LESLIE: Larry in Texas has some questions about a foundation. What can we do for you?
LARRY: I purchased this house back in July. It has a slab foundation and the foundation had previously been leveled. And inside the house, it has some cracks around the door frame; so I’m just wondering how can I fix that.
TOM: OK, well you bought the house in July, so you haven’t really had a lot of time to determine this, Larry, but is it your sense that the cracks are moving; they’re getting worse? Or have they always been there?
LARRY: I think they’ve always been there and I’m trying to patch them up. I’m just wondering is it going to continue to crack anywhere else.
TOM: If you’ve tried to patch them up and they’ve opened up again, it may be that you didn’t patch them correctly. Let me tell you how we recommend you do that. I would lightly sand the area around the cracks and then I would use fiberglass drywall tape, which is kind of meshy and a little sticky. Cut a piece of that, apply it to the crack and then use about three layers of spackling compound on top of that.
The fiberglass tape tends to be a lot stronger and bridges the two sides of the cracked area and makes sure it doesn’t move. Because the area around a doorway or a window is the area of the wall that has the most movement, so developing hairline cracks there is not that uncommon nor does it mean that you have a serious structural problem on your hands. It may just be that you didn’t patch it correctly.
LARRY: OK. I’ll take that advice. I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Larry. Good luck with that project and thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.