You’ve got cracks in your drywall and the OCD is now activated. This kind of flaw in your home can really drive some people, well . . . up the wall. This pun could not be helped, I apologize in retrospect since I can’t apologize in advance anymore.
Wall cracks can be especially bothersome after foundation repairs have been completed because you were expecting different results with your wall situation. You are not alone.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have repaired thousands of foundations in Bryan, College Station, and surrounding Brazos Valley communities like Navasota and Brenham since 1985.
We know what results to expect and not expect after foundation repairs and can tell you all about wall cracks. We know a few things about construction ourselves and have also consulted with experts to help address this concern for you.
This article will discuss why your wall cracks are still visible and why foundation repairs didn’t make them disappear. We will then explore 6 ways you can handle drywall repairs to get those pesky wall cracks off your mind.
Why Do I Still Have Wall Cracks After Foundation Repairs?
First, let’s address the big WHY elephant in the room: why do you still have wall cracks after foundation repairs? The short answer is: because they are still there even after your home is raised and leveled. Cracks should close up after foundation repairs, but they will not magically disappear or mend themselves.
You can only camouflage drywall flaws. Cracks in drywall can be cosmetically covered after they are damaged, but they are just in hiding. Cracks can come back into view with minor movement or seasonal settlement, or expansion and contraction of other parts of the home caused by changes in humidity and temperature.
Of all the building products that are put onto homes, drywall is one of the most fragile and unforgiving. It’s not very flexible and kinda cheap too. It’s brittle and easy to break or crack even with your bare hands. I mean, basically, it’s two sheets of paper sandwiched together with some dusty particles and glue.
No offense drywall, but you’re the 50 cent item at the Construction Material Dollar Store . . .
If you’re super bored, you can check out this page-turning article about An Exciting History of Drywall that explains why this material is used in our homes these days. I love it! We’ve also got an article that we wrote that covers the realistic results to expect and not expect from your foundation repairs.
Cracks can show back up or change some throughout the year, but it does not mean that you have a structural issue returning. You do have a cosmetic issue though.
The bottom line is that the only way to *really* get rid of wall cracks is to put in new walls. For most people, that is not a super practical solution. Although we do have a few other ideas for you later on in this article so keep reading!
Why Don’t Foundation Contractors Repair Wall Cracks?
Most foundation repair companies do not repair or cosmetically fix your drywall after repairs. Why? Because it’s in our contracts that we won’t. Most foundation repair contractors will state the scope of their work in the quote, bid, or terms and conditions of the work agreement. Drywall repair is typically not on the list of things we will do.
Why won’t we? Well, because that’s not what we do. We raise and level foundations, which is a completely different skill set than what it takes to install and/or repair drywall.
Trust me . . . you want wall guys fixing your walls anyway, not foundation guys.
What Can I Do About Wall Cracks After Foundation Repairs?
So this leads us to what can you do about these ding-dang cracks then? We’ve got a couple of ideas for you. I’m not going to call them all *solutions* but they are ways to handle the wall crack issues in your home after foundation repairs have been completed.
First I’m just going to list the options out and then explain them more. Your choices for handling drywall cracks after foundation repair are as follows:
- Do Nothing
- Caulk and Paint
- Tape and Texture
- Remove and Replace a Section
- Remove and Replace the Whole Wall
- Change to Paneling or Another Wall Covering
Now let’s do a l’il more explainin’ on each of these options to handle drywall cracks.
1. Do Nothing
I know this probably seems like a lame answer but in some cases, doing nothing might be the easiest way to handle certain wall cracks. For example, if the crack is in a closet or a garage, does it really need to be as nice as your living room?
Some wall cracks are simply not that big of a deal for home aesthetics if they are in a location that is not trying to impress anyone.
Of course, doing nothing won’t work for people who can’t tolerate the flaws so we’ve got 5 other options for you coming up!
2. Caulk and Paint
You can use caulk or spackle to fill in a crack, maybe sand it down a little and paint over it. This might work for a little while and is quick and easy for the homeowner. But with even minor expansion and contraction of your home throughout a year, the caulk and paint option could pucker out one day and the crack will be calling attention to itself again.
3. Tape and Texture
Taping over the crack and adding new texture and paint on top is an option for covering drywall cracks. This option probably takes a little more skill and patience but could give better results than option 2 above.
The downside of this option is in the texture matching because wall texture is hard to match. They don’t even “make” some wall textures anymore, as in they don’t manufacture and sell the right roller pattern to make the texture any longer. Even skilled contractors can have trouble matching texture sometimes depending on the age of the home.
So if your wall texture is a current and easily replicated and blendable style, this might be a good option for you. But if your texture pattern is slightly outdated, heavy and stylized, or complicated, this might be easier said than done. Tape seams can also open after a few years of minor seasonal movement as well.
4. Remove and Replace a Section
What you would do here is cut out a whole square section a bit bigger than your crack. Then, you would tape, float, texture, and paint just like installing a whole new wall. This is a step-by-step process that takes several days to complete since some steps will need dry time as well as sanding.
The option of removing and replacing a section will last much longer than any of the other options so far and might make your crack problem go away entirely. It has a really good chance of being effective because the crack has technically been removed so it can’t come back with minor movement.
The downside is that this requires more skill and time. It could be best to hire a professional to ensure that it has the best chance of meeting your standards. Also, additional foundation settlement could cause damage to this kind of patch as well if it’s significant enough.
5. Remove and Replace the Whole Wall
Taking out the whole wall that is damaged and cracked is definitely an option. It’s a choice that will require you to move furniture and get stuff out of the way though. This would be much harder to handle DIY style so you would likely want to hire a professional contractor to do this for you.
Some might not find this to be a practical option or might see it as overkill, but it could also be your very best option if you never want to see those cracks or evidence of repairs ever again. It will cost you some time, money for hiring someone, and a bit of inconvenience, but it could be worth it for you if you want that flawless finish back.
6. Change to Paneling or Another Wall Covering
This is a little bit of a joke but maybe not. The old-school 70’s paneling is not coming back in style (yet), but it is more resilient to foundation movement. You could change out your drywall for an updated wood paneling style though.
Now, wallpaper sure is making a comeback. They even make self-stick removable wallpaper these days too. It’s easy for homeowners to install on their own and remove or adjust if needed. Shiplap-style walls are still a thing also. You can tack up horizontal shiplap-like wood over your walls and paint.
There are many other creative and *pinnable* wall covering ideas you could use to hide your cracks. Think chevron patterns, random rustic planks, or tin-look tiles. These probably aren’t your cheapest or easiest options but it could be fun to do something different while also covering up your drywall issues.
How Long To Wait After Foundation Repairs to Fix Drywall
Now that you know the options you have in repairing drywall after foundation repairs, you’re probably super excited to get started, right? Not so fast . . . you really need to wait a bit to fix your walls after a foundation repair job.
We recommend that you wait 2 to 3 months to fix your walls to allow enough time for your home, framing, and walls to self-adjust after being raised and leveled by foundation repairs. This is very important because your home will continue to settle in and *find its new home* position in the world after being raised back into place.
Don’t set your drywall repairs up for failure by starting too soon after foundation repairs!
Are There Any Drywall Contractors Anchor Recommends?
Well, we thought you might ask that question. We don’t have a list just yet but we do have some recommendations anytime you are looking to hire out any kind of contractor.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, our focus since 1985 has been on the structural integrity and functional components of the home and your foundation. We do everything we can to keep those things working right around your home and let someone else help you with the cosmetic stuff like drywall.
Check out this article for tips and guidance in selecting the best contractor for any kind of repair needs including your home drywall repairs.