LESLIE: Greg in Virginia, welcome to the program. What’s going on at your money pit?
GREG: Hi, well we have a house that was built in 1981/82 …
GREG: … and what we’ve noticed is that in the front foyer the walls are cracking. It seems like the vertical portion of the foyer is cracking and there are places around the window frames that are cracking diagonally.
TOM: Well, homes are going to crack and they do crack over time and the places that you’re describing these cracks coming off of windows and doors is not that unusual. Do you have any evidence that it’s an active problem; in other words, that the cracks are getting worse over time?
GREG: Yeah, actually, basically what happened was about eight years ago we had a hailstorm and the roof got damaged and we had the roof replaced and we put on gutters. Since we’ve put the gutters on the cracks have seemed to have gotten worse.
TOM: Since you think it’s an active problem I would definitely have the home evaluated by a professional. I would suggest a qualified, professional home inspector or an architect or a structural engineer.
Secondly, when it comes to repairing those cracks, very frequently we find that people don’t repair cracks adequately and hence, they open up again and people think they’re moving when they’re really not. To repair this properly, we would recommend that you use fiberglass seam tape, which is a very open sort of mesh-like pattern. And you can apply this on top of the crack and then spackle over it with two to three coats and that’s a very strong tape …
GREG: OK, thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.