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  1. #1
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    Default diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack.

    Photo of the crack.

    Diagonal drywall crack. - Album on Imgur

    So few months ago I noticed a small diagonal drywall crack beside the window in one of my bedrooms. The crack was definitely new. At the time I didn't pay much attention to it, thought that small drywall crack was generally not a big deal.

    Today I noticed the crack got bigger, so I started poking it, and turns out the crack was actually failure of drywall tape repair over what appears to be an even older diagonal crack.

    The house is 40+ years old. The crack is between the window and the North exterior wall. I purchased the property about 9 years ago, so the repair would have been at least that old, if not earlier. I'm located in Eastern Ontario.

    I checked the windows and the door of that room, both open and close fine without issues. Same with all the other doors and windows in the house. I also don't see any cracks in the basement either. The lobby is underneath that room, and as far as I can tell there is no crack in the lobby.

    Could this be a foundation issue? thermal expansion/shrinkage? house still experience settling?

    Edit: Upon closer inspection, I noticed that there is also small cracks between the window jamb and the drywall, and some of the caulking between vinyl window and the window jamb has cracked as well (the vinyl Window was replaced about 7 years ago, the window jamb was original). There is also a few small hairline cracks of the paint at the inside corner. None of the crack appear to be bigger than 1/16th of an inch.

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

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    Last edited by Ian Yang; 01-02-2017 at 11:59 PM.
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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    This may be one cause.

    It is best to cut the drywall in an L-shape around the windows and doors so that the seams are located in the region above the openings. Do not fasten the drywall to the header. Screw the drywall into the cripples and wall plate above the headers. Let the wallboard float down over the header. Use the interior window casing to hold the loose edge of the drywall secure. - See more at: UMass Amherst: Building and Construction Technology » Common Failures in Wood Structures


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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    You have a stress that has been there and has been working on the repair made 9 years ago. Taped and mudded allows the crack to move under the repair. The wall has been moving and you just could not see it. Cracks between the window jam and wall would not be a concern unless they became significant.

    What type of foundation and exterior do you have?
    Are there any signs of movement in the foundation or exterior ?


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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    This may be one cause.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    It is best to cut the drywall in an L-shape around the windows and doors so that the seams are located in the region above the openings. Do not fasten the drywall to the header. Screw the drywall into the cripples and wall plate above the headers. Let the wallboard float down over the header. Use the interior window casing to hold the loose edge of the drywall secure. - See more at: UMass Amherst: Building and Construction Technology » Common Failures in Wood Structures
    I definitely see mudded over drywall screws/nails right above the window trim, there is one at each upper corner of the window. it is also apparently the same thing for all the windows in other rooms too.

    But according to the link, wouldn't it be vertical cracks above the window? Also, can 40 year + header still have its moisture content change and then shrink/expand?

    The link was definitely helpful, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post

    What type of foundation and exterior do you have?
    Are there any signs of movement in the foundation or exterior ?
    Foundation is poured concrete with a basement (that is mostly below grade). The majority of exterior wall is brick veneer, although at that particular location it appear to be cedar planks that goes vertical.

    As far as I can tell, I don't recall there being any cracks in the foundation. Although that was checked back in summer. Wouldn't be able to do a full visual inspection of the exterior concrete until the snow melt unfortunately. Is there anything I should specific look for in the exterior wall?

    Some photos I took of the windowed area, as well as the exterior window at the other end on the same exterior wall, which is the exact style. Only thing different is that there is a small entrance porch in front of the room with the crack. The porch might have been added after construction.

    Drywall crack exterior walls - Album on Imgur


    The top dark strip is actually paint coloration differences when the soffit was replaced a while back.


    Thanks.

    Last edited by Ian Yang; 01-03-2017 at 09:47 PM.

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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    But according to the link, wouldn't it be vertical cracks above the window? Also, can 40 year + header still have its moisture content change and then shrink/expand?
    Thats why it cracked diagonally. The drywall was likely fastened wrongly, and not as described in the article. Use a spirit level to check vertical plumb and horizontal of wall and floors as a further step.

