When it comes to home maintenance, cracks in walls might not be something you consider.
As your home ages and settles, it’s not uncommon to experience some cracking in your walls, which can turn into an unsightly problem.
If you’re wondering how to fix cracks in the walls of your home, read on for some helpful tips that will turn you into a pro in no time.
Repairing Drywall Cracks
Most modern homes have drywall, and thankfully these are the easiest types of cracks to fix. Cracked drywall is usually caused by settling or it may be a result of damage from a storm or earthquake as your house moved.
To repair a crack in your drywall, take a utility knife and cut a /18 inch to a 1/4 inch v-shaped notch on the left side of the crack. After you’re done, vacuum out any excess dust and debris.
Next, you’ll need to completely cover the crack with mesh joint tape or a quality joint compound. Cover the compound with paper tape and then add another layer of compound over it.
The compound should extend at least two inches beyond each side of the joint tape. Allow the joint compound to dry overnight or as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Once the compound is dry, apply a second coat and feather it out around six to seven inches. Let it dry, then sand the surface smooth and apply a fresh coat of paint for a nice, beautiful repair.
Fixing Plaster Cracks in Walls
Plaster was a popular building material in older homes due to its thick composition and affordable cost. You’ll find Venetian plaster in many older homes, and sometimes it is very prone to cracking.
You can repair plaster cracks similar to the same methods used to repair drywall. You’ll need a quality joint compound to fill in the cracked areas.
If your plaster is starting to pull away from the lath, you will need to add a special conditioner spray to the area along with an adhesive. Drill holes using a 2/16-inch masonry bit to penetrate the plaster, being careful to avoid the wood lath.
Repeat the drill holes every three inches along the length of the crack and vacuum any dust and debris as you go. Inject the special adhesive into each hole you drilled, starting from the bottom up.
Once you’ve finished, use a damp sponge to clean off any excess adhesive. Allow the adhesive to cure fully and then hide cracks using a joint compound. Once this is complete, you may sand the walls smooth and paint if needed.
It’s important to be aware of any signs of moisture within your plaster walls or inside cracks. If there is evidence of water present, there could be more serious underlying structural damage.
Repairing Concrete Wall Cracks
Most walls made of concrete are found in the basement of homes, which means if there are cracks, it could be related to water or moisture getting into your foundation. In other cases, cracking in concrete could be a result of the home shifting.
To begin repairs, you’ll need to purchase an epoxy repair kit that will create a watertight seal. Start by tapping 3-inch finish nails into the crack every 12 inches.
The purpose of tapping holes in your concrete walls is to attach the injection ports when you apply the epoxy. The epoxy material comes in two separate parts that you will need to mix together right before you use it.
Once you’ve mixed the epoxy, use a putty knife and apply some to a scrap piece of wood. Then, apply a small amount of the epoxy into each injection port.
Spread your epoxy mixture evenly over the crack in the concrete wall, extending it outward about one inch on either side. To feather the edges, use a paintbrush dipped in mineral spirits for even application.
Let the epoxy cure for around six to 10 hours, then use a caulk gun to inject liquid concrete repair into the injection ports. Do this until the repair solution starts to ooze out to ensure that you’ve reached into the holes deep enough.
The concrete repair solution should take about five days to fully cure. Once it’s cured, you can cut any excess off with a hacksaw to make it look flush.
Beware of Structural Damage
For the most part, cracks in walls are nothing to be worried about. Small cracks can build over time and simply create an unsightly look in your home.
On the other hand, deep cracks or horizontal cracking are serious signs that your home may have some structural damage. If you’re unsure about the cracks in your walls, it’s best to consult a professional.
Cracks in the basement are usually indicative of underlying issues. Always consult with a pro if you’re unsure of the seriousness of any cracks you see.
Fix Cracks for Good
With a few simple steps, cracks in walls are no reason to panic. Simply follow the instructions based on the type of wall you have for easy repairs.
When in doubt, consult with a repair company who can assess the crack and determine whether or not it’s structurally related. Most small cracks are easy to fix with a few tools and some patience.
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