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self adhesive taping for drywall


mwizzy's Avatar
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02-11-06, 06:10 AM   #1  
self adhesive taping for drywall

I used self adhesive joint tape (with the perforations in it) when I finished an addition to our house. The end result looked great, but now that it is a month later, cracks have appeared along the joints where I used the tape. I used regular paper tape in some areas, and those joints looks fine. But every joint where I used the self adhesive tape has a crack right down the middle.

Any recommendations? My gut tells me that I have to rip out the old tape, sand and use regular joint tape. But this will be alot of work - especially since the rest of the room is done.

Why did this happen? What can I do to fix it at this point?

 
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02-11-06, 07:19 AM   #2  
Paper tape is significantly better than the mesh. You have been unfortunate to discover this for yourself. You have also figured out the solution - do it over with paper tape.

 
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02-11-06, 01:08 PM   #3  
the adhesive on those self adhesive tapes isn't enough to hold it down. You will have to cut out any loose material. If it's only a couple of inches then you don't have to re tape it. but if its long then retape.

 
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02-12-06, 09:12 PM   #4  
The mesh/paper issue is not an absolute. I know this because my additions were done with mesh tape; No cracks. The corners were of course done with paper.

There are many professionals that swear by the mesh tape everywhere except the corners. If EVERY seam is cracking where you used mesh tape, I would think that there is another problem. Was the framing timber you used dry? The walls could be shrinking, causing the joints to seperate. Also, did you fill any gaps in the drywall seams larger than 1/8" with setting compound? If not, that could be your problem also. One month after construction...you shouldn't see what you are seeing.

The tape is not the only issue, I would think.

Also, the adhesive is not enough to hold the tape, yes, but if you place the tape on the joint, then saturate the tape with mud, then you'll be fine. The individiual strands will become saturated with the mud, and the mud will fill the pores of the tape for a good seal.

I'm not sure I believe the physics of having to mud the joint first, particularly because I never do this and have never had a problem in years.

 
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02-13-06, 06:10 AM   #5  
I don't know any professionals that use mesh tape for finishing joints. We have had this discussion before. How can mud saturate nylon mesh? It can't. So you either glue it down with spray glue or you bed it in mud. Other than that you are rolling the dice on if it will hold or not. You got lucky....so far.

 
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02-13-06, 07:37 AM   #6  
you're right about having the discussion before.

I"ll leave it alone then.

 
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02-24-06, 05:30 PM   #7  
follow-up

Actually, I used the paper tape with holes in it and an adhesive backing, not the nylon mesh. I adhered the mesh tape to the walls, then applied mud over it. My father insisted that I don't use this type of tape, so about half-way through I changed to paper tape. The joints where I used the paper tape with holes have all cracked right at the joint, straight down the wall. The ones where I used the paper tape without holes - no problem at all.

My best guess is that it is cold in the northeast, and the heat has not been connected in the room yet. Could the cold weather cause the mud to dry too fast and tear the tape? It's frustrating. The room is 20 x 20 with 12' ceilings - not a small task to redo all of the joints.

 
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02-25-06, 05:12 AM   #8  
The cold and heat do have a role in joint compound work. But I think that the self adhesive tape is your bigger problem.

When a new home is built, the house usually doesn't have heat up until the drywall is installed. Once finishing has started, it is imperative that the house has heat, and remains heated through painting, trimming, etc. Be it by running propane space heaters, or the heating system in the house.

The reason for the heat, is that if the joint compound freezes it will crack, and having hot and cold days makes it worse. If the house isn't heated when the compound is put on, it will freeze, rather than dehydrate as it needs to. All in all, it is a messy situation if the house doesn't remain above freezing.

I think your situation may not only be because of the heat, but because self adhesive tape doesn't always allow mud to fill the gap behind it. When it gets covered with mud, you essentially have a thin joint compound "bridge" that is making the wall appear smooth. If you were to press on the seam itself, you may find that it is "spongy". If this is the case, you will most likely need to remove the tape by cutting a strip on each side of the seam (about 3/8 wide, not all the tape, as you are only trying to expose the gap), and then fill the joint with mud, apply paper tape, and finish as you did the rest of the room.

