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The Home Depot

What Causes Cracks in My Drywall?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Drywall > What Causes Cracks in My Drywall?
What Causes Cracks in My Drywall?

Cracked drywall can appear unsightly and draw away all the focus from the décor of your room. There are many reasons why cracks may be caused in drywall. As soon as you see a crack, even a hairline one, in your drywall you must repair upon inspection. If left unattended, this can grow into a major problem that might lead to weakening of the building, wall, structure, house, and so forth. It will also involve major expense to repair it at a later stage if not tackled at the start.

  1. 1.Just get it Done

    Get It Done

    Drywall repair projects do not require any kind of design approval or permits in most areas. In some places, minor repair and replacement projects need a special permit obtained through the Easy Permit Process (EPP). The projects that come under this category include replacing limited drywall, light fixtures, single furnace, limited brick masonry, and roof replacement.


    Some things that can cause the drywall to crack are the house settling, poor drywall installation, moisture behind the wall, objects on the wall causing it stress, and cracked paint. There are few things that you need to watch out for and some remedial measures that can be taken to nip the problem in the bud.

  2. House Settling

    2.House Settling

    All houses settle down after some time, but this is not always uniform and at times, some parts settle before others. This settling can lead to cracks between the wall and ceiling due to the downward movement. Yet another spot to watch out for cracks is the top edge of a door frame. These are usually diagonal and might increase over a period of time.

  3. 3.Poor Drywall Installation

    Poor Drywall Installation

    One major cause of drywall cracking is improper installation of the drywall, especially errors in taping and application of the joint compound. If the seams between the drywall sheets are not appropriately taped and smoothened down with joint compound, the sheets can move causing the tape to crack. One remedial measure is to tighten the nails or screws along the side of the crack to ensure that the drywall is affixed and no further cracks occur.


    In some instances where the joint compound has been applied too thickly, the layer on top dries first while the lower layer takes more time. This causes surface cracks and these can be fixed by filling the cracks with a thin coat of joint compound. If the crack is very deep, it may need a couple of extra coats before it can be fixed. After the compound dries, you can sand over it and then repaint the wall.

  4. Moisture


    There are many places where moisture can crop up on drywall. The wall studs and drywall screws are highly vulnerable to moisture accumulation. If moisture gathers on the screws, it can cause rusting and this can in turn lead to the drywall cracking.

  6. 5.Wall Objects

    Wall Objects

    Hanging extremely heavy objects on the wall can lead to the wall developing cracks due to the stress caused. Such cracks are not always visible and can stay hidden for a long time before they are eventually discovered. This might be when the object that was hung on the wall crashes to the ground because the wall anchor it was attached to has given way, unable to bear the stress.

  7. 6.Cracked Paint

    Cracked Paint

    The pattern of the cracks can help you determine whether they have been caused by paint. If the cracks are fine and spread over a large part of the wall and resemble a crushed egg shell, they might have been caused by incorrect application of paint. The solution to this is lightly sanding the walls and then applying a coat of drywall joint compound over the cracks. Once the compound dries, you will have to sand it again and then apply latex primer over it. After this, you can repaint the walls and it will all look as good as new.

  8. Waiting Only Increases the Costs

    7.Waiting Only Increases the Costs

    Keeping these causes of cracked walls in mind can help you resolve the problem as soon as it arises. Acting swiftly and quickly will help save you exorbitant, or additional, expenses that might crop up if the problem is ignored in the initial stages. It never does bode well to put things off that can and should be tackled within a day or a week.

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