    Moisture level likely has nothing to do with the wood framing.


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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Ian,
    If you have no signs of foundation problems, out of level floors and walls out of plumb; given the age of the house and that the diagonal crack is more than a decade or two old don't stress over it.

    The crack is a stress relief that probably occurred not to long after the house was built after the house was originally built (1st 10 years) Lumber will move and change a bit after a wall has been built, then add to that a little settling of the foundation and movement of the rest of the framing including the roof structure. Your crack is where the wall framing twisted creating a stress in the drywall. Houses are living, breathing and moving creatures. Even though the were built out of a bunch of dead materials. Kind of a Frankenstein creature brought back to life.

    I have seen walls that were framed one day and had to be torn out the next because the framing bowed and twisted over night as it acclimated to the structure.

    I do not think the crack has any bearing as to the drywall installation. Possibly the framing but unless you tear it out you will never know. Yet the framing is a bit of a stretch.

    You have two ways to go with the wall.
    1) Tape and mud over the crack. I would use a wide mesh tape rather than paper as was originally done. Then pull a recliner up with a beer and kick back for the next 6 to 12 years as you watch the wall for a change. Well, you will need more than just one beer, be prepared and stock up.

    2) Tear out the drywall from the corner to the window, floor to ceiling and replace it. The probability is that the issue will not return. Especially since you will be able inspect the framing. You could even add some horizontal bracing to stiffen it up a bit if you want to get a little crazy since it would not hurt anything.

    There is 3rd thing that you could do to that requires refacing the existing wall with drywall that would allow the existing wall to shift and move without any visible sign of what is going on. But that would be a real long explanation on process and technique.

    Personally, if you have been there 9 years and just have taken notice of the issue, I would just tape and mud the wall. Then not stress over it.

    What you are seeing in the wall to wood trim , again can be the result of movement in the structure expanding and contracting due to temperature and humidity changes. Unless it is a gaping void, not a worry and use some caulk to finish it. The wood window jams also made of wood and they move (expand and contract).


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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Morning all, Ian.

    Diagonal drywall crack at/below the window getting winder.

    In my opinion, part of the problem is the awning...
    A: Energy reflected, or in direct contact to/with the wall, ie. snow, can thermally induce expansive or contractive forces in that area.
    B: Weight maybe displacing the ledger it is attached to at a point of connection...
    Below the area in question is the entrance.
    Likely a framing member is deflecting. It will hopefully stop, Ian. The movement is minimal.



    Thanks.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 01-05-2017 at 05:19 AM.
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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I will mud mesh tape over it and see if it ever comes back. Cheers.

    Last edited by Ian Yang; 01-05-2017 at 11:27 PM.

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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Yang View Post
    Photo of the crack.

    Diagonal drywall crack. - Album on Imgur

    So few months ago I noticed a small diagonal drywall crack beside the window in one of my bedrooms. The crack was definitely new. At the time I didn't pay much attention to it, thought that small drywall crack was generally not a big deal.

    Today I noticed the crack got bigger, so I started poking it, and turns out the crack was actually failure of drywall tape repair over what appears to be an even older diagonal crack.

    The house is 40+ years old. The crack is between the window and the North exterior wall. I purchased the property about 9 years ago, so the repair would have been at least that old, if not earlier. I'm located in Eastern Ontario.

    I checked the windows and the door of that room, both open and close fine without issues. Same with all the other doors and windows in the house. I also don't see any cracks in the basement either. The lobby is underneath that room, and as far as I can tell there is no crack in the lobby.

    Could this be a foundation issue? thermal expansion/shrinkage? house still experience settling?

    Edit: Upon closer inspection, I noticed that there is also small cracks between the window jamb and the drywall, and some of the caulking between vinyl window and the window jamb has cracked as well (the vinyl Window was replaced about 7 years ago, the window jamb was original). There is also a few small hairline cracks of the paint at the inside corner. None of the crack appear to be bigger than 1/16th of an inch.

