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  1. #1
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    Default Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    image.jpgThis is a 40yrs old house. As you can see in the picturw, the left side window show a large crack running upwards and another one downward on the same side. Also the opposing window on the right side, show two similar cracks in the drywall.

    Just wondering if this coule be signs of structural damage, as one the house probably has stop settling in by now, and it seems on the left that someone tried to cover it before, judging by the poor paint job, and the crack came back. Also, I leaning toward ruling out poor drywall installation because both windows show the same cracks.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Very little information to go on and the photos don't help much.
    My guess
    Ceiling framing problems, maybe rafter spread.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    If this is a crawlspace, I would pay attention to the foundation under that bump out (looks like it could be a bump out anyway). Settling in???? I don't think so.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Was that original to the structure or was it an open porch originally and now enclosed?

    Some of the answers to the previous posts may help answer the above question, and if it was originally an open porch and is now enclosed, settling could indeed by the/a cause.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Beam rotation, or weakened/undersized beam.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    If this is a crawlspace, I would pay attention to the foundation under that bump out (looks like it could be a bump out anyway). Settling in???? I don't think so.
    Forgot to mentionned, its not a bump out, however the picture kind gives that idea. Its original to the house and we can't see it in the picture, but there a massive fireplace 10feet. The windows are on the left side of the house and the rafters are pushing against that wall. I'm starting to think it might be stress from the heavy winters we've been getting the past years. And its sitting of the foundation.

    i'm just wondering what could cause these cracks to come back? As if the wall is being pushed out. Thinking of taking out both windows (left and right side)


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Are those tile floors? If so, are there cracks? If not, its probably not the foundation moving. Time to look at roof framing, or some other factor putting stress on the walls. Since its on both sides of the room, and you have ruled out foundation moving, then I would guess roof loads.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smid View Post
    Forgot to mentionned, its not a bump out, however the picture kind gives that idea. Its original to the house and we can't see it in the picture, but there a massive fireplace 10feet. The windows are on the left side of the house and the rafters are pushing against that wall. I'm starting to think it might be stress from the heavy winters we've been getting the past years. And its sitting of the foundation.

    i'm just wondering what could cause these cracks to come back? As if the wall is being pushed out. Thinking of taking out both windows (left and right side)
    You say " As if the wall is being pushed out." and heavy winters. Go in the attic, look for separation of the framing. Most often visible at the ridge.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    You say " As if the wall is being pushed out." and heavy winters. Go in the attic, look for separation of the framing. Most often visible at the ridge.
    Thx. Thats the first thing ill do. And for the other question, yes the tiles on the floor are not crack


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    I was unable to cut and paste but I think the link will work.
    Structure - Dearborn Home Inspection - Google Books

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Ceiling crack? Wall crack other than at the window framing corners. Do the windows open and close relatively easily? Do they close square and fit the jambs well? Are the cracked walls load bearing? Are the cracks tapered, ie, wider at one end than the other? If not uniform, are they wider at the top or bottom? Is the wall at the same plane on both sides of the crack?

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    My Vote is also for framing separation.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    My Vote is also for framing separation.

    Nicely sone with the picture. Also another crack going from the window to the outlet (window on the right).


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smid View Post
    image.jpgThis is a 40yrs old house. As you can see in the picturw, the left side window show a large crack running upwards and another one downward on the same side. Also the opposing window on the right side, show two similar cracks in the drywall.

    Just wondering if this coule be signs of structural damage, as one the house probably has stop settling in by now, and it seems on the left that someone tried to cover it before, judging by the poor paint job, and the crack came back. Also, I leaning toward ruling out poor drywall installation because both windows show the same cracks.
    With the little amount of information available all you are going to get is a lot of guesses.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Foundation movement.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    would also like to know about the exterior clading, type and any signs of stress. Also what does the roof line look like, is the ridge straight?

    - - - Updated - - -

    would also like to know about the exterior clading, type and any signs of stress. Also what does the roof line look like, is the ridge straight?


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Even though the original person stated that this is not a bump out, the shed dormer of this structure is resting on a beam that supports this shed roof and "in addition", either a second floor frame or the roof of the main building.

