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EnviroDesign, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 47
Experience:  5yrs exp as GC. 15yrs exp as mechanical contractor, Licensed in Alabama, Lousiana, Georgia, & Tenn.
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I have one interior doorway with a significant diagonal drywall

Resolved Question:

I have one interior doorway with a significant diagonal drywall crack. This crack appears on both sides of the doorway (through the doorway, not on left and right). In the summer it is invisible, but in the winter it is very prominent. I live on the second story of a two-story condo, and the building was completed in 1979. I have checked the attic, and there are no moisture leaks coming through the roof, and the doorway is in the center of the condo. It is the only doorway in the condo with this problem. How can I fix this crack so it does not reappear?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  EnviroDesign replied 7 years ago.

Ok this can be a tricky one to fix permanently. I would like to get some more info from you. Where are the crack(s)? Do they run from the top corners of the door upward and out at an angle? Ususally cracks in drywall (serious ones at least.) start in the corners. Is the crack across the door in the middle some where? Since you mentioned a condo do you know if the framing in your walls is wood or metal studs? 50% of the reason you have the crack is due to humidity in the room. In the summer the humidity is higher and thus everything expands. In the winter things dry out therefore the static shock in our blankets and the chapped lips. This is the reason your crack appears in the winter. The other 50% is the framing behind that crack. You have movement in some form of the framing materials behind the drywall that is causing the crack. A cheap fix is to pick up a bag of durabond 30minute mud. This material sets harder and faster than typical drywall mud. You should also pick up some plastic mesh drywall tape (the widest you can find). Put a bed of durabond on the crack, install the strip of mesh and then install a second layer of durabond over the mesh. This is the cheaper bandaid approach that may work. The true fix is to remove the drywall and trim around the door and look at the framing to figure out how to stop the movement that is causing the crack. Metal straps may be the answer to fixing the framing, it just may need additionally nails or bracing. Hard for me to say. After fixing the framing you can then sheet rock the wall back, mud and tape the joints, sand and paint. Much more tedious but it is really the best way to fix your delima.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The cracks run from the top corner of the doorway up and out at an angle. I know that the framing is wood. It looks like someone tried to mud and tape the crack in the past, but it just re-cracked. I sanded down the mud (they did a really bad, obvious job) and have some experience working with drywall and am comfortable removing and re-installing pieces if necessary. I do not have experience with framing or reinforcing the framing, so any more detail on how to do that would be really helpful.
Expert:  EnviroDesign replied 7 years ago.

Ok it is a stress crack due to shifting of the walls. Go to Home Depot and look near the lumber section. You will see a "Simpson" strap section. Pick up a couple of 18" flat straps.


Get maybe 4 straps. Run two vertically on each side of the door after removing the sheet rock and door trim. I would place one as close to the door frame as possible, and perhaps space the other one out maybe 4-8" away from the first one if you can, sometimes like the picture below there is not a stud there to nail one to. Run the strap from about 10 - 12" above the door frame down the wall ideally all the way up to the horizontal top plate if you can and come down the studs on each side of the door. The strap will have lots of holes for nails per the picture. Put a nail in every hole. This should stop the shearing effect you are getting. Once done Sheetrock and install the trim back on the door.


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