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How to repair cracks in walls/ceilings/floors?

How to repair cracks in walls/ceilings/floors?


Old 02-11-07, 12:05 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 107
How to repair cracks in walls/ceilings/floors?

Several months ago we learned our foundation was moving due to a leak, and then later learned that leak was in the sewer line. We've had the leak repaired and a few piers were installed under our slab to help stabilize the foundation. Everything seems ok now.

Unfortunately we now come to the damage the movement did inside the house, namely in the form of cracks large and small. I have about a dozen pictures of each instance of a problem and would appreciate some guidance in how to best repair them.

This picture is in the kitchen were the cabinet surface meets the wall. Would some of the caulk for cabinetry work here?

Here are some cracks in the drywall in the ceiling.

This is a crack where the cabinet meets the brick.

This one is where a pantry cabinet meets the ceramic tile. Would it be wise to remove the grout entirely and lay down new grout?

This is a crack in the bathroom between two ceramic tiles. A little hard to see but you can make it out.

Same bathroom, this is the sink cabinet cracked along the ceramic tile wall.

This is the living room ceiling, wood paneling meets drywall.

This is another bathroom. Notice the rather large gap between the sink area and the wall? Yikes.

Same bathroom, this is the door frame that meets the floor which is also ceramic tile. Would removing the old grout and putting in new be good here?

Very close to the above bathroom, I noticed this hole is now opened up and is letting in a lot of outside air. This hole is huge! I can put almost two fingers in it.

Another room showing some cracks in the crown molding.
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Old 02-11-07, 01:22 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 1,210
I did look at every picture, but will offer general advice.

Your house was well-settled before this sewer leak. Now, expect further settling as a result of the recent foundation and drain work. The cracks will probably shift a little, one way or another, and some new ones may appear. Not much, but with inflexible materials like tile, grout, old plaster, I would wait at least a few months. Especially so if you're getting frost heaves or rainy season this month.

Interior woodwork will shrink (usually away from walls) when the indoor climate is dry. Caulking those joints is best done then. When, depends on where you are, how you heat/cool your home.

Hairline cracks in plaster walls could be fixed immediately. I would use paintable latex caulk, applied with fingertip.

Wherever you can paint, a flexible filler (like caulk) is preferable.

The tile grout cracks are interesting. Unlikely the concrete below just happened to crack along the grout lines. So, the tiles must not be stuck to the concrete around there. I would scrape all the grout away and make sure to work the new grout under those tile edges.

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