Seasonal changes in humidity & temperature are some of the major causes of cracks in drywall ceilings, walls, and corners. Those cracks may result from the shrinking of improperly dried lumber in the framing.
To some extent, large gaps aren’t easy to fix and require patching or a complete reinstallation of new sheetrock. However, in most cases, you can fix drywall cracks in ceiling, corners, or walls by caulking or using drywall mud.
How do You Fix Thin Cracks in Drywall?
Repairing thin hairline cracks that keep coming back on your drywall is a simple task. Especially if you’re using a caulking compound. This will form a flexible film where walls meet and stretch along with the thin cracks.
As an alternative, you can use painter’s tape, drywall tape, and joint compound. Also, you’ll need the following tools; a 6” putty knife, mud pan, 12” taping knife, and a utility knife. Once you’ve gathered these items, here’s how you fix a hairline crack in the drywall ceiling;
- Use the painter’s tape to protect the area, especially if the cracks are near any trim or woodwork. Then cut a V-shape along the length of the crack with the utility knife. Get rid of any debris and dirt that comes from this cut.
- Embed the tape over the crack and apply 1/8” bead of joint compound. Squeeze out the excess joint compound with the 6” putty knife and leave it to dry.
- Once the joint compound has dried fully, use the putty knife to scrape off any rough spots. Then use the 12” taping knife to apply 2 extra layers of the compound over the tape. At the same time, smooth it out and let it dry. Finally, sand or scrape off the dried particles before you paint the surface.
How do You Fix Stress Cracks in Drywall?
Stress cracks in drywall can be caused by water damage and seasonal changes. But cracks around windows or doors are normally caused due to settling and structural changes. However, they can also occur in areas where there are no joints.
To fix these cracks temporarily, simply fill them with spackles and paint over them. Unfortunately, due to seasonal changes, those cracks will eventually reappear. Hence, the need to cover the cracks with a tape and mud compound, which might be a permanent solution.
Or, sometimes cut the wall then patch and repair the damaged portion. We hope that’s not the case yet and you can go ahead with the crack fixing. You’ll need; a drop cloth, joint compound, painter’s tool, sanding sponge, and drywall taping knives.
- First of all, rough up the ceiling with sandpaper. Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to get rid of the dust.
- Apply gentle pressure around the crack with your hand to inspect for movement. If the sheetrock moves in any direction, fasten it to the nearby framing member.
- Use a utility knife to cut out any loose joint compound
- Now, cut a strip of drywall tape (paper/mesh) in a V-groove shape. The formed v-shaped groove offers a wider area for applying the joint compound.
- Apply the joint compound into the crack and cover it with tape and leave it to dry. Hence, you can make use of the drywall knife.
- Smooth out the surface with 2-3 additional layers.
- If required, lightly sand with a sanding sponge and clean the area.
- Once you achieve a smooth finish, prime the repaired surface and paint.
Fixing Drywall Cracks with Caulk
If you want to fix drywall cracks without tape, this might be one of the best methods to go with! Remember that sheetrock tends to contract and expand due to variations in weather conditions. Consequently, the framing shrinks or swells, causing cracks to appear on the walls.
Thankfully, you can easily fix cracks using drywall crack caulks. That’s said, if you’re using caulk to fill gaps in your walls, here’s how!
- First, look for the right caulking compound that adheres well on drywall, preferably latex caulk. It’ll be easy to sand and finish and finally paint over. The caulk will stabilize movement and hold the sheetrock in place. It will stretch as your home structure moves thus preventing future cracking.
- Next, clean away all the loose material from the surface. Then spray some water along the crack to soak and let the wall absorb it. This process ensures that the caulk and the gypsum material form a durable bond.
- Now, fill the crack with caulk and smooth it using a finishing tool. Or, you might also use a damp rag and your finger as an alternative to caulking tools.
- Wipe off the excess sealant around the repaired part and leave it to dry. Afterward, prime and paint the surface to match the surrounding surfaces.
Can i Use Caulk for Drywall Cracks Instead Of Spackle?
Both spackling compound and caulk can be used to fill holes and gaps. However, that’s the only thing these materials have in common. For instance, caulk forms a flexible and water-resistant coating, but spackle dries hard and it’s not water-resistant.
Getting back to the application, spackle is mainly used to fill small holes, cracks, and dents. On the contrary, caulk is suitable for filling joints in the walls, ceiling, and corners. Nonetheless, you can use one instead of the other.