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
    That is an old repair come loose.
    The home has a history of expansion in that room. Likely a framing flaw and displacement from the awning.
    Does it affect the casement window operations?

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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    How old are those windows? They look upgraded, and do not appear to match with original construction 40 years ago.


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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Morning Ray, at al.
    Hard time posting with IE? Anyone else?
    I am switching to Google. Brian, hope you read this.

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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Hypothesis.
    That circa of wood frame construction, 60/40 masonry veneer/siding, typically/usually cantilevered exterior wall overhangs. IE: Balconies & awnings.

    The awning has (2) steel posts. On on either side of the awning structure.
    The two steel posts look/could be/should be, point bearing.

    If the concrete landing lifted/heaved due to frost, frozen water, what would the outcome be?
    Action: Everything is heaved vertically. Point bearing post to the cantilevered floor joists.

    Ian, look at the landing slab. Observe and note if there is are cracks in the concrete.
    If there are any cracks, indicate where the cracks are please.

    Best.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 01-06-2017 at 09:21 AM. Reason: typing deficiency
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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    That is an old repair come loose.
    The home has a history of expansion in that room. Likely a framing flaw and displacement from the awning.
    Does it affect the casement window operations?
    The windows work fine as far as I can tell. Both sides can open and close with no issues. Handles seems to be fairly smooth as well, since I sprayed some silicone lubricant on the tracks this summer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    How old are those windows? They look upgraded, and do not appear to match with original construction 40 years ago.
    The windows were replaced 7 years ago. The window jamb are still original though.

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    If the concrete landing lifted/heaved due to frost, frozen water, what would the outcome be?
    Action: Everything is heaved vertically. Point bearing post to the cantilevered floor joists.

    Ian, look at the landing slab. Observe and note if there is are cracks in the concrete.
    If there are any cracks, indicate where the cracks are please.
    Unfortunately, the metal pillars appear to go right into the dirt. So will not be able to obverse the concrete landing until at least summer where I can dig out the area around the pole. The floor is fairly level at that area though (tested with my 4 feet box level). Well, relatively more level than the floor in the adjacent room anyways.

    Thanks.

    Last edited by Ian Yang; 01-06-2017 at 10:35 AM.

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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Yang View Post
    Unfortunately, the metal pillars appear to go right into the dirt. So will not be able to obverse the concrete landing until at least summer where I can dig out the area around the pole. The floor is fairly level at that area though (tested with my 4 feet box level). Well, relatively more level than the floor in the adjacent room anyways.

    Thanks.
    Little too small to call them pillars.
    Look about the same dimension, circumference as adjustable steel posts used in basement to carry point beam loads.

    Either or, your home. Pillars they are.

    Back then, posts were set in the concrete, encased in concrete, xx inches deep in cardboard cylinder filled with concrete during a pour below frost line, whatever that is in your neck of the woods.
    Here it is just <7' feet.

    The bottom of steel posts will be flared, rebar metal piping thought bored holes perpendicular, ora metal plate welded to the bottom and painted with iron oxide. My job when I was cutting my teeth on jobs.
    Should be anywho...

    A: Look at the bottom of the post to see if you can see the concrete cylinder. Even now you can move the snow at concrete should be visible, well maybe
    If there is,
    1: In the spring hammer a wood stake, 2" x 2" stake, close to the concrete cylinder.
    2: Use a level and make a mark on the wood stake with a indelible marker that represents the level with top part of the concrete cylinder.

    B: If the steel post is in the ground, remove the soil to prevent metal/steel oxidation, rust. Clean and paint the steel, replace the soil and do the same thing with the a spike only now you can make a mark on the post above the soil and a level mark on the spike.

    Now you have a mark to gauge is the post is moving, heaving or settling.

    I see concrete cylinders being squeezed out the ground like toothpaste up here.
    Same thing happens with roofing deck nails, gutter spike, etc...


