How to prevent and repair drywall cracks

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In this article, you will learn how to prevent the appearance of cracks on the surface of drywall, how to diagnose problems with the frame and sheets, and methods to eliminate these deficiencies. We will tell you what you need to pay attention to when constructing a frame.

Frequent problems in working with drywall. Part 1. Cracks in drywall

In this article, we will talk about drywall problems. It should be noted right away that gypsum plasterboards (gypsum plasterboards) are not themselves a structure, but are mounted in the design position (on a wall, ceiling, arch) using a frame or gypsum glue. 80% of all problems arise precisely because of the basis, or rather, because of errors in its structure. We will try to cover the range of tasks as much as possible and offer solutions.

Note. Cracks are irrecoverable defects in materials. Recommendations will help stop their development. After that, one way or another, they will have to be masked..

We will also divide all the reasons into two categories – the basis and others..

Problem: There are cracks along the joints and / or the plane of the sheets on the walls and / or ceiling. Crackling is heard periodically.

Causes associated with the problem basis

Violations in the construction of the base are a very common phenomenon, since it is not possible to assess the quality of the frame after installing the gypsum board. This is often used by unscrupulous builders. To completely eliminate these defects, it will be necessary to dismantle drywall sheets, and sometimes parts of the frame.

Reason # 1. Too big step

The spacing of the rows of supporting fasteners and profile rails should be on the walls – no more than 600 mm, on the ceiling – no more than 400 mm. Often, performers install the slats of the wall and ceiling frame with the same pitch..

Frequent problems in working with drywall. Part 1. Cracks in drywall

How to fix? Add additional profiles in the middle of the span.

Reason number 2. Fastening U-shaped hangers for the lugs

Suspension eyes are weak points subject to deformation. This mounting method can only be used on walls, but this is also undesirable. On the ceiling, such fasteners sag for 2-3 months.

Frequent problems in working with drywall. Part 1. Cracks in drywall

How to fix? Reinforce the fastening with an additional dowel (self-tapping screw) into the central eyelet.

Reason # 3. Use of low-quality frame components

The thickness of the material of the CD and UD profile for the installation of the gypsum board should be 0.55–0.62 mm, for the P-suspension not less than 0.62 mm. On sale there are completely identical frame parts, which have a thickness of 0.3-0.45 mm – they are designed for mounting plastic panels, which are many times lighter than gypsum board.

Frequent problems in working with drywall. Part 1. Cracks in drywall

How to fix? The desire to save money or ignorance of installation standards will result in a complete replacement of the frame or gypsum board (for plastic).

Reason number 4. Violation of technology when installing gypsum plasterboard on gypsum glue

Quite a common problem in new buildings. Installation of drywall on glue is fabulously cheap and fast, which always plays into the hands of the developer. The sheet is mounted entirely on glue, applied pointwise in a deliberately larger amount. During the pressing of the sheet against the base, the glue point is distributed in width. At the time of adjusting the sheets, stresses often arise in the areas not filled with glue, which are temporarily contained. After entering the apartment, the humidity necessarily rises, the gypsum saturates, and the stress breaks the joint – a crack appears. It is not immediately noticeable under wallpaper (especially elastic). If the humidity is constant, it may not be noticeable. But usually over time, saturating and drying out, the crack increases.

Frequent problems in working with drywall. Part 1. Cracks in drywall

How to fix? Wait for the cracks to stabilize and mask.

Reason # 5. Mobility of the base – walls

This is the most serious problem – when the walls of a panel house “walk” or a timber is upset. In this case, cracks often appear on the plane of the sheet, but in the first place at the joints. When the stone walls shrink or move, the gypsum plasterboard installed on gypsum glue has no chance of remaining intact, since it is rigidly fixed to the plane. A characteristic feature is a given general direction of all or most of the cracks.

How to fix? If a problem is found in a private house, the first step is to stop the movement of the walls. We described how to do this in the previous article. The timber frame must withstand at least 1 full natural cycle to undergo 85% shrinkage. If the walls move in an apartment building, then it is reasonable to use a movable two-level frame. It will protect the plasterboard plane from deformation.

