Author Topic: Drywall Tape  (Read 4397 times)

Gibbelstein

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Drywall Tape
« on: December 18, 2015, 12:48:07 PM »
I have some drywall tape coming loose from the wall in a couple of spots.  I seem to recall hearing that this can happen as a result of either moisture in the wall (this is an exterior wall, fwiw) or as a result of a quick/sloppy drywall job.  Can anyone tell me, or point me to a resource that I can use to see:

1) Are my assumptions of the two biggest possible causes accurate? Or am I being too optimistic that it might not be water related? =)
2) How can I tell which is the culprit in our case, and therefore, what will be necessary to fix it? 

This started happening recently (but slowly).  We are thinking of selling soon, so we will probably have to address this somewhat soon.  I don't seem to be able to put together the right combination of search words to get me this answer. 

Thanks for any input!
Chris

Tony_G

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2015, 01:03:30 PM »
Hi Chris,

Do you have any pictures of the wall?
When you say it is an exterior wall, is it exposed to the elements? rain & snow?

Without looking at it, I would think it is most likely a bad drywall job but it'd be helpful to get more details.

Spork

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2015, 01:07:08 PM »
I'm not an expert but I agree with your options.  I've seen it happen with house selling, too. Shifting drywall can cause seams to show.

I would think moisture would have other issues... Discolored paint, peeling wallpaper, mold, etc

Fishindude

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2015, 01:11:16 PM »
I'm thinking just a bad drywall job too.
Cut out the bad spots, re-mud and tape, sand & finish, then paint.

Unfortunately you about have to paint the entire wall.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2015, 01:33:15 PM »
I'm thinking just a bad drywall job too.
Cut out the bad spots, re-mud and tape, sand & finish, then paint.

Unfortunately you about have to paint the entire wall.
Having just cut my teeth on some drywall work, and having to re-tape a bunch of my own bad work, I have to agree.

Spork

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2015, 01:51:00 PM »
Hint: maybe it's just me, but as a novice I always have better luck with fiberglass mesh tape instead of paper tape. I know the pros almost always use paper tape but I always get an air bubble somewhere under the paper tape.

paddedhat

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2015, 06:34:40 AM »
Unfortunately, if a house was done by pros, and tape is peeling loose, it typically has nothing to do with being a poorly done finishing job. It's almost always issues with framing, and typically this is blamed on "settling" which is a misnomer. In reality the issues are related to lumber that dries and shrinks as the home ages, framing material selection, and installation technique. It's quite possible, and far from rocket science, to build a home that will have no issues with "settling" It's also more expensive and takes a bit of thought, which means it isn't as cost competitive, and rarely done here in North America.

justajane

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2015, 06:40:15 AM »
Many of our ceilings have this problem. I always thought it was just a DIY drywall job, but paddedhat's explanation makes sense too. We just leave it be, but that's easier to do when it's a ceiling. Once in a while I notice it and get annoyed, but not enough to pay someone to fix it.

I'm also too busy in our house fixing crumbling plaster. Now that's an eyesore!

music lover

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2015, 07:52:46 AM »
Something else to consider: There are 2 different types of drywall mud. One of them has glue/binders that help prevent tape bubbling and the other type doesn't. If the wrong mud was used, then the tape may bubble.

reader2580

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2015, 07:46:54 AM »
If you think moisture might be the culprit then it would be prudent to borrow or rent a moisture meter to see if you have a moisture issue.

big_owl

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2015, 05:45:41 AM »
Unfortunately, if a house was done by pros, and tape is peeling loose, it typically has nothing to do with being a poorly done finishing job. It's almost always issues with framing, and typically this is blamed on "settling" which is a misnomer. In reality the issues are related to lumber that dries and shrinks as the home ages, framing material selection, and installation technique. It's quite possible, and far from rocket science, to build a home that will have no issues with "settling" It's also more expensive and takes a bit of thought, which means it isn't as cost competitive, and rarely done here in North America.

+100%.  There are two ceiling joints in my house that are the same.  Within a year of construction small sections of the seams were visible and had slight cracking, especially noticeable in the winter.  I tried re-taping and mudding several times but the same cracks always appear at the same spot.  My house plan is very open with very few walls on the first floor...so long expanses without anything supporting the joists.  These cracks seem to appear in this area...no accident I suspect.  The solution for me was to stop giving a shit.



paddedhat

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2015, 07:11:14 AM »
Unfortunately, if a house was done by pros, and tape is peeling loose, it typically has nothing to do with being a poorly done finishing job. It's almost always issues with framing, and typically this is blamed on "settling" which is a misnomer. In reality the issues are related to lumber that dries and shrinks as the home ages, framing material selection, and installation technique. It's quite possible, and far from rocket science, to build a home that will have no issues with "settling" It's also more expensive and takes a bit of thought, which means it isn't as cost competitive, and rarely done here in North America.

