Causes of Cracks: Why You Have Cracks in Your Drywall

a settlement crack in drywall above door

Cracks in drywall can be very unsightly, nobody wants to see holes or cracks in their walls. In this article we will cover 5 common reasons why cracks appear in the walls of new and old homes. If you’re seeing cracks in your walls or ceilings then contact the team at Meeks Drywall for an estimate today!

crack around ceiling due to house settlingYour House is a Living Creature

Sounds silly, right? But it’s true, your house is a living creature. Over time, the house settles and cracks pop up. This happens to every house and there’s not much you can do about it. Some parts will settle quicker than others, but the most common cracks are between the walls and ceiling, due to the downward movement. The top edge of a door-frame is another common location for cracks due to the house settling.

This happens due to many reasons, but mainly it’s caused by changes in humidity, temperature, barometric pressure and the effect they have on the dimensions of different materials used to construct your home. When things get cold, they shrink. When they get warm, they expand. The wood studs in your walls might expand/contract at a different rate than the drywall, and all this shifting around causes gaps and cracks.

Improper Drywall Installation

Another common cause of cracks in drywall is improper drywall installation, and there are various reasons why improper installation can cause this problem. The hangers may have messed up by not screwing the drywall on properly, or the finishers could have done a poor job taping and/or applying the joint compound.

It’s possible the joint compound was applied so thick that the top layer dried quicker than the lower layers, causing a surface crack.

Moisture Behind the Wall

Moisture is a common cause of cracks in walls, especially in drywall ceilings in outdoor areas, such as a lanai. Both the wall studs and drywall screws are vulnerable to moisture accumulation, which will lead to rusting and cracks. If you recently had a leak and the drywall got wet then a crack will likely appear. This is a more serious problem and you need to contact a professional if your drywall has been damaged by a water leak. Don’t wait, as mold can occur, and the problem will possibly get worse over time.

Objects Hanging on Wall

Having too many objects, or heavier objects hanging can cause stress on the wall, resulting in a crack. This problem can range from minor to major, depending on the weight of the objects and amount of time it was left alone. These cracks are often covered with large paintings and go unnoticed until it’s a major problem and something falls.

Cracks in Drywall, or Cracked Paint?

cracked paint looks like a crushed eggshell

Sometimes, it’s simply the paint cracking. When it’s the paint you will know because it will look just like a cracked egg. Simply sand it down, apply joint compound and paint again. If you have a textured wall, you will want to match the texture before painting.

Meeks Drywall deals with drywall cracks all the time and we can fix any holes or cracks in your walls, just call 239-470-3875 for an estimate. 

Metal vs. Wood Framing and What You Need to Know

metal studs - second floor of home framed in metal

Even though we specialize in metal framing, we are often tasked with putting up walls with wood. Our team is very versatile and can work with both wood and metal, but we do prefer metal due to the many advantages it provides both the installer and homeowner.

Benefits of Using Metal Studs

  • Durability – metal is more durable and will never rot like wood. It doesn’t catch on fire like wood, and termites don’t eat it like wood. It’s a better long-term solution that will save you money in the future, as wood studs often need to be replaced due to water damage, fire, termites, etc.
  • Price – metal and wood studs are not that different in price, making it an affordable solution.
  • Metal studs are light – they are easier to handle, and easier to install. If you need to move one, it’s not a big deal. Metal studs can also be cut rather quickly with snips, making it a more convenient material to work with.
  • Metal is more predictable, meaning you don’t have to worry about warped studs. 

Metal seems to be the better choice, although there are cases where wood is better to use. Wood studs can hold more weight, and some builders prefer to use wood studs due to the strength of the material alone. With that said, metal studs are surprisingly strong when framed right and can still withstand hurricanes and earthquakes.