proliferating cracks


  #1  
Old 01-09-02, 01:50 PM
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proliferating cracks

As I was cleaning my condo (100 year-old wood frame building--we're on the third of four floors) today, I noticed a bunch of new hairline cracks in the plaster walls. Two questions: 1) Is there any way of preventing new cracks from developing (l thought of more or less moisture, for example), and 2) I know of two basic ways to fill hairline cracks in plaster walls--the easy way and the hard way--the easy way is with a little caulk, spackle, or joint compound and then touch up with paint--and the hard way is with fiberglass joint tape, a coat of Durabond, and a couple coats of regular joint compound. Any thoughts anyone has about preventing new cracks and fixing existing cracks would be much appreciated. Thank you.
 
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Old 01-19-02, 07:22 AM
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The only thing that I know of that causes walls to crack is movement. Your building is either settling or moving due to climate changes. I would suggest a review of the foundation to ensure it's fitness.
 
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Old 01-19-02, 09:07 AM
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Old houses settle; untaped cracks come back.

I like self sticking perforated tape for cracks; it is much thinner and easier to cover than the fiberglass mesh tape.

If the cracks run at an angle, they're probably settling cracks; if they are straight the wallboard was not properly taped the first time.
 
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Old 01-23-02, 07:03 PM
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Additional information

I'm the person who asked the original question. My situation is a little more complicated than I made out originally. I have a lot of lead paint in my unit and I have a 3 year-old daughter. I would prefer to sand as little as possible. Today I painted some plaster cracks that I had caulked (and smoothed out while wet, but did not sand) a while ago, and the caulk didn't fill the cracks entirely (it may have shrunk), and the patch was more visible than I'd like. I have thought of spackling the cracks and scraping almost all of it off, and then sanding very lightly. I think taping the joints is out of the question, because of the required sanding. Would you agree? Any recommendations?

Speaking of sanding dust, my 20 year-old vacuum cleaner spewed dust when I used it. I bought vacuum to replace it that doesn't meet the state's standards for cleaning up de-leading work, but it does have a HEPA filter. Do you think that I can do minor home repairs that create a little dust and paint chips, and safely clean up with my vacuum?

Thank you.
 
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Old 01-24-02, 08:41 AM
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VEmmerich, I suggest you do some research on lead paint hazards, since you mentioned children I will suggest this site first http://www.aeclp.org

I also suggest http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/lead/ and http://www.doerun.com/ENGLISH/articles/paint.htm

Testing kits http://www.homestoreproducts.com

The method you mentioned is the way I would fix these cracks, the durabond is a very hard and durable compound that adheres extremely well, the tape will help it from cracking out again, if it does crack out again then I would think you have settlement in the house, the topcoats of regular joint compound is going to give the ease of sanding and concidering you may have lead based paint on the wall, regular joint compound can be wet sanded with a wet sponge, no sanding dust.
 
 

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