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Cracks in wall -- a concern?

Laurie8801's Avatar
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01-19-06, 05:24 PM   #1  
Cracks in wall -- a concern?

Hi, I moved into a 6th floor condo about 7 months ago and there is a thin wall between my kitchen and dining room (about 2" thick). I recently noticed there are three long cracks on the dining room side of the wall - at least one of them goes from the ceiling down to the floor. It looks like the previous owner tried to patch over them with joint compound and they are re-emerging. There is also one crack in the wall on the kitchen side. I can't tell how extensive it is because the stove/cabinets sit in front of it.

Because it's a thin wall, I doubt it's load bearing but I'm trying to figure out if this is something I should be very worried about (like am I going to have to have this wall ripped out and re-built) or if its a relatively easy fix with the right materials. I don't have the money to do either right now.
Any advice is appreciated!!

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majakdragon's Avatar

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01-19-06, 06:10 PM   #2  
If the cracks are in a straight line going down, they are probably the joints in the drywall. They would be about 4' apart (the width of a sheet of drywall). If so, it was probably just a bad joint taping and mudding job. The thickness of the wall tells me it is not load bearing. It can be sanded down and re-taped and smoothed out with joint compound. Good luck and watch this post for other answers and opinions.

coops28's Avatar

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01-19-06, 07:54 PM   #3  
Is it an old building? Sounds like it's not drywall at all but plaster. (because you say its 2"). Pretty typical to have cracks in these walls. Also typical to have been repaired wrong in the past.

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01-20-06, 02:40 AM   #4  
2" is mighty thin, as 2 pieces of drywall would make up 1/2 of it, and a 1" stud isn't a stud, it's a furring strip.

Either way, if the drywall is secure, some paper tape ($2), a bucket of joint compound ($10), and a box of 1" screws ($2) is about all you should need, (assuming you have an 8" or 10" drywall knife and a joint compound pan already)

Before mudding, I would make sure the drywall is secure by pushing on it slightly, followed by screwing it in at any loose points.

Maybe the problem is being caused from the kitchen side because of the oven heat, cabinets being slammed, or "over the counter" cabinets being hung on a thin wall.

Could you measure the wall for us? That would give us better information to figure out what it is.

I hope this helps.

Laurie8801's Avatar
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01-20-06, 09:38 AM   #5  
Thanks to all of you for your replies - it eases my mind a bit.

The building is 38 years old (built in '67). I noticed this morning that two of the cracks on the DR side are about 4" apart and run parallel until the lower part of the wall where they seem to make a "V" shape from the floor - sorry that's so vague but it's hard to tell with the joint compound and paint that's over the cracks. The other one is probably 2 feet away from the 2 parallel cracks. The one in the kitchen looks like it might be new - I don't see any joint compound on it - but I can't imagine why it would be cracking just now unless maybe I'm using the oven a lot more than previous owners and the heat is creating problems with the drywall. I do use the oven a lot.

The exact measurement of the thickness of the wall is 2 3/8", if that helps. I have to measure it's length/height when I get home. Also, the ceiling is dropped in that portion of the condo for ductwork - the drop is probably about 8"-10". So I don't know if that has something to do with it.

Concretemasonry's Avatar

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01-20-06, 12:14 PM   #6  
Cracks in wall -- a concern?

Could be a terra cotta tile wall with thin plaster.

It is common in many european buildings, especially where they do not have flexible wood floors. Sounds crazy, but they rout out the chase for wires with a hmmer. Usually 80 mm instead of 60 mm.

Can you look into the area around a switch box or outlet to get an idea what the wall is made out of? May give you and idea of what, if anything, to do.


the_dude's Avatar

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01-21-06, 06:11 AM   #7  
a picture is worth a thousand words....

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