How to Repair Drywall Cracks

Jan 01, 2011

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cracked drywall

With this easy guide, learn the latest techniques to repair drywall cracks. Run to the store and buy the materials to repair drywall cracks and even small holes; the fixes don't take too long. The only materials you will need are drywall (joint) compound, mesh tape, a putty knife, sandpaper and a sharp utility knife (drywall screws are optional).

As a home or building settles, imperfections may develop in the drywall. To repair drywall cracks, follow these easy steps:

Step 1

Use the utility knife to remove any loose drywall material.

Step 2

Carefully create a small indentation so that once applied, the mesh tape with be flush with the surrounding drywall. To do this, cut a narrow groove on either side of the crack with a sharp utility knife.

Step 3

A crack generally occurs because the drywall is moving and may need additional support. To be sure your drywall crack repair is permanent, secure the drywall. Insert drywall screws on both sides of the crack and along the entire crack. Be sure to screw into the wood behind the drywall. Countersink the head slightly but do not break through the paper layer.

Step 4

Using mesh tape designed for drywall repair, cover the crack and heads of the screws. Note: Some experts recommend hot mud instead of drywall compound when using mesh tape. Hot mud is also called "quick set" or "fast set" joint compound. The powder is mixed with water and dries very quickly. Depending on the product, drying times can be 5 to 90minutes. Because it dries so quickly, some do-it-yourselfers may prefer the ready-mixed joint compound to repair drywall cracks and holes.

Step 5

Apply a thin layer of drywall compound and allow it to dry. Repeat until the drywall compound is slightly more raised than the wall. Once the drywall compound is dry, sand the area to make it flush with the existing wall. Brush away any dust or residue.

Step 6

Paint with primer. After the primer has dried, apply paint to match the existing wall color.

Drywall tape may occasionally loosen due to the passage of time, a leaky roof or excess moisture in the building. Repair loose tape over joints in the same manner that you repair drywall cracks. The only difference is that any loose tape needs to be carefully cut away with a sharp utility knife.

Follow these easy steps to repair drywall cracks, holes and loose tape, thereby keeping your walls looking fresh. Maintaining the drywall will also maintain the value of your property.

Author Caryn Colgan is a home improvement expert, writer and photographer based inColorado. Ever wanted to ask a property owner how to care for a property? You can ask Caryn — she's an expert.

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