LESLIE: Mike in North Carolina is on the line. How can we help you today?
MIKE: I have – I do renovation work at the beach: condos and houses and whatever.
MIKE: But I’ve run into this two times: one at a three-story condo and the other at my neighbor’s house; I renovated it last year. But in the wintertime, when the heat’s turned on, it’s – the ceiling separates from the walls. And there’s a visible gap about a ½-inch, depending on how cold it is outside.
MIKE: In the springtime, the gap will disappear and you’ll not see it.
TOM: Well, being near the beach, I assume you have very high humidity. And so what that means is the walls are going to swell in the warmer weather. And then when the heat comes on, they’re all going to dry out and they’re going to shrink. A ½-inch does sound like an awfully big gap. Are you exaggerating at all or is it really a full ½-inch?
MIKE: It varies from a pencil-line crack to a ½-inch. I’ve seen a ½-inch where it actually did.
TOM: Right. I’ve seen it many times and typically, the way to fix that, Mike, is to repair the drywall. But instead of using paper tape, use the perforated fiberglass tape: the one that looks like sort of like a mesh or a netting. It’s a lot stronger and if you sand down – pull off the paper tape, sand down the area, use the mesh tape and then put more spackle up there, that usually keeps it together a lot better than the paper tape did.
MIKE: It certainly seems excessive. And the house was built in the 70s and it is not built under the same codes that we build with today with the tie-downs.
TOM: Sure. Right. Mm-hmm.
MIKE: We’ve got hurricane tie-downs and stuff now.
MIKE: But anyway, I thought I might run it by you guys because you all seem to know right much.
TOM: Well, we – I don’t know if – I don’t know how much right much we know but I do know that I’ve seen that many, many times, especially in beach communities, because of the difference in the humidity being so, so high and that lumber swelling.
TOM: And doors swell and floors swell and everything swells and then it just dries out very rapidly when the heat comes on. And it could do some funny things to those walls.
MIKE: Well, I appreciate you.
TOM: Alright, Mike. Good luck with that project. Thanks for checking in with us at 888-MONEY-PIT.