Drywall seams will crack or separate for different reasons. A damaged foundation can cause it,
as well as improper drywall finishing during construction. It could be that the sheetrock hanger
didnt use enough sheetrock screws or nails.
If you have a damaged foundation problem, you should fix that
before spending time on your drywall repair. A foundation issue is serious; it will cause your windows and
doors to bind up and can cause roof problems. This article will show how to go about repairing
drywall seams. This is an easy DIY home repair project.
Drywall Hanging Configuration
When drywall is screwed or nailed to the studs, it makes for a seam every 4 feet horizontally or
vertically, and every 8, 10 or 12 feet in the other direction.
There is also a seam in all inside corners.
This makes for a lot of drywall seams and a possibility for a lot of cracking.
Not to worry though, patching seams up is simple. In fact, you may not even have cracks; you might just want to refresh your walls on a budget.
Drywall Tools and Materials Youll Need
To patch drywall seams youll need a few tools. As a minimum for tools, youll need:
A taping knife
A floating knife
A utility knife
A mud pan (for drywall compound)
Possibly a ladder
A sanding pole with sanding screens
An electric drill or screw gun with a #2 Phillips tip
Drywall tape and sanding screen.
Youll also need mud (drywall compound). Get the kind that is premixed in plastic buckets. Get some
coarse-thread sheetrock screws. Drywall tape is your final ingredient. Use the type thats a fiberglass
mesh with adhesive backing. Its easier to work with than the paper tape because of the adhesive.
Preparing the Drywall
Use the scraper to remove the drywall texture around the seam. Starting from the seams center go 4 inches
in either direction. Scrape the cracks length and a couple of inches extra. Now, use the utility knife
to cut the bad tape out where the drywall seam is damaged.
Now put some mud in your pan from the bucket. Its easier to work if its thinned out a tiny bit.
Put just a small amount of water in the mud and mix it with the taping knife.
Repair the Drywall Crack: Taping and Floating
Drywall taping knife and mud pan.
Cut a length of tape from the roll that fits the spot that is prepped (span the seam). The adhesive
will keep it in place. Scoop a little bit of mud onto the taping knife. Spread it onto the tape.
Proceed until it's worked into the entire length of tape and an inch or so beyond. Youre not completely
completing the job with this step. This is taping.
Floating will come later. Now all you're doing is adhering the tape to the joint. Now clean the
taping knife and mud pan using water while your joint dries.
When the joint is dry, sand all dried mud ridges. Now float it with your floating knife by spreading
on sufficient mud to spread over the taped spot and leave the repair flush and level with the surrounding
wall. This will be several inches beyond what you did when you taped the joint. Leave it to dry and give
it a look. If it is not right, repeat.
Drywall finishing is an art.
Texture and Paint
When youve got it just right, match your wall texture. Use your mud for this. Be creative; try
different methods until it looks right. Dabbing the wall using a paint brush is one method.
There are so many ways that texture is applied that this matching is sometimes the most difficult
part of the job. There are some very simple drywall texturing methods. Finally,
let it dry,
then sand it lightly if needed. Experiment. Finish up by painting the drywall.
Just follow these easy steps for repairing seams and cracks in drywall and you'll improve the look of your home and save money by doing it yourself.
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About the Author:
Kelly R. Smith was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.