How to Fix Drywall Cracks
LESLIE: Barbara in Virginia, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you?
BARBARA: Hi. I have a house that’s 20 years old and in the last couple of years I’ve started to see, just on one side of the house – actually, in one corner of the house – some cracks in the drywall. Most of them are horizontal cracks. There are a couple that go from like a door frame and then at an angle. They’re not huge. In exploring I found that there’s also a small crack in the crawlspace, the brick fascia on the crawlspace, and I’m wondering if – first of all, if that could be – if it could somehow be connected and what I should do about these cracks. I’ve tried to patch them and it’s not working. They come back.
TOM: How are you patching them exactly?
BARBARA: I was using screen – you know, the mesh screen?
BARBARA: And then spackle and sand and spackle and sand.
TOM: Mm-hmm. Are the cracks – how long are the cracks?
BARBARA: Some of them are not very long. Others are, you know, like a foot long.
TOM: Because, generally, what we recommend is fiberglass tape for that.
BARBARA: Fiberglass tape.
BARBARA: Is that the mesh that …
LESLIE: Exactly. It’s like the sticky mesh.
TOM: We have to sand the wall first then apply the tape on top of that and then put two to three coats of spackle and that usually is adhesive enough that it can expand and contract with the wall.
BARBARA: OK. Alright, I’ll give it – maybe I’m just not doing enough spackling and sanding.
TOM: It sounds to me like you’re not because that would actually be enough. Because what happens is the house is always moving; it’s expanding and contracting and if you don’t really bind it very well then it’s going to open up again.
BARBARA: Is there anything for me to be concerned about in that – it’s not a wide crack; it’s just a little crack on the brick in the crawlspace?
TOM: I don’t think so. It’s probably just expansion and contraction and if you have a little bit of brick like that you’re going to want to seal that with some caulk. And if it’s just the foundation of the crawlspace use some silicone caulk and it’ll go in there; prevent water from getting in and making it any worse.
BARBARA: OK, great. Excellent. You’ve answered my questions.
TOM: Alright, Barbara. That’s what we do. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
BARBARA: Thank you so much.