How To Fix Stress Cracks In Drywall And What Causes Them

Fix The Cause, Make The Repairs, And Love The Look Of Your Ann Arbor Home Again
How to fix stress cracks in drywall that look like this

There are 5 causes for stress cracks, including water damage. Fixing stress cracks in drywall only take 7 steps including painting it.

Find the information in the post below-

Is Our House…Cracking?!

“Sarah, do you see that right there?” Jason asks, pointing.

Sarah looks down his arm to see him pointing to a wall in their house. “Is…is our wall, cracking?!” she asks in surprise. Jason nods. “It looks like we have some stress cracks appearing in our drywall. We’re going to need to fix those stress cracks and find the cause ASAP.”

Sarah frowns as she wiggles her phone out of her pocket. “Seeing as how I don’t know anything about fixing stress cracks in drywall or their causes, I’m going to look it up. Hopefully, it’ll be easy like when we looked up how to fix peeling wall paint.”

Jason smiles and looks over her shoulder as she starts researching.

Here is what they read:

Tools & Materials

  • 5 in 1 painter’s tool
  • Drop cloth
  • Drywall joint tape or mesh
  • Joint compound
  • Drywall taping knives
  • Sanding sponge
  • Step ladder

7 Steps To Fixing Stress Cracks In Drywall

  1. Spread out your dropcloth
  2. Set up the step ladder and rake out or open up the crack with the 5 in 1 tool
  3. Place the joint tape over the crack and apply your first thin coat of the joint compound using the drywall taping knives
  4. Once this first coat dries, apply two additional coats allowing each to dry before applying the next
  5. Once the final coat has dried use the sanding sponge to sand smooth
  6. Prime the repair 
  7. Paint

When applying the joining compound, you won’t want to leave excess joint compound on the wall.

Make sure to spread each coat of the compound slightly farther out on the wall or ceiling than the previous coat.

5 Causes Of Drywall Stress Cracks

1. Your House Is Settling

A main cause that’ll have you fixing stress cracks in drywall is your house settling. It’s normal and happens with all houses. As homes age the ground under them can shift or settle especially with changes in the weather. These slight changes can create stress on your home which results in these small cracks.

2. Changing Of The Seasons

What’s agreed on as the most probable cause of stress cracks is the changing of the seasons. During the summer the wood structure of the house can absorb moisture when the humidity is high, causing the wood to swell. Then in the fall and winter when we turn on our furnaces that same wood structure dries out and contracts, pulling against the drywall.

3. Water Damage

While some water damage creates fun shapes like the head of Abraham Lincoln, all water damage is bad for homes. If the cracks have dark brown or yellow stains around them, it’s water damage. Before fixing the stress cracks you’ll want to fix the leak.

4. Not Using Your AC

Heating and AC units help keep the house a certain temperature and humidity. When it isn’t stable the house contracts and expands, just like when the seasons change. By keeping yourself comfortable you’re also helping your home!

5. Foundation Issues

If you have big cracks, as in over a quarter-inch wide, check your foundation for damage. You may have to call in a foundation specialist.

Is It Fixed Forever?

Sadly, fixing stress cracks in drywall doesn’t mean they won’t return.

If you have a stress crack and repair it, you will most likely see it again in the future. The repair materials are fixed and not flexible. If the house settles or goes through seasonal changes that cause movement the stress cracks could reappear.

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“What do you think, can we make the repairs ourselves?” asks Sarah. Jason nods. “Yeah, unless they’re big cracks. This is super helpful, does this website have anything else we need to know?”