    I believe that the beam that supports both shed roof and whatever is above (2nd flr or roof frame) is undersized. It is not a foundation issue IMO. It is obvious to me that this is a structural issue and not a settlement problem. If it were me -- I would state what I see, form my opinion (structural issue) and lastly recommend further evaluation by a licensed engineer. --- It seems straight forward to me.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    The thing to learn from this is that is always other things going on that will determine whether something like this is caused by a structural deficiency, settling, or crappy framing and drywall hanging. Answers to pertinent questions are another important part of the investigation. For instance, reoccurring cracks; to what is the cracking in relation. If the cracks occurred in the summer but were repaired in cooler weather, did they show again only when it got hot?. Was the ground wet when they first occur, then patched and don't show up until the ground is wet again? What is the drainage like around this side of the house? What type of foundation is under this area? Some will say that it's only my job to see the cracks, report them, and recommend further evaluation by a specialist. That may be necessary but I want to know all I can before I start telling my client to shell out more money If I could provide insight backed by evidence gathered.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Even though the original person stated that this is not a bump out, the shed dormer of this structure is resting on a beam that supports this shed roof and "in addition", either a second floor frame or the roof of the main building.

    I believe that the beam that supports both shed roof and whatever is above (2nd flr or roof frame) is undersized. It is not a foundation issue IMO. It is obvious to me that this is a structural issue and not a settlement problem. If it were me -- I would state what I see, form my opinion (structural issue) and lastly recommend further evaluation by a licensed engineer. --- It seems straight forward to me.
    "It is obvious to me that this is a structural issue and not a settlement problem."

    It is obvious to me that ... we do not have all the information we need, however, based on the obvious from what is visible in the photo ... i.e., two windows in a room which 'bumps out' from the rest of the house (otherwise the windows would be looking into adjoining rooms - now THAT is "obvious"), so if that is not a "bump out" then there likely is a porch to each side and the shed roof covers both porches, however, being as the walls at the end of the porches - oh, wait ... there are no walls at the ends of the porches - cannot show the same cracking (nothing there to 'crack' like that), and the based on the cracks in the photos the likely cause of those cracks would be the outer wall "dropping", i.e., "settling", and the rotation affect would become evident at the connection points where those walls connect to the 'rest of the house' - the inboard side of the windows.

    Maybe the original poster would post a plan view drawing of what is there, I am posting a plan view drawing of what I suspect may be there ... how close is my drawing to what is actually there?

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "It is obvious to me that this is a structural issue and not a settlement problem."

    It is obvious to me that ... we do not have all the information we need, however, based on the obvious from what is visible in the photo ... i.e., two windows in a room which 'bumps out' from the rest of the house (otherwise the windows would be looking into adjoining rooms - now THAT is "obvious"), so if that is not a "bump out" then there likely is a porch to each side and the shed roof covers both porches, however, being as the walls at the end of the porches - oh, wait ... there are no walls at the ends of the porches - cannot show the same cracking (nothing there to 'crack' like that), and the based on the cracks in the photos the likely cause of those cracks would be the outer wall "dropping", i.e., "settling", and the rotation affect would become evident at the connection points where those walls connect to the 'rest of the house' - the inboard side of the windows.

    Maybe the original poster would post a plan view drawing of what is there, I am posting a plan view drawing of what I suspect may be there ... how close is my drawing to what is actually there?
    Jerry,

    True we do not have all the facts - only one photo, but

    All the examples you show (see those photos you attached) indicate that the floor would settle or crack. According to the original post, no floor cracks were present. That would "in my opinion" be a clue that it was not a settlement issue.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Drywall cracking around 2 facing windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    According to the original post, no floor cracks were present. That would "in my opinion" be a clue that it was not a settlement issue.
    Floors can move without cracking the tile - I have seen it. That happens when the tile is either unintentionally not fully adhered to the floor substrate (poor tile laying job) or when the tile is laid on a crack separation membrane (not often used in residential, but it occasionally is).

    I would be interested to hear if he checked the tile for 'hollow' tiles (tiles not fully adhered to the substrate). If not, then we do not know the answer to whether the tiles are fully adhered or not.

    And, with that layout, one could easily have a crack running in a grout joint and no cracked tiles.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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