While not the prettiest to look at, drywall cracks are common.
As your home ages, you’ll likely deal with at least a few due to natural settling and humidity fluctuations.
But how do you fix a crack in drywall that keeps coming back?
If you’ve been spackling the crack only for it to return, you can make your fix last longer by supporting it with drywall tape and joint compound.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What Causes Drywall Cracks?
If you have a crack in your wall, here’s some good news: drywall cracks are common and not always something to be concerned about. It’s normal for drywall to crack as a house settles or due to humidity level changes.
These humidity level changes are a big reason you often see cracks around windows and doors.
As long as your crack is not the result of significant structural damage, leaks, or rotting, you can take steps to make a repair that will last longer.
Supplies You’ll Need
Before you get started, here are the supplies you need to fix your cracked drywall. You can pick up any of these at your local hardware store.
How to Fix a Drywall Crack that Keeps Coming Back: Step by Step
If you’re ready to be done with that crack for good, you need to add support which you can do with fiberglass mesh tape. While this will probably fix your crack for good, there is one downside: the patched area can slightly protrude from the wall if not done correctly.
To make the patched crack blend, you must use thin coats of joint compound and sand the patched wall smooth.
Step 1: Apply the Mesh Tape
Take your self-adhesive fiberglass mesh tape and apply it over the crack. Try to position the tape so that the crack is as closest to the middle of it as possible.
You want your tape to be in a long strand rather than several short pieces. If your crack curves or branches out, use another piece of tape to cover it.
Step 2: Apply Your Joint Compound
Now put a little bit of joint compound on your drywall knife and apply it to the crack. Apply the compound at a 45-degree angle with a downward motion, filling in the crack and lightly covering the tape.
When finished with your first coat, your compound should be about two inches past the tape on all sides.
Allow the compound to dry for 45 minutes or as recommended on the package.
Step 3: Apply a Second and Third Coat
Once the joint compound is completely dry, add a second thin layer, feathering it out a bit further.
If this doesn’t give enough coverage, add a third thin coat after the second one is dry.
Step 4: Sand the Wall Smooth
Now that you’ve patched your wall, take a fine-grit sanding block and lightly sand the wall until it’s smooth. You can use circular motions, knocking down any high spots and smoothing everything out.
Once smooth, use a dry lint-free rag to wipe the drywall dust off the wall.
Step 5: Prime and Paint
For your final step, prime the crack you just patched and then add paint.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use spackle to fix drywall cracks?
If you don’t have joint compound laying around, you can use a spackle product like 3M Patch Plus Primer in one. There are also other spackling products on the market intended for cracks.
However, if you’re dealing with a crack that keeps resurfacing, make sure you apply fiberglass mesh tape before spackling.
Why is my drywall cracking over the door?
The door and window are the most common places for drywall to crack due to weather and humidity fluctuations. You can prevent these cracks by keeping the humidity and temperature in your home well-regulated.
Can you fix a drywall crack without tape?
While you can simply spackle over a drywall crack, it will likely reappear. Adding tapes gives the repair support and helps prevent recurring damages.
Fortunately, repairing drywall cracks with tape is a home improvement project you can do yourself.
If your drywall is cracking due to the normal settling of your home or humidity fluctuations, the addition of mesh tape can help provide support, so the crack doesn’t keep reappearing. And luckily, this is something you can DIY.
However, if your home is experiencing drywall cracks due to more severe issues like structural problems, extreme temperature fluctuations, or leaks, no drywall repair will permanently fix the crack until you’ve addressed the underlying issues.