Persistent ceiling drywall crack

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Old 09-14-16, 11:04 AM
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Persistent ceiling drywall crack

Want to run this by the crew.

I have a client that removed a wall between two rooms. They had an engineered LVL installed in the attic crawl so that the finished ceiling in the room below was flush across. They have had a constant crack at the drywall seam that they have already repaired twice since new and I think I know why it keeps re-appearing. The ceiling joist run in opposite directions on either side of the LVL. Those perpendicular are attached to the LVL with joist hangers. Rather than breaking the drywall to split on the double LVL, they made the drywall seam at the edge if the LVL and under the joist hangers. See sketch - I think if they cut back the drywall and split the seam on the LVL and moved the patch seam 2 feet into the perpendicular joists that will eliminate the constant crack. Thoughts? Roof is stick build ranch style so no trusses involved.


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Old 09-14-16, 11:13 AM
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Spanning the beam rather than having the joint over it was my first thought as well. Are they willing to go that route?
 
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Old 09-14-16, 11:24 AM
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I told them it would be a waste of money to try to fix it as configured and that it would continue to crack out. It was exceptionally hot this summer here and the attic temperature range would have been massive.

So we are on the same page, here is where I propose the new patch and seams to be located. One side split the LVL and the other 24" over into the perpendicular joists.

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Old 09-14-16, 11:54 AM
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With attachments on both side of the seam to the same joists, I think the problem will be resolved.

Is there blown-in insulation above this?
 
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Old 09-14-16, 12:17 PM
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Can you also add backer boards at the new seam you are creating. You don't wan to end up with a new problem.

My concern would still be, why is the existing one cracking? Are the joists pulling away from the LVL? Putting the seam in the middle of the LVL is better, but will an inch of drywall stop the movement?

Also, any activity going on above that ceiling, like storage?

Bud
 
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Old 09-14-16, 12:26 PM
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Is there blown-in insulation above this?
Yes, but we also discussed that there probably isn't enough and some more could be added.

Are the joists pulling away from the LVL?
Excellent observation Bud, I noted that the joist hangers were attached to the LVL only and not to the ceiling joists themselves. So the usual side nails that are toenailed into the member are missing.

any activity going on above that ceiling, like storage?
No storage, open bays with insulation blown in. Aside from an occasional HVAC tech and me, no other activity in that area.
 
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Old 09-14-16, 12:48 PM
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No side nails, that sounds like a smoking gun. At least it is a positive step towards resoling the issue. I never like it when they change the direction of the ceiling or floor joists like that. But I have also never seen joist hangers NOT nailed to the sides. Did they just hammer in the side tabs?

Side note, there was some positive conversation a while ago here about palm nailers, so I bought my son one for his BD. He loves it. Said, when you get into a tight spot they are heaven. Installing those side nails without shaking the existing drywall loose could be a good application. Or at least a good excuse for a new tool.

Bud
 
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Old 09-14-16, 12:59 PM
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No side nails, that sounds like a smoking gun. At least it is a positive step towards resoling the issue. I never like it when they change the direction of the ceiling or floor joists like that. But I have also never seen joist hangers NOT nailed to the sides. Did they just hammer in the side tabs?
There is a roof direction change on that side of the house that transitions the normal ranch house to a gable end that extends toward the front over the garage and the left hand room. Thus the different direction of joists.

Of note on the hangers, there is also a lack of collar ties in that area so the roof may assisting in the movement although there is an addition off the extreme right side of this room that would tend to add structure to the ceiling joist. But they may be sliding in the hangers. Would those toe nails really give that much structural support? Another observation, they did not appear to use proper hanger nails as they look like regular framing nail heads instead of Simpson galvanized heads.

I'm going to take another look up there.
 
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Old 09-14-16, 02:33 PM
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I've always considered those toe nails as just a third hand, to hold them in place while I get the hammer and nails. As for regular nails, those stubby galvanized ones we are supposed to use are much better but I see regular nails all the time. But those hammer-in tabs aren't going to hold well.

If they didn't fill all of the holes into the LVL, I would use some proper hails. One thing about galvanized nails, they stay put. Regular nails pull out much easier.

Bud
 
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Old 09-14-16, 03:35 PM
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Would those toe nails really give that much structural support?
Joist hangers are all about toenailing. Toenailing worked fine back in the day and Simpson has perfected it by adding additional strength by face nailing.

To try to avoid stress cracks, I would place the drywall seams as far away from the beam as possible.
I would run a 10' sheet parallel and centered with the beam.
 
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Old 09-14-16, 03:49 PM
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Brian, I think I used the wrong term. I was referring to those bent tabs that can be hammered in to secure the bracket temporarily, but re-reading he was asking about the missing toe nails. He posted that there are no nails through the joist hanger into the joists and I think that is a major contributor to the movement.

Bud
 
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Old 09-14-16, 04:45 PM
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Here is the general pic that corresponds to my sketch

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Here is the offending joist hanger - note there are no toenail's just straight nails

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So I am leaning toward the moving joist as the cause. These hangers would definately lock the whole mess down.

verified that no joist nails were used across all ceiling joists.
 
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Old 09-14-16, 05:03 PM
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I think we are all on the same page Bud, the tabs are an aid only. The palm nailer is a great idea also

Basically you want to fill every nail hole with the proper fastener.

Do a search for Simpson Pocket Guide. The Pocket Guide makes it easy to choose fasteners for whatever type of bracket you are using.
 
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Old 09-14-16, 10:05 PM
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Those hangers are not designed for toenailing... only straight nails. I agree the drywall should not break anywhere near the lvl, it should span across it. Blocking would need to be added to the side where the joists are parallel, and don't even screw the drywall to the lvl... the sheet rock should span across it, and screw on either side of it... maybe 6" to either side.
 
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Old 09-15-16, 08:47 AM
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and don't even screw the drywall to the lvl... the sheet rock should span across it, and screw on either side of it... maybe 6" to either side.
Thanks Brant, how wide of a patch would you recommend? or how far should the seams fall on either side of the LVL?
 
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Old 09-15-16, 10:22 AM
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At least 12" I would imagine. Drywall should span areas like that which are prone to movement. The header kind of acts like a pivot point when there is movement.
 
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