I feel sort of like a doctor trying to give "not great news" to a patient, but it seems like that is what you need to do to fix your cracking problem. Do remember though ... it is a bit of work, but not as much as you did in the beginning; as it is only some of the seams. You are better at it now, so the learning curve isn't as big. And you'll be happy that you took the time to do it whenever you use that room.

I hope this helps.

MudSlinger

 
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02-26-06, 08:05 PM   #9  
When I was doing my extension, I had this same question. Most of my house was tape. My kitchen and basement which I redid when I got the house were mesh. Between these three rooms I have no less than 10 seams that have cracked. 2 or 3 of these seams cracked almost the entire distance of the seam.

Needless to say I suspected the mesh was a problem. So, I went to the source and contacted USG - a company that makes many of these products.

Through email correspondance I was told the following:

When using conventional joint compound, it shrinks as it dries. The paper tape allows for this drying. The mesh does not and will crack. If you are using the mesh you must use a setting compound. This dries be chemical reaction and does not shrink.

So, if any professionals use mesh, I would imagine they are useing a setting compound. This would make sense since you cen get that in mixes that dry at different rates. between the speed of adhesive tape and 45 or 90 minute setting compound, you can tape and get two coats on in one day. In the right situation, I can see this being the case.

 
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02-26-06, 08:59 PM   #10  
I know what the mfg says, but that's partly a liability thing.

It's not an absolute. Most of my remodel was done with tape, some new framing (timber) some existing. 6 months later, no cracks. Does it mean there will be none? Probably not, but by now the mud is dry, and will shrink no more. The mesh tape will most definately not crack every time using joint compound.

I know most pros use paper, and that's fine, but I would think that most people who use mesh DO NOT use setting compound; also, most pros do use mesh for repairs. What's the difference? A stud could pop just as easily on a patch as a full sheet.

My opinion on the physics of this is strong, so I"ll shut up now.

 
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02-27-06, 09:36 AM   #11  
Mesh tape is often preffered for repairs because coupled with durabond it can be done with less trips to the job.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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02-27-06, 09:58 AM   #12  
I would agree with fuente except for one thing, Ive seen so many cracks in my own home - and only where I used mesh.

I am not a professional by any means but of the couple of hundred feet or so of paper tape I have used Ihave had 0% cracking. Of the hundred feet or so of mesh, Im probably at about 10% - 15% cracking.

Personally, Ive never seen paper crack. In fact, even when ripping down a wall and pulling rock off I tend to see paint and spackle chips pop off when there is stress , but never cracking.

My assessment of why some people have better luck than others using mesh is that there are so many variables (amount of compound used, was it thinned, how long did you wait for second coat, was framing not dryed yet, and Im sure a million more) that the mesh is simply less forgiving. If most of the variables line up in your favor youll probably have luck. But in less than optimim circumstances the paper will work out better. To me, its the only logical answer. Ive just never seen paper crack, and I have seen mesh crack quite a bit.

 
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02-27-06, 10:00 AM   #13  
Posted By: rkoudelka I would agree with fuente except for one thing, Ive seen so many cracks in my own home - and only where I used mesh.

I am not a professional by any means but of the couple of hundred feet or so of paper tape I have used Ihave had 0% cracking. Of the hundred feet or so of mesh, Im probably at about 10% - 15% cracking.

Personally, Ive never seen paper crack. In fact, even when ripping down a wall and pulling rock off I tend to see paint and spackle chips pop off when there is stress , but never cracking.

My assessment of why some people have better luck than others using mesh is that there are so many variables (amount of compound used, was it thinned, how long did you wait for second coat, was framing not dryed yet, and Im sure a million more) that the mesh is simply less forgiving. If most of the variables line up in your favor youll probably have luck. But in less than optimim circumstances the paper will work out better. To me, its the only logical answer. Ive just never seen paper crack, and I have seen mesh crack quite a bit.
great analysis. I agee 100%. Lots of variables.

 
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02-28-06, 02:46 AM   #14  
never mind, I read the thread again and got my answer. It was the paper tape with holes that was giving him the problem.

"Read twice-write once...."

MS

 
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