Sheetrock cracks


Old 01-05-03, 08:26 PM
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Sheetrock cracks

I have a 14 year old house that is Cinder Block Construction on two sides, Slump Block on the Front, and 2X6 on the back. The house has a concrete slab for a floor, with a reinforced concrete foundation. The interior walls are all firred out, with 2X4's, and sheetrocked. Over the past year and a half I have begun to notice that I can see the outline of all of the 2x4 studs including the nail holes. A friend told me that the cause of this was moisture in the 2x4's leaching through the sheetrock, which was then collecting dust, thus outlining the studs, making them visible to me. I have tried to wash the walls, dust, everything but repaint. Nothing that I do changes the appearance. I have put off painting, on the off chance that I have a bigger problem. Has anyone experienced this before? If you did what were the steps that were taken to correct the problem?

Another related problem is that I have noticed that the sheetrock in the master bathroom and main bathroom both have developed a ceiling crack about 2 inches away from the wall. (This needs a little clarification. ) The main bathroom has a common wall with the master bathroom walk-in closet. The North wall of the walk-in is common to the main bath. The South wall of the walk-in is the entry way to the closet and is located in the Master Bath. This south wall also has developed a crack in the ceiling. I suspect that the concrete slab has settled, and is pulling the wall out of plumb. An inspection in the attic didn't reveal any cracked rafters or joists. Removal of the insulation over the area also didn't show any cracks in the sheet rock. I am not sure what to do to fix this problem. I don't want to do a patch to mask a serious structural problem, but I don't know how to diagnose the symptoms to ensure that they truly minor in nature.

Any suggestions, thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
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Old 01-07-03, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
1. Shadows on the sheet rock. I would try painting a small section. This sounds akin to paint getting to where it does not cover. Paint does not last forever. I have seen this effect on old walls that have not been painted for several years. The moisture - dust theory sounds a little far-fetched.

2. Patching the sheet rock won't hide a structural problem. Generally, settling stops at a point. Structural problems continue. If the crack is open a substantial distance, such as: more than 1/4 inch or if the crack looks as if the sections of the sheet rock moved cracking the sheet rock and making the surface paper wrinkle, or if the sheet rock is on two different levels on either side of the crack, then there may be a problem. If the crack is narrow and a pencil point will barely fit in it, I would tape and mud it and expect it to be fine.
Old 01-07-03, 09:38 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't think about doing a test strip for the paint. Your correct in that it has been several years since I painted that particular wall.

I'm not sure what to do about the ceiling cracks, they do run for some distance, and are quite wide in some spots up to an eighth of an inch is spots. I will have to get up in the attic and see if I can't see any changes.

Thanks for your comments.
Old 01-13-03, 11:03 AM
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Last edited by twelvepole; 01-13-03 at 03:00 PM.

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