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Using Drywall Tape to Repair Wall Cracks

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Loretta in Rhode Island needs some help fixing some drafty windows. Tell us about the problem.

    LORETTA: First of all, I want to say we love the show. My husband and I have been long-time listeners. It’s not drafty windows. We have cracks. I’ve heard other people call in the past. We’ve been in our house now 28 years and we have radiant heat in the ceiling.

    TOM: OK.
    LORETTA: So we’re wondering is there something – 28 years we keep patching and undoing. Every spring it looks like as if the patch got thicker. So he sands it down again, puts the paint and it looks good. As soon as we put the heat on we see these fine, little, hairline cracks.
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, because everything is drying out.
    LORETTA: Yeah, so what do we do? I mean he was using spackle, so now he’s been using joint compound.
    TOM: If we tell you how to fix it, what is he going to do all spring?
    LORETTA: Oh, he’s got yard work to do, believe me. (Tom and Leslie chuckle)
    LESLIE: I’m sure Loretta can come up with a honey-do list for her man, no problem.
    TOM: If you’ve got cracks around the windows or doors …
    LORETTA: Yep.
    TOM: … it really doesn’t matter. That material is not actually going to repair the crack in the sense that it’s not sort of gluing the two parts of the wall back together.
    LESLIE: Just patching over.
    LORETTA: Right.
    TOM: It’s patching over and those areas are obviously the part of the wall where you have the most movement. Very, very common to have cracks around windows and doors because it’s sort of the weaker part of the wall. If the wall is going to shift and move and expand and contract, it’s going to show up around a window and door before it’ll show up across the solid wall surface.
    Now, the only thing that you can do to try to minimize this is to use a drywall tape over that crack and the type of drywall tape …
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Yeah, you’re skipping a step and a material, Loretta.
    TOM: Yes, and the type of drywall tape we would recommend would be a fiberglass tape.
    LORETTA: Fiberglass.
    TOM: It’s perforated. It’s …
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, it looks like mesh, Loretta.
    TOM: And it’s very easy to install. And once you put this across the crack itself, then you can spackle over that and that has sort of an adhesive effect of covering over both sides of the crack and does a nice job of hiding it.
    LORETTA: OK. Hope that does it. Thanks a lot.
    LESLIE: It’ll do the trick.
    TOM: Alright, Loretta. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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