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Question DetailsAsked on 11/15/2017

Are my drywall cracks problematic or cosmetic?

My wife & I live in a house built in the 1930's. It has been maintained really well, though, and almost every corner of the house is pretty recently updated. However, we've been noticing our house's drywall cracks getting worse at a rate that alarms us. The cracks are staying within the margin of 1/16th of an inch wide, but they are long. We have not been keeping track of the cracks as precisely as we should have been, but it seems that just in the last few weeks, a number of the cracks have increased their length by feet. At least one crack is along a whole edge where a ceiling and wall meet. It measures at 12ft long, and the crack branches into the corners of adjacent walls. Almost all of the cracks are in corners and edges, but some are not. Most of the cracks are upstairs (the upstairs is a finished "attic" with slanted ceilings). I have read that drywall cracks get worse in the winter, but this seems a bit excessive, and the cracks didn't seem to get this bad last winter. Thanks!

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1 Answer


Here are some previous similar questions with fairly detailed answers FYI: My strong suspicion is this is shrinkage of the drywall and wall (and maybe plywood sheathing in upstairs walls) causing minor cracking around the edges - but unless you are in Canaca or Central/Northern Alaska it should not have goten cold enough to cause this sort of shrinkage yet this year. BUT - could also be signs of high humidity in the attic, so I would access the unconditioned space in the attic 9usually through a hatch in the finished space walls to each side) to check for any signs of moisture buildup, or that the insulation has blocked the eave vents or ridge vents, which would result in failure to vent accumulated moisture. In rarer cases a roof leak can cause expansion of wet wood and cracking of the drywall, especially joints. For a professionbal if you are not physiclaly able to access the attic crawlspaces, because a contractor like an insulation contractor will have the natural inclination to prescribe some fix (maybe needed,maybe not), I would get a Home Inspector to go in there and inspect for any issues - most will do this on an hourly rate, not the full home inspection rate. Otherwise, a Handyman could do it - in eiother case, get them to take cell phone photos of any insulation or moisture or roof leak issues.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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