As the design manager at Titus Contracting, I encounter this question quite a bit about cracked walls. Twin Cities is just one of the areas Titus Contracting serves, so we see cracked walls fairly frequently when we do home and commercial remodeling projects in the Twin Cities area. I recently answered this question on the website Quora.com, and I wanted to share my cracked wall answer with my readers:
This does depend on the material, but if we assume drywall or plaster, it is usually quite the same. If you just spackle or use drywall mud over a crack, the crack will almost always come back. If you use caulk, it may not come back but caulk will almost always flash through slightly at some point. The best way is to clean up both sides of the crack. Tape over the crack with fiberglass mesh tape (or paper tape but I prefer fiberglass with cracks), then mud over the tape with 2 to 4 coats of drywall mud feathering out the repair. Keep the coats thin to minimize sanding. Finally sand it out and paint.
Cracked walls in your Twin Cities home can be a sign of a more serious problem with your foundation. A lot depends on the shape of the crack and the direction it is running along the wall. If your cracked walls have cracks that are vertical and start where the wall and ceiling meet, it usually just means that the foundation of your Twin Cities home has settled and caused a few ugly cracked walls. But if the crack is horizontal and/or run at a jagged 45-degree angle, this could indicate your Twin Cities home’s foundation has drastically shifted or there is some type of water damage. If the cracked walls look like a stair-step and run in both a horizontal and vertical direction, they are usually a result of the soil settling beneath the center of the wall. “Nail popping” is another source of cracked walls in your Twin Cities home. This means a nail has pulled away from the stud beneath it and could be a sign of structural problems in your Twin Cities home.
If you are experiencing cracked walls in your Twin Cities home, Titus Contracting can help. Just give us a call at (952) 746-7817 or contact us online.