Drywall cracks are some of the common problems you can encounter on your wall. And without a doubt, they can be an unsightly eyesore, especially if they keep on coming back. Contractors commonly refer to these ugly imperfections as “hairline cracks” and are often seen as a cosmetic issue, but it could lead to structural problems if not properly repaired.
So how to fix a crack in drywall that keeps coming back? If you want answers, then we suggest you continue reading as we are going to share some tips to help you with the patch-up job in today’s article.
What Causes Drywall Cracks?
Most cracks on drywall appear on the seam area or the part where 2 pieces of drywall are connected to each other. Seams on the drywall can’t be noticed immediately since they are covered with drywall mud, sealer and tape. The mud fills the gaps in the seam, while the tape covers the area where the seam is filled with drywall mud. And then drywall sealer will be applied to cover everything before painting.
Cracks on drywall tend to happen around high-stress areas on the wall like door frames, windows, and corners. And the causes of these cracks come from various sources:
- Temperature fluctuations, since it causes the wall to expand & contract which creates stress-areas, specifically in the seams.
- Strong winds from storms, as the wind load creates stress on the exterior walls which can also affect the ceiling and the interior walls.
- Differential settlement, since it creates tension on the structure when one section of the foundation has shifted which produces cracks on high stress areas of the wall.
- Accidental impact, since the force of any object impacting the wall can weaken its structural integrity which causes it to have cracks on seams and stress points over time.
- Poor installation, as cracks can appear if there’s not enough drywall mud in the seam and is tape being used is not strong enough.
- Low quality paint, as poor paint quality will lead to poor adhesion which results in cracks over time.
- Truss uplift, as it can produce cracks where the wall meets the ceiling.
- Earthquake, as tremors can cause the walls to shake can create stress points that can lead to cracks.
The Steps To Follow In Fixing A Drywall Crack And Prevent It From Coming Back Once And For All
Cracks are inevitable in any type of construction, and drywall is no exception. However, drywall cracking is much more common than you may think. So here are some steps in fixing this common drywall problem and prevent it from coming back again:
Prepare The Tools You’ll Need For The Repair:
- Patch primer
- Putty knife
- Drywall knife
- Fiberglass mesh drywall tape
- Sanding sponge
- Mud pan
- Paint (similar to the color of your wall)
- Old newspapers
Use The Mesh Tape To Cover The Cracks In Your Wall
Attach the sticky side of the tape on the wall. And make sure the tape is placed at the center of the crack to avoid any weak points. If the crack on the drywall is too big, apply multiple strips of tape on the wall. Don’t make the mistake of adding a joint compound in the seam as this won’t hold the walls together.
Apply A Layer Of Primer Over The Mesh Tape
Lay down old newspapers on the floor before applying the patch primer to cover it from stains. And with the use of a spreading tool or brush, apply a layer of primer on the mesh tape. Make sure the layer is thin enough to cover the tape as you’ll be applying another coat of primer on the next step.
Start by applying the primer at the center of the tape. Then, spread the primer doing an upward motion to prevent the mesh tape from wrinkling. Make sure the entire area of the crack is covered by the primer and let it dry for 30 minutes.
Apply Another Primer Coating Over The First Layer
Use your drywall knife to apply a second coating over the dried layer of primer. Do the same process but make sure the primer is spread at least 2 inches on both sides of the crack this time around and smoothen the product using the drywall knife.
Allow the second coating to dry for another 30 minutes.
Sand The Primer
Light sand the primer in a circular motion to allow the product to blend in to the wall. Then, clean the patched surface using the towel to remove any dust particles in preparation for the re-painting.
Re-Paint The Drywall
Paint the product to conceal the patch repair you have made. Make sure the paint has the same color as the paint on the wall to maintain consistency.
Tips To Prevent Drywall Cracks From Coming Back
Lastly, the best way to prevent a crack from happening is to have the wall installed properly in the first place. And that’s because improper installation of the drywall can result in buckling and bulging apart from cracking. These damages would appear eventually if the contractor failed to set the control joints, improper fastening, and the use of the wrong tools.
But if you’ve gone past that phase, then the best thing you can do to follow these tips:
Drywall Mud Application – Since this product comes in different grades, you should be able to know their proper applications. To be specific, “quick-setting” muds with high adhesive properties are best used as the first coating. While lower grade or all-purpose drywall compounds are ideal for the second and third coating.
Using the correct grade of mud will produce the strongest bonds that can be able to withstand cracking.
The Use Of Correct Tape – Traditionally, seams are covered with paper tape to prevent cracks better. But a fiberglass mesh drywall tape can also be used provided that it should be paired with a quick-setting drywall mud. Do not use mesh tape unless you are again using the correct type of mud.