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Question DetailsAsked on 8/8/2017

I have some cracks in the joints of the drywall on my ceiling.

We bought a house and it is a 2 stories. On the main level the family room and kitchen are open. The room is 29 ft by 20 ft and there are bedrooms and a master bath on the 2nd level. When we got the house tape joints were coming thru so we removed it and used fibatape drywall joint tape, screwed the drywall into the joists and made it look perfect. The issue is the builder didn't use any joist stabilizers when they built the house, they only put in the floor joists and used OSB over it with nails. I feel the floor bouncing and am wondering if I use painters caulk would that fix the cracks? Eventually I want to rip up the subfloor upstairs and add bridging to the joists but that project is a few years away. Will the painters caulk fix the cracks? The cracks are the long way on the room and the floor joists go perpendicular to the cracks if that helps and there are 2 cracks running the entire length of the ceiling.

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1 Answer


Yes PAINTABLE caulk commonly works for this sort of thing. Paintable modified silicone caulk will actually stretch further and avoid crack reflection better, but is likely to show through more on the ceiling. Paintable acrylic latex caulk does not stretch quite as much but would likely work better in terms of avoiding a shading difference through the paint, and is also less likely to "bleed" through the paint. If using the silicone caulk be sure to prime ti with Kilz or similar bleed-prevention primer.

I am assuming the 20' dimension is spanning the narrow dimension of the house (probably halfway across with kitchen being the rest) - from front to backof the house probably, and that the joists run in that 20' dimension - presumably with a supporting carry beam midway to provide the wide-open floorplan. As I would expect you say the cracks are running perpendicular to those joists - so they are basically like stretch marks because the joists are sagging under load and bouncing in the middle of the free span. I presume further that the cracking in more or less central to the room - through the joints closest to center of the room.

If you actually feel bounce when walking (as opposed to playing trampoline on it) then it sounds like either they went light on the framing, or possibly if it is clear span from front to back of the house without a carry beam in the middle to replace the normal mid-span load-bearing wall, that they overstretched the length of the joists (which for that span would presumably be plywood I trusses). Or maybe there used to be a load-bearing wall there that a previous owner took out and you actually have a structurally deficient situation.

IF above is the case, then putting in joist blocking would be unlikely to do much unless you did 2x3 (as opposed to normal 1x3) centrally nailed (at the X) X-bracing every 4' typically to tie adjacent joists together to act as a composite beam, because the joists will still bounce. X-bracing is commonly not required or these days if there is 3/4" glued and nailed subfloor sheathing on top of the joists and drywalll below - so you generally only see X-bracing these days in unfinished ceiling basements, and with tall joists (2x10 or deeper).

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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