    All the best.

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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Without photos and probably more information any answers are probably not much better than wild guesses.


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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    Without photos and probably more information any answers are probably not much better than wild guesses.
    I concur, but thinking is a great exercise.

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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Little too small to call them pillars.
    Look about the same dimension, circumference as adjustable steel posts used in basement to carry point beam loads.

    Either or, your home. Pillars they are.

    Back then, posts were set in the concrete, encased in concrete, xx inches deep in cardboard cylinder filled with concrete during a pour below frost line, whatever that is in your neck of the woods.
    Here it is just <7' feet.

    The bottom of steel posts will be flared, rebar metal piping thought bored holes perpendicular, ora metal plate welded to the bottom and painted with iron oxide. My job when I was cutting my teeth on jobs.
    Should be anywho...

    A: Look at the bottom of the post to see if you can see the concrete cylinder. Even now you can move the snow at concrete should be visible, well maybe
    If there is,
    1: In the spring hammer a wood stake, 2" x 2" stake, close to the concrete cylinder.
    2: Use a level and make a mark on the wood stake with a indelible marker that represents the level with top part of the concrete cylinder.

    B: If the steel post is in the ground, remove the soil to prevent metal/steel oxidation, rust. Clean and paint the steel, replace the soil and do the same thing with the a spike only now you can make a mark on the post above the soil and a level mark on the spike.

    Now you have a mark to gauge is the post is moving, heaving or settling.

    I see concrete cylinders being squeezed out the ground like toothpaste up here.
    Same thing happens with roofing deck nails, gutter spike, etc...


    All the best.
    Ah, thanks. I know for a fact the concrete cylinder is not visible. I remember digging around that area before to plant a small tree. Got curious about the post and dug around half a feet, never saw the cylinder.

    I will see if I can dig it up this summer and put in a measuring stake. Hopefully I wouldn't need to dig 7 feet...

    Currently I have sealed up the crack with spackle. Didn't even add new tape. Just want to see if and when it will crack again in the near future. So far nothing yet.

    Thanks for the help and diagnosis everyone. Cheers.


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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    All invoices can be sent to the following addresses.

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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Why not get a couple crack monitors before fixing the crack? It may come back if you don't know the reason it occurred and reoccurred and fixed the problem. But if you do repair use the mesh tape.

    My first thought would be differential settlement of the foundations at that corner, but if you don't see cracking on the interior or exterior of the foundation walls then that may not be the problem.

    My second thought is possibly the awning is not flashed properly to the exterior wall and moisture has gotten in and caused deterioration of the wall framing.

    If one or both of the steel columns/posts supporting the awning are not properly supported on foundations bearing at or below the recommended frost line then that could also be a cause of cracking. The posts being below ground could also be deteriorated if they were not properly coated to prevent rust. I would inspect the condition of the posts below the soil and verify what you have for a foundation.


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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Douglas View Post
    Why not get a couple crack monitors before fixing the crack? It may come back if you don't know the reason it occurred and reoccurred and fixed the problem. But if you do repair use the mesh tape.

    My first thought would be differential settlement of the foundations at that corner, but if you don't see cracking on the interior or exterior of the foundation walls then that may not be the problem.

    My second thought is possibly the awning is not flashed properly to the exterior wall and moisture has gotten in and caused deterioration of the wall framing.

    If one or both of the steel columns/posts supporting the awning are not properly supported on foundations bearing at or below the recommended frost line then that could also be a cause of cracking. The posts being below ground could also be deteriorated if they were not properly coated to prevent rust. I would inspect the condition of the posts below the soil and verify what you have for a foundation.
    The crack is probably still moving, just based on the fact it is a failed repair of an older crack. 3 weeks ago I filled it with some joint compound (with no tape), and hairline cracks started to appear on the dried mud. Which is expected since the crack is probably all the way through the drywall, so the crack is now acting like a butt joint.

