Cracks in Plastered Ceilings

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
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phurst
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:33 am
Location: Jerome, Idaho

Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:43 am

Hello,
I have a 6yr old dbl wide manufactured home on a foundation I have several cracks in my ceiling and not sure what the cause is, does anyone have any ideas as to where to start looking? I have one by the front door that when I push up on it the plaster board moves so I am almost positive that the plaster board has come loose at the seam but all the other cracks are firm. When I push up on them I can’t move the plaster board. :cry:


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tnt17
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Location: Upstate S.C

Wed Dec 24, 2008 2:54 pm

I too had a large crack, starting where the roof met the wall, and going up (cathedral ceiling type) to near the middle joint.
you can buy something called Jig a patch which comes in a 3 in 1 can. Spray, scrape the mixture after a minute or two then use the included 3m sander/buffer pad to smooth it. Finish it with some popcorn spray. Not sure what caused it, my guess was it started small and when they moved it out it made it worse or from me walking on the roof or settling?

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http://www.jigaloo.com/us/jigapatch/
[url=http://www.stormpulse.com]Huricane & Thunderstorm Tracker link[/url]

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Greg
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Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:26 pm

Hi & welcome. Ceiling cracks are usually weight related, If you have snow on the roof that is a possibility or it could be from someone walking on the roof. Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

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Yanita
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Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:24 pm

Hi,

Welcome to the site.

It would be real helpful if you could tell us a little more. What area of the world do you live in, north, south etc... how long has the home been set in place. Have these cracks began all of a sudden or over an extended period of time. What type of foundation, footers or cement block piers...

Yanita
The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!

Dean2

Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:40 pm

With loose drywall sheets You should locate the studs/rafters,trusses and add some 1 5/8" DW screws,use the coarse thread for wood. Then repair the DW taping/mudding.On butt seams I always use far more screws than code dictates and for the "field" 4 screws in addition to the one at each edge,,3 in the field minnimum,,*all properly set*,countersink without ripping the paper.

I often repair drywall in newly set pre-fab houses,usually set on basements. They are prone to cracking when being transported in 1/2s or 1/4s,then lifted with a crane and set,even done gently there is still plenty of stress.

A new stick-built home can crack too,just not as much for the simple fact it is built to the foundation/basement walls and imperfections of the concrete are worked with instead of spanned.

Here's the kicker- Not all cracks show up right away,some need settling/humidity/heat/cold,etc before they will show,some are there,under the paint,just waiting for the paint to crack too. I have gone through several houses for customers,fixed every crack,then,before I can get totally done and texture matched,more cracks emerge.

I normally do only drywall but this last summer I helped set 2 of the 4-section,2-story houses,belive Me,there is stress involved for each section. One thump as a cable tightens when the house is airborn puts *tons* of stress into the structure,dunno about going down the road exactly,I never got to ride in one! Would like to tho! :)

Dean


phurst
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:33 am
Location: Jerome, Idaho

Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:21 am

Thanks tnt17 fir the suggesting Jig A patch. I have used something simular on walls

Thanks Dean2 you reassured me of what I thought I was going to have to do to fix the crack by the front door

Greg & Yanita I live in southern Idaho, Nobody has gone up on the roof but we have just had a decent amount of snow in the area and have been going through a major thaw and re-freezing, so that is a possible factor to the most recent crack. The cracks that worry me are the ones that go from wall to center where the two halves are joined. A little history on the house is that I just bought the house 5mo ago as a foreclosure and had it sat empty for three years. Two of the cracks were present when I bought the house and one of which has been hap hazardly repaired that needs to be redone. But the most recent one appeared night before last after I heard a pop and then noticed it. To my knowledge the house has been on the foundation since 2002 which consists of a cement foundation around the entire perimeter of the house with about a 6' wide cement runner up the middle which supports the center of both halves with Steel piers with adjustable 2" heads. There is some evidence that some settling has occurred in the foundation in the past. I washed down the exterior of the foundation after removing the structures (before and after picture attached) off the front and back of the house since I have purchased it and there are three minor hair line cracks in the foundation that were hidden by these structures I have been watching them and they have not moved since the removal. Actually the first thing that I did when I noticed this new crack in the ceiling was to go out and look at the foundation which to my pleasant surprise no crack was present :) . One other thing is that these hair line cracks are on the front half of the foundation but the ceiling cracks are on the back half. does this help with possible reasons??? I hope :)


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Greg
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Thu Dec 25, 2008 8:49 am

I would seriously think about at least checking to make sure it is still level. This is done under the home with a water level, carpenter's level is not used for this. Mark's book (avalable in the "books & parts section of the site) covers this very well. Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

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Yanita
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Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:33 am

Hi,

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for the additional info, helps alot and now maybe we can get to the root of the problem.

Hopefully these structures were not attached to the home. I can not really see from the pics, but it appears that the front porch does not have any support in the back other than maybe being attached to the home at the roof line???

If these structures were attached and now this is the first winter I might assume that the home is now settling into a new position as the weight has been removed. If there is significant shifting it can cause these cracks....