Frequent problems in working with drywall. Part 1. Cracks in drywall

The essence of the work of the frame of two levels is that the first – horizontal – row is attached to the connector, which is fixed on the movable wall. This row flattens out and serves as a beacon for the uprights. They are freely inserted into the butterfly fasteners and are not fastened with self-tapping screws. The result is a series of independent posts aligned flat. When installing the gypsum board on such a frame, be sure to leave a gap of 2-3 cm from the ceiling.

Reason # 6. Docking to a wall made of a different material

If the partition, lined with gypsum board, is adjacent to a plastered brick or concrete wall, the probability of a crack at this joint is 99%. The reason is the different heat and moisture capacity of the materials, respectively, different properties of the base. A subspecies of this problem is the cladding of gypsum plasterboard frames made of different materials (for example, wood and profile) in one structure.

Frequent problems in working with drywall. Part 1. Cracks in drywall

How to fix? By and large, it is better to choose another material for cladding – with movable locks (plastic panels, lining). Since in most cases the deformations of the base are small, the situation can be corrected by arranging an additional layer of moisture-resistant gypsum board along the plane. If it is necessary to dock with a partition to a stone wall, then a frame should be arranged on it..

To diagnose and fix the problems described above, you will inevitably need a revision with opening the wall..

Cracks at the joints can appear with the correct organization of the frame and the reliability of the walls.

Reason number 1. Change of temperature and humidity conditions in a room where non-moisture resistant drywall is used

This happens most often when the start of the heating season is delayed and when the seasons change. When the humidity changes, and the room is not heated, the gypsum board through the porous gypsum fillers begins to draw in moisture from the air. The seams contain a relatively large amount of filler, not covered with cardboard. It is the seams that are saturated with moisture faster, and an uneven change in the moisture content of the entire plane occurs. Hence – crackles and cracks. The sheets themselves can withstand deformation..

How to fix? Switch on constant heating. If in summer the windows are open wide open, in winter you should try to maintain a stable temperature and humidity regime according to summer indicators..

Reason # 2. Seams are sealed without reinforcement

This gross violation is common and cannot be determined after finishing finishing work. GKL installation technology provides for the inclusion of reinforcing materials in the seams – fiberglass mesh, paper.

Frequent problems in working with drywall. Part 1. Cracks in drywall

How to fix? Open all seams, embroider and close up again, but already observing the technology.

Reason number 3. Seams are covered with basic putty

The probability of cracking is 50/50, most often with a change in humidity.

Frequent problems in working with drywall. Part 1. Cracks in drywall

How to fix? Cm. Reason # 2. Professionals recommend using Vetonit SILOITE or SheetRock grout.

How to identify potential future problems

If you need to assess the quality of drywall installation, knowledge of methods for determining the reliability of the frame and some rules will help you. If you supervise work at your own facility, ask for the presentation of hidden work for revision:

  1. There should be no drops in the plane in the rows of the profile – this will lead to stress on the bends. Checked with a long rule or cord.
  2. Heat and sound insulation, if the wall is outside, is required. Internal partitions must also be filled.
  3. The gap between the sheets – 2-3 mm.
  4. Self-tapping screws must be sunk by 2 mm. For this there is a special bit with sweat. The seats (caps) of the screws are putty separately. The next layer is applied after these places are completely dry..
  5. Do not allow the sheets to be attached to the profile with wood screws. Self-tapping screws for metal are distinguished by a small thread pitch.
  6. If it is known that the walls are potentially movable (log house, panel house over 30 years old), provide an independent ceiling suspension.
  7. When choosing glued installation of gypsum board, make sure the walls are stable and require continuous application of glue (using a comb).
  8. Ceiling hangers must be fixed in the central eyelet.
  9. Require the installation of inventory plastic or metal corner profiles.
  10. All cracks, cavities, cracks, etc. of the main wall must be repaired. If dampness is possible, the wall should be treated with special antifungal compounds..
  11. Drywall does not require priming before applying the putty – additional soaking weakens the adhesion plane of the cardboard with the gypsum, and sometimes (with special zeal) soaks the cardboard.

Frequent problems in working with drywall. Part 1. Cracks in drywall

The next article will tell you how to deal with the problems of exterior drywall finishing.

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