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Cracks on the wall by windows and doors, Need advice.

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Jun 26, 2013, 12:26 PM
Cracks on the wall by windows and doors, Need advice.
Hi all,
I live in a late 1940's home in Northern California, I am experiencing cracks on the walls at the top and sides of my windows and doors. I have used plaster, paper tape & Mesh tape with joint compound but 2-3 months later the cracks reapear. Any sugestions on how to best patch these cracks for a longer lasting result?
Jun 26, 2013, 01:14 PM
First, do you know why the cracks are appearing?

Secondly, are they along windows only on sides on which gutters are installed or are the cracks consistenly appearing around all your windows? How long has it been since the windows were caulked? Are the doors exterior or interior doors?

I think answers to these questions would help determine how to address the cause of the cracks and then the method of fixing them.

Someone may also request photos of the cracks.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Jun 26, 2013, 01:45 PM
Hi Garden Sprite, Thanks for your response. Cause may just be from the home being old and california tremors.
Crackers appearing on most windows and door frames both outside facing and internal door jams.
The cracks are mostly diagonal from the corners of windows and doors.
Jun 26, 2013, 09:30 PM
Well, I think the earthquakes in CA could definitely do some wall damage!

Seriously, I thought the pros here would ask similar questions to mine but I'm at the limit of my knowledge other than that vertical, diagonal and horizontal cracks can be reflective of different issues.

I did wonder if your home has wet plaster walls, given that it was built in the '40's.
Jun 27, 2013, 02:28 PM
structural damage, failed slab syndrome
have a foundation co inspect it*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
Jun 27, 2013, 02:46 PM
almost certainly there is separation of the house framing due to it not having the crossties current code requires in The Shaky State. NostrilDrippus Predicts! (tm) you will NOT like the answer you get if you have the home professinally analyzed.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Jun 27, 2013, 04:02 PM
Jun 27, 2013, 06:28 PM
This is not an "easy fix' project. As you have probably figured out, the problem lies underneath the wall surface and must be fixed there.

Gaps in the framing from the wood drying out over time, foundation damage from earthquakes or groundwater changes are the most likely culprits. Neither is easy to fix nor cheap.