My house is about 10 years old and there are a fair number of areas where the seams between the drywall sections are

cracking, especially in the unheated garage, but some areas inside the house are doing it too. I'm in West Virginia, so it can get pretty cold in the winter. Someone told me that the drywall was probably initially done in cold weather, so the mud along the seams was not able to set up properly.
I'm assuming that I'd have to remove all of the sealing tape along these areas, retape and then apply the mud again and sand, which will be very dusty, so I want to fix it so that it won't need to be done again in the near future. What's the best way to do that?
  5 answers
  • It might very well have been a decent job to start, but if the house has large temperature fluctuations, the thermal movement of the materials would cause cracks like that, esp in the garage and areas with large surfaces like a ceiling. I also see far more of these small cracks in SR that was taped with the FG mesh tape rather than paper tape. Yes, the fix is to re-do it

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc. Peace Painting Co., Inc. on Dec 10, 2011
    Rich, one prevalent problem in garage drywall is the use of interior drywall and interior paint in an exterior application, which can lead to seam cracking and tape coming loose. Or as you stated, the compound or mud could have frozen before it dried, leading to failure. Either way, if the tape is not loose or bubbling off, you do not have to remove anything. I do like the idea of going back over it with fiberglass tape because it is made to flex more than the paper tape. However, the drywall must be stable or no tape will hold. This means that there should be no movement at the joints when you push on it. I wish you luck in floating out these seams. It takes someone with experience to make it look decent. After it is re-taped and re-skimmed, you have the option of using a texture or sand finish paint to cover the imperfections, and it looks quite nice. Be sure to use exterior rated primer and paint this time! Best, Charles

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc. Peace Painting Co., Inc. on Dec 10, 2011
    Cute puppy dog to keep you warm on those three dog nights in WV.

  • Builders are only responsible for taping one coat on the garage wall to create a fire resistant barrier. They do not tape this nearly as well as they do inside of the home. Most likely the taping job utilized the least amount of taping compound that would hold the tape into place. Pull off any loose tape, and re-tape it using spackle mix out of the bag and fiberglass tape. It will harden faster so mix a little at a time and work fast. This being done properly should prevent future failures of the wall.

  • If dust is a concern while sanding drywall mud, then a "wet-sand" can clear this up. First, use a drywall knife or a putty knife to scrape/slice down and high ridges. Then use a damp (not wet) sponge to do the sanding. It will wet the drywall compound just a bit and allow you to smooth it out. The damp sponge itself will catch/clean up any dust that is created. Those thick, yellowish colored sponges work well for this.