+100%.  There are two ceiling joints in my house that are the same.  Within a year of construction small sections of the seams were visible and had slight cracking, especially noticeable in the winter.  I tried re-taping and mudding several times but the same cracks always appear at the same spot.  My house plan is very open with very few walls on the first floor...so long expanses without anything supporting the joists.  These cracks seem to appear in this area...no accident I suspect.  The solution for me was to stop giving a shit.

This made me smile. I built a lot of vacation houses for clients that wanted the open concept main living area with cathedral ceiling. This often meant that at least one wall of the room was a huge mass of sheetrock, destined to develop hairline cracks. I could of mitigated this in the construction phase by dividing the wall up with unattractive. deep V groove, metal expansion joints. I didn't since they are ugly, and customers would just bitch about them. Customer reaction to the inevitable cracking has varied from, "I don't even notice them" to, "you have to make them go away, they are driving me crazy!"

One guy was not convinced that they were not going to ever go away. He talked me into repairing them, and he would repaint the wall. I started to skim coat the truly microscopic cracks on the west facing wall, sometime in the morning. I was done by two PM, or so. By that time the sun was beating on the exterior of the wall, and it had warmed everything up enough to expand the wall to the point that all the cracks were coming back, LOL. I asked him to grab his reading glasses and climb up the ladder a bit. I then asked if we were both convinced that they are not going to go away?  He too, no longer gives a shit.

Gibbelstein

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2015, 10:06:13 AM »
Thanks for the great information, everyone.  Paddlehat, thanks also for the alternative POV.  I hadn't meant to demean the work of the installer, it was meant as something to call the counter-point to the moisture possibility. Spork's suggestion of "shifting" is a better way for me to look at it.  They seem to have cut corners on this place, but I have no expertise to tell whether this was one of those areas or not. =)

Tony_G, this is inside the home but one wall is on the exterior of the building.  So, it is not directly exposed to the elements.  Also, I just recently realized that the problem is on both floors of the house, but at the same corner.

I also should have known better than to start a thread like this when I was away from home and couldn't provide pictures.  I'm home and have attached one that I think shows the biggest crack, but the tape has 'lifted' on the top 1/2 of the wall, similar to that couple of inches above the plate.  I had been focusing on the lifted tape but, after some of these responses, it seems like the cracking may point more to the shifting/shrinkage you guys have mentioned.

Thanks again for helping me figure this out!  I was excited to hear that it isn't necessarily a sign of moisture issues in the wall, but now all I can think of is repairing and repainting...
óChris

Here she is:

paddedhat

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2015, 06:50:08 PM »
Yep, that is textbook. The lumber in the corner shrank it two directions, and the paper tape lost the battle.  Pull the cover and phone jack plate, then tear the tape out. Just grab it and peel it loose, stop when you removed all the lose stuff, and cut it with a utility knife. Now bed a new piece of paper in the corner. You pack a generous amount of mud into the corner than place the tape. Before placing the tape, pre-cut it to the correct length, and fold a nice tight 90* crease into the middle of the paper. Use the spackle knife to drag the crease tight and bed the paper nicely. Then continue to add layers of mud until you fill the corner. As a DIYer, you want to do one side of the corner at a time. Lay a layer of mud on the left wall, let it dry, then do the right. Doing both sides of a wet corner joint, at the same time, is a ninja skill, that takes time and lots of practice to get good at. When it comes to matching the texture, well...................I haven't got a clue, we don't do texture in these parts. Finally, WTF is that vein looking horizontal lump departing from the jack plate and existing to the left? Please tell me that somebody did not spackle over a phone cable????  LOL, have fun, all drywall repairs suck, but it's a great skill to acquire. BTW, this skill is a lot like owning a pick-up truck, you get abused by your friends and family, one they figure out that you can do it, typically for free. So play dumb, and never admit that you have gotten pretty good at it :)

Gibbelstein

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Re: Drywall Tape
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2015, 10:51:55 PM »
Thanks, Paddedhat!  That is both a major relief and a bit of a bummer for my future efforts. =) 

Thanks also for the tips.  I've never done this job before, so I will reread that multiple times and watch way too many youtube videos before attempting...