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Is this tearing of drywall corner tape a big deal / indications of problems?

Is this tearing of drywall corner tape a big deal / indications of problems?

Old 03-02-23, 04:23 PM
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Is this tearing of drywall corner tape a big deal / indications of problems?

I've noticed this in a couple vertical corners in a couple closets in our 50+ year old house. I guess there was settling / the tape over the sheetrock tore?

I haven't sheetrocked / taped much at all and it was a long time ago. Anything interesting about this / what it means?

Or just clear out the old tape and... retape? Or can I caulk? If there's a gap behind the tape (the sheetrock pieces don't touch) should I caulk back there, then tape?

Paper tape the way to do it?


Old 03-02-23, 04:29 PM
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in our 50+ year old house
A very recent post of same question from owner of 30 year home. Homes expand and contract with the seasons, not an indication of underlaying issues, the walls, probably plaster have just seen better days.

Well beyond caulking!
Old 03-03-23, 01:54 AM
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I doubt those are plaster walls.
I agree replacing the paper tape is best and it's a bit much for caulk but it is a closet. If I was painting the closet and customer didn't want to pay for retaping [even with hot mud that would be a whole day job] I'd just caulk it.
Old 03-03-23, 03:17 AM
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Carefully remove the bubbled up tape.
Then fill to get smooth walls.
I would not bother with tape. I would leave a nice straight cut down the corner so that the walls can move there instead of tearing up the corner.
Then paint with a light coat light paint.

Keep some of the paint so when it does move you can do a touch up to make it less obvious.

Norm201 voted this post useful.
Old 03-03-23, 05:09 AM
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I agree with manden advice. The only thing I would add is if it hasn't shown up in any other place other than the closet, I would chalk it up to a bad tape job from the get-go.
Old 03-03-23, 05:25 AM
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You said they are closets. In new housing, closets don't usually get the same level of drywall finishing as other rooms. Your horizontal tapered joint also looks horrible and that's because the closet only got 1 coat of mud when it was taped. You normally should not see a vertical line along the edge of the tape in the corner. There was never any 2nd or 3rd coat put on it. So inadequate finishing is partly to blame. The paper was not covered with enough mud so it was prone to flex and move more. And 50 years of seasonal movement, and humidity takes a toll. A 50 year old newspaper would probably curl up in a similar way if there was nothing to keep it flat.

There could be an underlying issue, but it's not as likely if that crack looks the same top to bottom. When the inside corner is framed, if the corner is not nailed together, each side will flex and move independently, and that can be the reason the inside corners crack in the first place. But my guess is the former. Adding to the problem... if any gaps in the drywall (poor job hanging) were not prefilled, a large void behind the tape would also cause excessive cracking.

It just needs to be cleaned out, gaps prefilled and retaped, then do a better job of finishing it this time. After the tape has dried, I typically will go over it with a 3" knife on the 2nd coat and a 4" knife on the 3rd.

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