    It appears that the hairline crack would almost disappear when it is really cold, and get bigger when it is slightly warmer and more humid, so I wonder if it might be temperature/humidity related. Although it could just be an optical illusion/coincidence.

    The room/lobby on the first floor, right underneath the room has no cracks, hairline or otherwise. The floor of the room with the crack is also relatively level (at least compared to the adjacent room).

    I also bought a none-penetrating moisture meter about a week ago. The drywall in that area is completely dry.

    Still need to check the post concrete base of the awning, unfortunately can't do that until at least spring/summer.

    I'm hoping that mesh tape would allow more flexibility, and thus wouldn't fail like paper tape has, although I haven't done the full repair yet as that would also require repainting the room. Keeping my finger crossed that the whole thing is just a cosmetic nuisance.

    Last edited by Ian Yang; 01-20-2017 at 02:35 PM.

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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Yang View Post
    The crack is probably still moving, just based on the fact it is a failed repair of an older crack. 3 weeks ago I filled it with some joint compound (with no tape), and hairline cracks started to appear on the dried mud. Which is expected since the crack is probably all the way through the drywall, so the crack is now acting like a butt joint.

    It appears that the hairline crack would almost disappear when it is really cold, and get bigger when it is slightly warmer and more humid, so I wonder if it might be temperature/humidity related. Although it could just be an optical illusion/coincidence.

    The room/lobby on the first floor, right underneath the room has no cracks, hairline or otherwise. The floor of the room with the crack is also relatively level (at least compared to the adjacent room).

    I also bought a none-penetrating moisture meter about a week ago. The drywall in that area is completely dry.

    Still need to check the post concrete base of the awning, unfortunately can't do that until at least spring/summer.

    I'm hoping that mesh tape would allow more flexibility, and thus wouldn't fail like paper tape has, although I haven't done the full repair yet as that would also require repainting the room. Keeping my finger crossed that the whole thing is just a cosmetic nuisance.
    After looking at your photos on the exterior the exterior siding near the awning connection has some discoloration. Maybe you can take a closer picture and provide a sketch of the interface because I don't think you have the proper flashing there to direct any moisture penetrating through the siding back out of the wall assembly and over the roof covering. Any entrapped moisture in the wall is going to be in that area beginning around the top of the interface with the awning. If there has been moisture in that wall for an extended time there will be changes in moisture contents of the framing members as well as deterioration etc. If there is deterioration I can see the wood becoming soft and compressing thus volume changes of the framing members.


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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    My hypothesis as well.

    Point load from the heaving post transferring load along the rimband to the mechanical connection on that wall. Likely an reinforced end joist doubled up on the plate.

    Winter has it's way of squeezing/exposing improperly installed frost footings up.
    Like toothpaste out a tube only the tube is soil and moisture:-).

    You need to use mesh on the crack. Think of the crack as a seam or two separate sides/hemispheres moving away from each other in an undisclosed direction.

    If you wish leave alone on the coldest days see how wide the crack gets.
    I have measured vertical CMU block cracks 1.5" -2" wide and 0" in the summer.

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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Douglas View Post
    After looking at your photos on the exterior the exterior siding near the awning connection has some discoloration. Maybe you can take a closer picture and provide a sketch of the interface because I don't think you have the proper flashing there to direct any moisture penetrating through the siding back out of the wall assembly and over the roof covering. Any entrapped moisture in the wall is going to be in that area beginning around the top of the interface with the awning. If there has been moisture in that wall for an extended time there will be changes in moisture contents of the framing members as well as deterioration etc. If there is deterioration I can see the wood becoming soft and compressing thus volume changes of the framing members.
    Thanks. I will grab some better photos of the flashing and siding when the weather permits.

    Although I'm not quite sure what you mean, the straight horizontal line in the discoloration make it look like it was due due to flashing being changed. Is there anything specific I should be looking for? ie, soft siding?

