repair drywall cracks
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How to Repair Drywall Cracks?

Repair drywall cracks like a pro!

Drywalls can get damaged in several ways, including deep cracks, surface cracks, nail pops, any form of dents in the corners, large or small holes, and more. You’ll need to find a solution that works best for you. 

For this, you will need an array of tools and materials such as a drywall saw, electronic stud finder, hacksaw pry bar, tape measure, a drill and more.

Follow these tips to fix drywall cracks or to know what to expect when a professional comes in

Surface cracks

While plaster tends to crack often, drywalls are usually not prone to do so because of their well-integrated paper covering. When a crack comes into view, it’s mostly just on a seam where drywall sheets meet each other, but do not panic, this is an easy fix.

Whether the crack is on a horizontal or vertical seam, gently widen the damaged area by using a paint scraper’s corner or a utility knife. Check if the cracks extend throughout the covering paper, and whether the tape has been taken out of the surface. If the tape is set in place and is durably placed on your wall, the source of the damage may be your drywall compound drying up and then shrinking. All you need to do is fill the crack with a new compound. 

As you’re applying the compound, you should position your knife at 70 degrees angle and cover the crack. Before doing this, you have to ensure that the knife is completely clean.

Let the compound dry fully and then sand the area to smooth it out. Wipe any dust away and then paint over it.

Deep Cracks

In case the crack is far deeper or goes beyond the paper tape of the seam or if the tape has been ripped away from the wall, you can use a razor knife to cut it. Six to twelve inches from both damaged ends will do! Take out the tape and ensure that there are no tears in the paper covering the drywall. Scrape the loose compound away and then, using a razor knife or a drywall saw, make sure to expand the crack as much as possible through the wall surface and within the stud cavity.

It’s not necessary to remove the solid compound that goes beyond the crack. Now it’s time to fill the crack with a fresh drywall compound and then you must apply a small coat of compound to the surface which housed the old tape before. While this compound is still semi-wet, you can put in a strip of fiberglass on top of the seam, making the gap between the tapes’ ends shrink. With a putty knife, flatten away any wrinkles and set the tape well into the compound.

Once the compound dries, add another small coat over the taped area. Feather the edges of this compound by covering the tape into the wall surface surroundings. It’s important to apply drywall in layers and smoothen it out after each one and avoid additional problems with a thickened compound.

The moment your second coat is dried fully, smooth it with sand paper. Cover the patch with a third coat using a wide joint-compound taping knife. Make sure that this coat blends in fully with the surface and then sand again.

Nail Pop Repair

Nail pops are a common issue with drywalls, particularly in new homes. Nail pops are nail heads that are all pulled out of wood studs and tend to extend out of the drywall paint or tape. Scrape off the drywall with a utility knife until the nail is visible.

The first way of fixing this is either by using a hammer or screwdriver to place the nail back into the stud and then surrounding the nail head with tightly packed drywall screws. Another option is by removing the nail head and replacing it with a screw.

When you’re using drywall screws, make sure to tip the heads so that there is an aperture in the drywall surface which you can hide with a joint compound. However, make sure to keep the paper surface intact.

Small Hole Repair

When holes are smaller than six inches, you can get a simple drywall patch kit, that usually includes a center panel with self-sticking tape. You can put the tape into place and then hide it away with a drywall compound.

If you don’t have the kit, you can make it on your own too. When holes aren’t able to extend to studs on both sides, you can reinforce them rather easily. Take a measuring tape, measure the hole, and cut away a scrap drywall piece that is a bit larger. Place it over the area and trace with a pencil. Cut out the traced lines and then position them vertically within the hole on each side. Use drywall screws to put this into place, and use the appropriate ones.

Trim away the rough edges of the drywall. Put fiberglass strips over the patched areas to extend them by a few inches while avoiding overlap with the tap. Cover the area with a small drywall coat and finish the steps as mentioned above. 

Large Section Repairs

Damage to your drywall that’s more than 6 inches and goes across more than one wall stud needs repair or strengthening. For this, you’ll have to cut into the wall, so you’ll need to make sure that there’s no plumbing or electrical in the way.

With an electronic stud finder, you can mark the studs that are present behind the drywall, and then take your drywall saw to cut them away. But don’t cut into the studs. Remove whatever amount of drywall is needed until you reach the studs of both ends. Throw away the drywall and any screws.

Now it’s time to install wood cleats attached to the studs of either side to give support to the new drywall. In case the drywall sheet is very large, you can support it with fairly large lumber. Make sure that the cleats are longer than the opening, and then position them with the drywall nails or screws. It should then fit the repair area. You would need to use a drywall that matches the thickness of your original wall. With the help of drywall screws, attach the drywall to cleats as well as studs, to make a new construction. Then tape over the joints and then apply the joint compound as mentioned above.

Repair drywall cracks or get professional help!

We hope this guide has helped you! If you can repair drywall cracks and are up to the challenge, please go ahead! If the drywall cracks are too big for you, however, then make sure to call in an expert. Professionals at Octopus can let you know about your plumbing and electrical locations, in case they are behind a crack.

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