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Community and Q&A

Cracks in an airtight drywall approach

Richard Baumgarten | Posted in General Questions on

Hello – I installed drywall in my cabin last summer without any poly vapor barrier, following the fundamentals of the airtight drywall approach. Over the winter, fine cracks appeared at some of the drywall seams. This appears to be a common issue with unheated cabins experiencing large swings in temperature & moisture. Now that my air barrier has been compromised I’m not sure what I can do. Repairing the cracks seems futile unless I can provide a heat source during the coldest months.

Any suggestions?

Thanks for your help,

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  1. User avatar GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Three choices: (a) live with the cracks; (b) repair the cracks properly with drywall compound and paper tape -- one repair is all you should need, not annual repair; (c) a quicky repair job using latex caulk and a wet finger.

    The building settled and the framing lumber dried out. That usually happens once, not annually. If you were a drywall contractor, you would have heard about these cases. They're called "callbacks." Fix 'em.

  2. Mike M | | #2

    Like Martin said, make sure you fix the tape too. If the tape ripped and you put new joint compound over top it will be a short period before the Crack comes back. Use a razor to remove the old tape and re-mud and tape it again. Caulk works well also, especially in corners where replacing the tape may not be as easy.

  3. Richard Baumgarten | | #3

    Thanks for the advice,
    I framed my place 3 years ago, I thought it would have settled by now.

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