Walls cracking- advise needed!!
A Crew of Two
April 6, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We are doing a remodel on an old home 1940 we believe, all the walls are cracked over the doors. The homeowners say it is the ground the home is on and it is an issue in the area. So, if we repair they will most likely just crack again. I am not qualified to do more than just the cosmetics of the cracks.....advise for the homeowner so I can give them direction would be appreciated. I tried calling several pros in the area and do not get a returned call. We are in a remote area of Arkansas- so I am stumped what to do. The previous owner just used paneling to mask the problem, do not want to go that route. It is a beautiful farmhouse with 10 foot ceilings and those have cracks as well. We will be putting a white bead board over the ceilings. Thank you in advance.
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PRO
Peach Tree Interiors
it couldmbe just settling or there could be a problem with the foundation........you really need to get an expert to chech it out.
1 Like   April 6, 2013 at 7:04AM
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apple_pie_order
You can post photos of the doorways to get additional comments. You really need a pro to come out for a foundation inspection, though.

Professional painters may have ideas about how to deal with settling cracks, especially if they are common in the area.
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 7:17AM
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ASVInteriors
If it is that old, it cannot be settling: either there are some earth movements taking place (which may affect the structural integrity of the home) or it may be just movement between materials (I have had experience with a house built of wood and the plaster between cracks because the wood expands and contracts). Before you find a solution, you need to know what is causing the problem. Sorry - perhaps ironwood and others have better responses
1 Like   April 6, 2013 at 7:22AM
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Rockin' Fine Finish
So they are only above doors? They additives to strength drywall mud to prevent cracks .Wait another question are the walls plaster or drywall ? But I would check the foundation post a picture of the cracks
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 7:24AM
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A Crew of Two
I think it is the ground- it is some sort of clay. I'm sorry I don't have pics right now. They go from the top corners of the doors and spider web up. Yes, only the doors. There are some in the ceilings, but I think those are from work they did in the attic because they are just over the kitchen where they had to something with an old attic fan. The walls are plaster. The house is not on a slab and does not have a basement. They didn't do that in Arkansas back then most of the time. There is crawl space under the house. And the issue seems to be only on the doors that are in the center of the house as opposed to entry doors. Wondering if the center of the house needs some more support? It is a brick home.
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 7:29AM
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A Crew of Two
Thinking the center of the house needs more support?? We noticed quite a bit of water puddling outside the exterior of the home. Maybe they need to do something with that as well. We have had a lot of rain. Maybe they need someone to jack the house up a bit???
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 7:34AM
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PRO
Live Beautiful Designs
Yes you definitely need a proper home inspection! Does the house have a basement? If so then Teleposts may help. But get a professional to give you advice, structural issues are serious, you don't want to buy a house only to find that it has become unsafe to live in!
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 7:37AM
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A Crew of Two
We aren't buying it, we are remodeling it. I just don't want to repair a crack that will return again. There is no basement.
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 7:40AM
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apple_pie_order
This webpage from Old House Web may be helpful. http://www.oldhouseweb.com/how-to-advice/plaster-wall-crack-repair.shtml

The thing I wonder about is recent changes that may increase settling. The ground never stops moving just because you build on it. Well, maybe if you are on a granite ledge. Have there been any recent earthquakes felt in that area of Arkansas? The amount of ground water can change, too. Easy to speculate, of course, but you really need a local pro.
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 7:44AM
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Rockin' Fine Finish
If the center is sagging place a level in the middle if the home and see if it level . Figure out these things before fixing and since walls are plaster you need a plaster experts to on plaster I have found that plaster doesn't like dry wall mud and it won't adhere well
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 7:45AM
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A Crew of Two
Thanks...that's what I was thinking.....ugh! Now if i can just get someone to return my calls. The homeowners are not overly concerned. But I am not going to fix something that is going to just come back again. Silly waste of money.
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 7:49AM
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Rockin' Fine Finish
If choose not use plaster use drywall compound with the strengthening additive use mesh tape they also sell a finish spray that you spray over the finished repair to help keep it intact I think goof off makes the spray
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 7:49AM
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PRO
A Crew of Two
Thank you!
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 7:52AM
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apple_pie_order
@rockin: is this it? http://www.goofoffstainremover.com/products/good-bye-cracks/4oz-aerosol

It looks like it might work really well out here in earthquake country. Have you used it?
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 8:01AM
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Rockin' Fine Finish
Yes it is, you make your standard repair weather it be smooth or textured and then you spray it on the repair a couple inches over the edge of the repair and then prime and paint and I've used it never have had a call back
1 Like   April 6, 2013 at 8:04AM
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apple_pie_order
@Rockin: thanks very much! I'll give it a try. I've fixed two over-door settling cracks entirely too many times in the last few years.
1 Like   April 6, 2013 at 8:14AM
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