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Question DetailsAsked on 10/4/2017

Is this vertical crack on T shape wall a serious issue?

one side is dining room with high ceiling , other side two stories(kitchen and master bathroom).

the crack is right in the corner. from the foundation to the ceiling. one side is 2mm higher then other side.

Here is the photo:

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2 Answers

Voted Best Answer

Could not establish a secure connection with that site, so cannot see the photo.

Generally speaking, if you are seeing a crack extending itself over a relatively short time period (as opposed to many years), it is cracking diagonally or across the "field" of the drywall rather than following joints, or one side is significantly offset from the other or separated by a significant gap (more than a pencil point roughly), I start getting concerned.

Cracks which are narrow, following sheet joints, and not noticeably extending may just be thermal expansion and contraction of the wood framing combined with use of paper rather than fiberglass joint tape, which can split or tear pretty easily.

First thing I would look at is to see if you are getting creasing or cracking or warping of siding in that area, or cracking in the foundation under it. If not and small fairly straight joint cracking only without siding or foundation distress evident, I usually recommend marking the end of the visible crack so you can see if it is extending or patch it and see if it reappears).

Obviously if new construction or recent remodel involving that wall, you could call the contractor back to look at it and repair it under warranty, if still under warranty. This location is unusual for cracking in general unless just only at the top - but yours sounds like entire wall height.

Another thing I would look for, since this crack goes from top to bottom, is look under that wall and make sure there is significant (and intact) supporting structure under it - a significant support beam or wall - to bear the load of the end of the upstairs over the kitchen.

You can also put the search phrase - drywall crack - into the Ask box above, and it will bring up some links to previous similar issues, many with photos, whjich you can read to get a feel for what sort of issues are considered significant and which are wait and see or cosmetic cracking.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD


thank you LCD. (the crack are vertical, don't know how to make the pic to rotate 90 degree right.)

No remodeling. Just noticed it. not sure how long it have been there.

the foundation has a hairline crack to (did not reach the bottom of foundation from outside), not movement there.

I am trying to get a foundation fixiing company to look at it.

Answered 2 years ago by hjinseattle


Ahhh - now I can see the pictures - sorry I failed to tell you how to post them here, but you obviously figured it out.

Certainly more than a simple shrinkage crack - not something I would consider "serious" at this moment, as long as you are not getting significant foundation cracking (especially any which cuts through intact concrete or blocks or is diagonal), sticking doors/windows, diagonal drywall cracking, or cracking sounds in the house.

Since you say you don't know if it was there before or not, you could just sand, retape, dyrwall compound and repaint it and see i it recracks- and how fast the cracking travels. My impression is that is a tension crack - the wall pulling away from the - what is that - a doorway ? Is the room with the crack maybe an addition pulling away from the main house - in which case the top of the crack would almost always be the widest, narrow at the bottom. If an addition, this sort of settlement is common because the addition is a new foundation (which commonly is not properly compacted underneath so settles for 5-10 years) whereas the old part ofthe house has already done its notcieable settlement - so the new part commonly settles, separating from the old part, like it is "hinging" down from the old part foundation. Usually not a big issue, requires occasional crack patching, and sometimes some cutting free at the siding if attached to the old part and putting in a flexible joint there to allow for the movement (which is usually not over about 1/4-1/2").

If you decide you want it looked at, a Foundation Repair contractor is likely to recommend - wait for it - a foundation repair, and commonly only one option - the type he usually does. For instance, if pin piles or underpinning is his specialty, that is likely to be what he recommends, whether or not it is necessarily the best fix. If you went to a Carpenter - Framing he would likely recommend - a framing repair. I would, if you decide (now or after patching and waiting to see if it progresses more) to have it looked at, I would go to a Structural Engineer - not only more qualified to assess a structural issue, but also is not selling any particular type of fix.

Don't know if I mentioned it, but if you put the phrase - drywall crack - into the Ask box, it will suggest links to several previous similar issues with interior cracking - each of which will then have other links. You could run through some of those (some have photos too) to see how your case compares with them - though I do not remember a case offhand with vertical corner cracking like yours.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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