I agree with Greg, before you repair these cracks I would consider getting this home re leveled. Since you mentioned that you are experiencing thawing and freezing conditions and other factors I believe I would begin with the re level. Unfortunately I think I would wait till spring before I did that.

Merry Christmas,

Yanita
The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!

Dean2

Thu Dec 25, 2008 12:09 pm

Hmmm,looks to Me that the front porch was planned from the initial set,maybe not. If it was designed to accept it then it should be fine.

Now that back lean-to thing(no offense meant but it is ugly)could be the source of some problems,maybe more than it is worth. Deffinetly check under it to see if it has supports near the home or if it is attached with a ledger board and adding to the weight of the back wall of the home as Yanita/Greg suggested.

I would suspect the foundation goes into the ground deeper than the frostline in Your area,and,if the footing is properly done it *should* support the weight of the house plus snow load plus,possibly,the lean-to and it's snow load.

For many years now I have thought/said that footings,under basement and/or frost walls *should* be wider as it is the "foot" the entire perimeter stands on,,works like a snowshoe for all intents and purposes,keeps the weight from sinking. Proper soil compaction under the footing/piers is another thing.Type of soil and good drainage(tiling)is another thing. Any one of these things or any combo can make for probs.

Blocking that sits on top of the ground is subject to frost heave and the amount of moisture frost has to work with compounds that problem. Perimeter blocking should never sit on top as there is more moisture soaking over.

When I helped the park owner pour the piers for My 14x70 I suggested pouring the end piers 3' in from the ends,He was going to put them right at the end,I saw no prob with a 3' cantilever and we went with that,worked well.

The hairline cracks should be no problem *if* there is enough rebar in the frostwall and footing and *if* the footing is deep enough and *if* the soil under the footing was compacted well. [[[Every buildings well being starts with the concrete man]]]. It is also worth mentioning(IMO) that sandy soil should have even wider and stronger footings,it is the same with perpetually moist soil.

When/if I build My own house the concrete will be so overdone I could build to the sky and have no settle probs! Heh heh,,overdone like this reply is! :) Sorry. Do Ya forgive Me?!?!

Dean

PS- I have 2 friends(brothers) that have worked concrete for many years,the younger brother said the older one would probably refuse to pour concrete that was beyond specs for any given project! Job security or what?!?! Someday I wanna sit down with the older bro and see if that is truly the case. Building anything important that is,,well,,"planned" to fail long before it has to seems foolish to Me.

phurst
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:33 am
Location: Jerome, Idaho

Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:51 am

Thanks for all the good Advice, Yes as you can see in the two pics both lean to things (yes they were both ugly as sin) are now gone and the same thought also came to mind that after the relief of the weight things might be shifting since the back structure has only been off 2mo and the front has been off 6mo. They were just nailed to the sides of the house supported by railroad ties so this might have been the problem in the past that caused the pre-purchase cracks and now that I have removed these structures it is settling back to the original spots and additional cracks are appearing. One other thing that came to mind is that we get 30 – 50mpg winds out of the east and west on a regular basis and the front of the house faces the west / back to the east this might have contributed to the stress of these structures on the house being built hap hazardly.

Game plan now is to wait until the spring as Yanita suggested (Thanks) and get the house re-leveled, start from the ground up so to speak. Glad that we bought this place about 45k under market value. Once again thanks for all the good advise. I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas and will have a awesome New Year!!!!!Image
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Dean2

Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:16 am

That looks *much* better!

Are rain gutters/downspouts in the works? They would direct much of the moisture out into the yard and away from the foundation.

Dean

phurst
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:33 am
Location: Jerome, Idaho

Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:32 am

yep they are, just got done with the long list of bank conditions now we can start on the stuff that really needs to get done. It ONLY took us 6mo to buy this house LOL, LOL. It was a HUD home and both HUD and Wells Fargo put us through the ringer getting it. But now it is ours and we are either going to flip it or fix it up nice add on to it and stay here.
Pete Hurst

Jerome Idaho

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Yanita
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Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:58 pm

Hi,
Hope you had a great Christmas...

Some thoughts here...yes, the long front porch that was there may have been "planned" for but was built wrong. It is not recommended that any structure be "attached" to a mobile. In fact clearly the opposite and your insurance company generally recommends free standing as well.

Any porch/deck of that size that is not free standing needs to be on the same below frost line footers as the home. To not do so will result in the shifting of these structures going in different directions. Annnd, as you see will cause problems.

Glad you had these structures removed. Hopefully you new porches are free standing. In other words there is not a ledger board attached to the home and then the decking set on top of that.

Nice looking home by the way, great potential!

Ohh, and that relevel, do your homework before hiring someone to do it.

Yanita
The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!

troyster
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:42 pm
Location: terrace bc

Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:04 pm

Good investment is a roof rake to keep load off roof

Dean2

Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:36 pm

"Glad you had these structures removed. Hopefully you new porches are free standing. In other words there is not a ledger board attached to the home and then the decking set on top of that. "

Yep.That makes good sense Yanita. I spose the roofs could be tied-in with something flexible,like rubber sheeting/EPDM,wich could take the movement and keep water from entering along the eve area. Duno for sure on that tho.

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