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New drywall cracking at joints.

I totally rebuilt a 50 year old ranch home in Indianapolis over the last 5 years. During the rebuild, one of the things we did was to completely replace the drywall with new. All walls and ceilings were framed 16 inches O.C. and covered with 1/2 inch drywall. The drywall was attached with 1-5/8 inch drywall screws only. I used the mesh tape like always and used mud purchased from Lowes. After a few months, the joints started to crack. Drywall was installed horizontally on the walls and ceilings. I have done this type of work for years with no problem. Some of the wall to ceiling and wall to wall joints are also cracking. About 20% to30% of the total joints have cracks. We tried to just smooth out some joints with compound, but the cracks reappeared. Any ideas? Thanks Tom

Re: New drywall cracking at joints.

I am NOT a dry wall person , I do plaster.
It sound like your dry wall was installed in a very high humidity.
Than when the humidity was reduced the dry wall product contracted.
See if you can find a USG hand book and look up Hygrometric Expansion.

Quote :
An increse in relative humidity of from 10% t0 50% , a gypsum board wall 300 long will have an expansion of 25/32 inch

Re: New drywall cracking at joints.

Another point to consider: did you use the right compound (all purpose, not topper)?

Re: New drywall cracking at joints.

You have a good point about the humidity. If it was the humidity, now that it is a year later, would you think that if I just re-taped the joints, over the paint, that that would fix my problem? If not, what would you try?

As far as the correct joint compound, when I first noticed the cracking, I also wondered about the compound. I probably used the correct one, but it was probably the cheapest one at Lowes. If I used the wrong compound, would you think that re-taping over the paint would fix my problem? Is that what you would try?

I appreciate all of your help.

Re: New drywall cracking at joints.

In my opinion cracking can occur after any new job due to the new framing drying out, in fact most general contractors that i know include a re plastering repair one year after the house is built. They re plaster only, no painting.

Re: New drywall cracking at joints.

On a first finish application I prefer paper tape, not mesh, because it has more resistance to lateral movements such as you get with a new home settling. I save the mesh tape for cracks which recur because there, the mud forced through the tape positively fills in voids which hopefully will stay filled. Mesh flexes too much laterally for the normal long joints. You can tell if the mesh tape is the problem by seeing if the cracks show any diagonal strain- if they do then paper tape may fix them more permanently.


Re: New drywall cracking at joints.

I was told that if you use the mesh tape you need to use a setting type joint compound and not the stuff in the buckets. I would try re taping with paper tape and feathering it out with the 3 coats??? But I'm just a plasterer.

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