LESLIE: Patrick in Wyoming is on the line with a question about drywall cracking. Tell us what’s going on.
PATRICK: I have a recurring problem with cracks in the walls. And I’ve spackled them four or five times and I’ve spread the spray rubber sealant over them and they just keep returning.
LESLIE: And when you’re talking about drywall cracking, do you mean by the door, by trim work, by windows or smack in the middle of the wall?
PATRICK: Both. I have one by a front door that keeps recurring and then I have one stair – going down a set of stairs.
TOM: Well, drywall cracking by the stairs is pretty typical because you get a lot of movement and by doors.
LESLIE: And the front door, too.
TOM: Yeah, a lot of movement in that space. So, I think he’s just not fixing it right, Leslie.
LESLIE: And the issue is, Patrick, whatever you do to fix them, it’s not a once-and-for-all thing. Because you’re dealing with movement that continually, over time, could eventually lead to whatever you’ve used to fix that drywall cracking to dry out. So, there’s got to be a way to fix it.
PATRICK: Yeah, the hardware store sold me this rubber-spray compound that’s supposed to flex and give with the wall. And it doesn’t seem to work. I’m just wondering what’s the best solution. Paneling?
LESLIE: No, I’ve never used a rubber-spray compound but what I have done, in areas where I have a crack or any sort of seaming, instead of using a paper tape like you would do when you’re putting two sheets of drywall together, I use a fiberglass tape. And it looks almost like a sticky mesh. And you use that to go over your crack and then you put the compound over it and feather it out. Try to make it smooth and then let it dry and sand it. And you do a couple of applications of that, allowing it to super dry, sand it smooth, add another layer. And that does the trick because that fiberglass tape that’s sort of mesh-y looking does its best to span the crack, spread the surface over it and makes it adhere much better than you would with a paper tape or no tape at all. And that should give you a much longer time.
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