Repairing Cracked Drywall the Right Way | Ep. 152

Finger pointing to cracked drywall
Cracked drywall is more than a cosmetic problem. Fix it right away before it spreads. (©stock.adobe.com)

A cracked wall isn’t just unsightly; it could cause much bigger problems if left unrepaired.

Just like a crack in your car windshield, cracks in drywall will continue to spread if you don’t fix the problem once you spot it.

The question is how to properly fix it, and that’s why Allen from Virginia contacted Today’s Homeowner.


Man repairs a cracked drywall ceiling
There’s a right way and a wrong way to fix cracks in the ceiling. (©sima, stock.adobe.com)

Fixing Cracks in the Ceiling

Allen suspects high winds around his cedar home have caused cracks in his ceiling. He has attempted repairs without much success.

“(I) have been using some spackle and then painting, but it’s not working,” he says. “The fractures reappear. Should I use some seam tape then spackle for more of a permanent fix?”

Allen is on the right track when it comes to using tape, but when he mentions spackle, that’s where we need to halt for a moment.

Joint compound is the best product for fixing cracks in drywall. Spackle, on the other hand, is best used for finer scratches and dents.

Now, here’s how to tackle the repair. First, apply joint compound and cover the crack with paper drywall tape pressed into the wet compound. Then cover the tape with more joint compound, and allow it to dry before sanding.

Watch “How to Repair Cracks and Dents in Drywall” for more information.

To get a smooth finish on your joint compound, ditch the sandpaper and use a scouring sponge instead. A sponge smooths the joint compound faster and doesn’t create any dust.

Watch “How to Easily Smooth Joint Compound” for more information.


When to Take Cracked Drywall Seriously

Finally, remember: Cracks in drywall can be more than a cosmetic concern. They also may indicate structural damage.

Call a foundation specialist if:

  • The crack has a 3/16-inch or wider gap.
  • One side of the wall is higher than the other.
  • Your doors no longer close in the frame.

Skip to [01:49] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

Also on this episode:

  • An easy way to remove wallpaper. Here’s the recipe and a how-to video.
  • What to do if you want to remove a wall
  • Calculating how many feet of lumber are in a log 
  • Lightening a concrete driveway once it’s been tinted
  • Filling in countersunk screws on a wooden deck

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Simple Solutions

Recycling Christmas Trees: At the end of the holidays, rent a chipper/shredder—and share the cost with neighbors—and use it to shred your Christmas trees into mulch to spread around gardens and flowerbeds. 

Steam Clean Your Microwave Oven: Here’s an easy, effortless way to clean the inside of your microwave oven: Pour a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar into a glass bowl. Set the bowl in the oven and microwave on high for several minutes. Carefully remove the bowl, then scrub the inside of the oven with a scouring sponge. The steam created by the water and vinegar will loosen even the most stubborn, caked-on stains.

Watch: How to Steam-Clean Your Microwave in Minutes  


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Question of the Week

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