Patching or Substantial Repairs?

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  #1  
Old 05-07-12, 08:37 AM
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Patching or Substantial Repairs?

Hello everyone,

Just became a first time home-owner 18 months ago. Now with a new baby in the house, I thought it was time to start learning how to do some maintentance and repairs. I'm starting with the most obvious defect: this crack in my wall.

Wall Crack pictures by baneofpigs - Photobucket

The crack (which is under an internal archway, in case you can't see the pictures, existed a little when we got the house. We tried patching it then. When the Great East Coast Earthquake of 2011 struck (never forget!!!) the crack re-opened and expanded somewhat. It's been about the same since.

My question is: is this something that can just be addressed with patching, or does it indicate a larger or potentially dangerous situation where I should I be looking into getting some more serious repairs done? Budget is an issue, so I would rather not break the bank if it's mostly a cosmetic issue.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-07-12, 09:12 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

How old is the house? are the walls plaster?

Generally with plaster walls, scratching out the crack and filling with a setting compound like durabond is sufficient. if the crack is expected to expand/contract any it would be best to use drywall tape over the crack.

I'd repair it and keep an eye on it, while it could be evidence of something structural, more than likely it's just cosmetic.
 
  #3  
Old 05-07-12, 09:40 AM
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Earthquakes are going to cause stuff like this.

Paper drywall tape does tend to make repairs more stable so I would try to use it when you tackle this.
 
  #4  
Old 05-07-12, 09:51 AM
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Great! Thanks guys. The walls are plaster, so I will use the durabond and drywall tape as suggested. Are there any signs I should look out for that would indicate that something more serious is going on?
 
  #5  
Old 05-07-12, 09:54 AM
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How old is the structure?

Typically you'll see some cracks as new construction settles and earthquakes can certainly cause shifts which result in cracks as well.
 
  #6  
Old 05-07-12, 10:02 AM
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The house was built in 1910. It was somewhat refurbished about 10 years ago, which included the addition of an extension, but this crack would be firmly in the old part of the house.
 
  #7  
Old 05-07-12, 10:24 AM
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I would fix this and then just keep an eye on it.
 
  #8  
Old 05-07-12, 10:30 AM
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Ok, thanks for all the help!
 
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