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Friday, September 3, 2010

Patching a Failed Ceiling Drywall Seam

Drywall butt joints CAN be made to survive, without taping. Here is repair of a failed not-taped butt joint, in a house built in 1951. An uninterrupted crack ran the 24' length of a living room ceiling. One or several mud repairs, made matters worse.

1/31/2009, 10:59 AM. A failed patch of buttered-on setting mud was very tenacious. The 24-foot room length was a very good workout, with the whole body in controlled tension atop a ladder. I regret not having a picture of the further crack prep, slicing out a full-depth 3/32” vee. All scraping and cutting prep is with a 3” flexible straight-blade putty knife. Such blades are self-sharpening by the scraping process.

10:59 AM. Scraping reveals tear of the drywall tape along a butt seam perpendicular to the ceiling 2x6 framing. I think the pink is PlasterWeld, very ineffectively brushed into the butt joint. The joint is of rough ends (not tape edges), of drywall, with no covering tape.
11:00 AM. Scraping in process. This was two thirds of the job.
4:36 PM. The completed patch, filled with flexible grout.
2/1/2009, 3:04 PM. Spray texture completed. Some further fussing will be done with a damp sponge. This is not a true view of texturing through the box aperture, with box set on ladder a couple of feet from the ceiling. The box about 18” wide is generally twice the width of the stripe.
3:06 PM. The box and texture stripe, further back. The entertainment cabinet was draped. Spray did land with frequency on the tarps directly below, and a dozen dots were wiped from the floor farther out.
3:07 PM. Detail of the applied orangepeel texture is evident while it is wet. The spraying is very random, hard to control, much driven by waving the can upward. Blobs are adjusted by dabbing with a damp sponge. The dabbing is about half of the hour-long texture application.
3:08 PM. Tools of the repair. The groove was filled and surfaces blended smooth using 1/2 pound of flexible grout from the tub, with liberal spray of water. About half of the can of orangepeel texture was expended.

2/1/2009, 3:33 PM. Texture wider view without flash.

I guarantee my work indefinitely, and am never called with complaints. I asked for feedback, for reassurance of an interested  home owner in Omaha, at September, 2010. This customer, and the others, responded with compliments and kindness.

Please know I am eager for faster progress in sharing this product with the world. My scale remains tiny, with batches of a pound or two, lasting me for weeks. From tubs, without de-aeration, product remains workable for weeks, and I dispose of very little. I imagine best packaging will be with evacuated fill of caulk tubes. I will invest in larger scale, as demanded. 


Todd Ryder said...

What flexible grout do you use and/or recommend? I don't see any specific info provided here. I want to try this approach with a gabled roof ceiling, especially corner/butt joints, having expand/contract cracking issues due to temperature and snow/load changes every year.

toffelnigar said...

The typical homeowner will try to fix concrete crack repair with caulk. But this is only a superficial crack repair. Water will fill the inside of the crack and cause efflorescence, which will eventually loosen the caulk. In couple years, the caulk will start peeling. An alternative foundation crack repair method is to excavate and patch the crack on the exterior. This may not be permanent because all surface crack repairs will eventually get loose or crack.

Jane Miller said...

I cant believe this building made on 1951, wow! I am so glad that you have shown the whole process of repairing the wall including patching holes here. Thank you so much.

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