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Patching drywall cracks that grow/shrink

Patching drywall cracks that grow/shrink


Old 01-10-03, 12:02 PM
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Question Patching drywall cracks that grow/shrink

A year ago I bought a house built in 1956 with a pier-and-beam foundation. The soil in the area has high clay content, which means it grows/shrinks with moisture content.

The situation has resulted in some drywall cracks. In particular is one crack a couple feet long, 1/16" wide, formed when an addition to the house settled. It appears to grow/shrink with the season. I've tracked it over the last year, and it has cycled 1/32" in that time.

My concern is how to patch a crack that never really stabilizes. All advice I've heard says to patch with compound, and maybe use mesh tape. But can those kind of patches withstand 1/32" cyclical movement? If not, don't I need a flexible patch?

I'm considering using paintable caulk, or maybe spackling compound inside the crack for strength and caulk on the surface. Is this a good or bad idea? Or unnecessary?
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Old 01-10-03, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
You can try mesh tape with joint compound. I think that paintable caulk will always look a bit out ot the ordinary.
Old 01-11-03, 03:47 AM
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 893
I think you will have a hard time making any kind of drywall patch hold up to that kind of movement.

Where is the crack? Is it possible to put up some type of wood trim to cover the crack? For example, a crown moulding around the perimeter of the ceiling to cover up a crack at the ceiling/wall intersection. Rule of thumb: If you put up trim in one spot, put it up in all other similar areas for consistency and so it doesn't look like you ran out of materials and quit.

If crack is in a corner, then a fine bead of paintable caulk may not look so bad.

Old 01-11-03, 09:04 AM
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Unfortunately, the crack is free-form down the middle of a wall. (It seems related to settling of an extension to the house.) There's no hiding it with trim.

Just to make sure we're talking the same thing about caulk, my idea is to either smooth it into the crack, flush with the wall, or just put a thin coat over the top of the spackling patch, sort of like Krack-Kote. No visible beads.

What about Krack-Kote? I actually got the caulk idea from that stuff. Can anyone comment how well it works over time?

In any case, thanks a lot for the feedback.

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