Monday, March 14, 2016

How to Repair Sheetrock Settlement Cracks

How do I repair the cracks in my sheetrock?” 
That's one of the most commonly asked questions of what to do next after the foundation has been repaired. As a home shifts during the settlement process, it is typical to see cracks appear in the sheetrock. Even though cracks may close during the raising process they may still need to be addressed cosmetically. The following information is to help guide you to do it yourself or to tell you what to expect if you hire a painter or handyman. If done correctly, the repair should make the previously damaged sheetrock appear as good as new.

Items you will need: All Purpose Joint Compound, Paper Drywall Tape, Sanding Block or Sandpaper, 6 inch Putty Knife, 8 inch Putty Knife

First, use sandpaper to sand down the area around the crack so that it is smooth with no rough edges. Next, use a putty knife to embed about 1/8 inch of an all-purpose joint compound into the length of the crack and spread some compound about an inch wider than the drywall tape you have chosen to use. Try to make the coat smooth as possible. Then apply the drywall tape over the joint compound on the wall. With one hand, use a putty knife to hold the tape in place while using the other hand and a separate putty knife to scrape away any loose compound. Apply a thin coat of compound over the tape and a few inches around it, then repeat the previous step of scraping loose compound away around the tape. Let it dry overnight. Typically most joint compounds take 6-8 hours to dry, but this may vary by manufacturer.

After the compound has dried, scrape away any loose dried compound with your putty knife so that the texture is smooth. You may also want to gently sand it with fine sandpaper. Then apply a second coat of compound using a larger size putty knife. This coat will extend a few inches wider than the tape so that it begins to blend in with the wall. Gently scrape or “float” across the area with your putty knife until the knife marks in the compound disappear. Let this second coat dry.

Repeat the previous steps of scraping and sanding any loose compound. Apply a third thin coat and layer it even further away from the tape so that it blends with the rest of the wall. The more it blends in with the rest of the wall, the more professional the final results will be. Gently scrape the area again so that the knife marks go away. Allow this to dry for 24 hours and then gently sand it with very fine sandpaper. Now the wall is ready for a primer base and paint!

Brent Stroud | Foundation Pro | 501-753-1009 |


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