    Looking at this photo:

    http://i.imgur.com/NpkFnwG.jpg

    1. The actual crack is in the area that doesn't have the awning, thus flashing.

    2. The Cedar Siding goes all the way down until it reach the brick veneer. It looks like the awning was attached after the siding has been installed, which is why I suspected that the awning was perhaps added later. If moisture does get behind siding, wouldn't it eventually drip out? Either onto the brick veneer, or into the awning structure, then out through the soffit?

    Although if it is mechanical stress, I can see why the crack would appear where it is, due to uneven force in the area, and being right beside a window.

    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post

    You need to use mesh on the crack. Think of the crack as a seam or two separate sides/hemispheres moving away from each other in an undisclosed direction.

    If you wish leave alone on the coldest days
    Thanks, have some 2 inch mesh tape from other repairs. Although going to observe it a bit more, especially on the effect of temperature and humidity on it.

    Last edited by Ian Yang; 01-20-2017 at 10:13 PM.

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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Yang View Post
    Thanks, have some 2 inch mesh tape from other repairs. Although going to observe it a bit more, especially on the effect of temperature and humidity on it.
    Hi, Ian,
    Happy new year to you and your family.

    Your post reads, bold black is mine, "1. The actual crack is in the area that doesn't have the awning."
    I thought it was. Please disregard what I posted. I will review the thread and reply if there is anything I can add.

    Just a thought though, think about having your home inspected by someone proficient. This way you can use the document to addresses any issues and understand your home a bit more.

    Best regards.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  25. #25
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    Sep 2014
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    NE
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    Default Re: diagonal drywall crack beside window, turn out to be covering an even older crack

    Ian,
    I am aware of where your crack (in the wall) is relative to the awning. You posted a clear picture showing that with yellow text. I may not have described sufficiently what I believe could be what your cause of cracking is from. And Robert Young has a really good point about heaving and the effects at the connections and the framing providing the support of the awning.

    I don't believe the interface of the awning structure and your exterior wall is properly flashed which is not allowing any entrapped moisture that will in the form of vapor(Or wind driven rain through unsealed voids) penetrating through the siding. I don't know what year the house was constructed and what was typically used for wrapping the exterior of the wall framing. Today a vapor retarder/water resistive barrier (Not a vapor barrier such as polyethylene sheet placed on warm side in cold climates) is specified and in the old days class D paper or asphaltic felt was used. Some homes may not have even had that. But that moisture must have a way out while is is draining down there should be flashing with the vertical leg overlaid with the exterior water resistive barrier so the moisture is directed out of the wall assembly. The interface of the siding and the flashing must not be sealed with caulking. Just like the bottom of the siding at the interface of the concrete masonry or brick shall not be sealed with caulking to allow the water to drain out. Knowing more about the actual framing configuration of the wall assembly and the materials used would provide more clues for proper diagnosis.

    If the water does not drain out then the wall assembly materials get wet and accelerated deterioration of wood members occur. Imagine if you do have deterioration of some wood framing members. They will be weaker and soft and will not be able to resist vertical and out of plane loads as well as non-deteriorated members. Thus if you have deterioration of framing members at or below the interface of the awning then there is the potential for localized crushing of wood wall framing members and differential vertical movements/deflection/shortening of framing members which can result in diagonal cracking in gypsum wall coverings at wall openings. The deterioration does not have to be right at the location of the gypsum wall cracks. Differential expansion and contraction of framing members will also occur due to changes in moisture content and temperatures. I personally would purchase two crack monitors and install them to get more information at the very least. http://www.berntsen.com/Construction...78/itemID/1657

    Now another potential cause of the cracking is if there has been vertical movement (and actually even lateral movement of the awning also) of the support of the outer corners of the awnings at the post locations. Heaving causing upward displacement due to frost below and on the sides of the post footings (If they exist) and especially if the footings are tapered with the top diameter larger than the bottom diameter if they are cylindrical. Or downward displacement due to footing settlement or corrosion damage to the post itself due to being exposed to soils without proper corrosion protection.


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