; 12-13-17 at 10:01 PM.
  #12  
Old 12-13-17, 07:27 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 27,085
Received 905 Votes on 831 Posts
Do you have engineered (fink style) trusses, or is it stick built, with rafters and ceiling joists?

Trusses tend to rise and fall with temperature and humidity... which is a common reason that crown moulding pops loose with the seasons. If there is an area that is especially problematic, you could see the top edge could be nailed better (installers often do not nail small cabinet crown moulding to the ceiling)
... or like marksr mentioned... you could use a polyurethane sealant... they are usually oil based and must be tooled with paint thinner and they take longer to cure than latex caulks. So if you use an oil based polyurethane you might have to wait a week after caulking to repaint.
 
  #13  
Old 12-14-17, 02:30 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,097
Received 398 Votes on 354 Posts
The 3006 caulk is what I normally use. While I've not used much of it the Big Stretch has a good rep and is probably what I'd use if available. A polyurethane caulk normally works the best but the paint stores around here don't always have it in stock. Even the best caulks can only stretch so much.
 
  #14  
Old 12-14-17, 08:22 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 7,306
Received 489 Votes on 453 Posts
Just be aware, caulking only will not solve the problem, it needs to be securely held in place.

BTW, I always use DOW, never had issues so I would not go too far out of your way for something else!
 
  #15  
Old 12-14-17, 08:58 AM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts

"Do you have engineered (fink style) trusses, or is it stick built, with rafters and ceiling joists?"


No idea. I've been in the attic a jillion times but I don't know enough about construction to know which it is. I think it's rafters and ceiling joists. House is 23 years old.


"Just be aware, caulking only will not solve the problem, it needs to be securely held in place."


I don't have any way to do that at this point. Crown is at the top of soffit above cabinets, and it's been there 23 years. It's not going anywhere very far. :-) I will give the other caulk a go.

Thanks all.
 
  #16  
Old 12-14-17, 09:45 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,097
Received 398 Votes on 354 Posts
Engineered trusses [quite likely what you have] are built at a factory. Generally all the ones in the attic will look the same. They generally span from one exterior wall to the opposite exterior wall. There will be steel plates everywhere 2 pieces of wood come together. Most are built out of 2x4s. There may be an engineering stamp/tag on them somewhere.
 
  #17  
Old 12-15-17, 06:23 PM
yardnut's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 535
Received 7 Votes on 6 Posts
No steel plates anywhere. 2x6 rafters. Pretty sure it's not trusses. And as I said, none of the caulk in any other crown (I did the entire kitchen and dining room) has cracked - only that above the cabinets. I ordered some Big Stretch and will see how that does.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: