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Main Crack
Main Crack  

Smaller Crack
Smaller Crack  
Hi David and thanks for your time.  

I have a crack on an interior wall upstairs in my house where the wall meets the ceiling.  It has been there since I bought the house four years ago.  The inspector didn't seem to concerned about it so I never was either.  However, I noticed today that further down the wall, it seems like small cracks are starting to form as well which I don't know if I have noticed before.  

I don't think this is a load-bearing wall (if that makes a difference but I could be wrong) and looking around the second floor, I do not see any cracks on exterior walls or other walls upstairs.  This is the only wall that I notice anything.  I have checked in the attic above it and don't notice anything unusual in terms of water or something like that.  There does seem to be a little hump in the drywall right beside this crack in the hallway - I don't know if that has anything to do with this crack or not or if that is worrisome in and of itself. The edge of the drywall along this crack also does push up a very small bit, as if it is was or is not attached very well.  The tape on the other side of the wall is in tact but has started to come apart from the ceiling at one spot on the opposite side of the wall. I will say that I don't think the drywall installers for this house (built in 1976) were the most talented installers put on earth as I notice slight drywall "pops" in various places around the house.  

My question is whether I should be worried about this crack.  My guess is that it is simply caused by the cold winter because if I remember correctly, it does seem to disappear or at least shrink in the summer. I am seeing some small gaps in some areas of the crown moulding on the first floor as well that I haven't really noticed either but again, I am assuming that is contraction because the molding all seems solid.  

If it is probably nothing to worry about, is it OK to go ahead and run new corner bead on this ceiling-wall joint or is that a bad idea if this constantly expands and contracts?  I was planning on going with the corner bead with metal insert (http://www.lowes.com/pd_18182-325-SRK+B2+8_0__?productId=3064267&Ntt=corner+bead) to make it stronger, but worried about the contraction. Would some screws to hold the drywall in place better followed by some caulking be a better option?  I was planning on just using some caulking for the crown moulding.  

Thanks for any guidance you can give.  I am pretty handy but wanted to check with someone that knows more than I do on a topic like this.

Answer
Temperature extremes can make wood flex...If the lumber was green when the house was built, it can be a drying out shrinkage, it can be a moisture issue..humid summers..cold Dry winters.   Structures do move in many ways, and cracking is very hard to prevent.   I can actually hear nails popping in my house in the winter.   Cold attic and warm interior walls...something has to give...so the nails and drywall pop randomly.  My house is 22 yrs old.   Still moving.  It can occasionally be...the wind has shifted the structure...a very little bit, but it stayed in that shifted position, now the house is adjusting.  Personally, I would say, ignore...if you can.  Fix it cosmetically for your visual.  My preference...nails instead of screws.  The screw head tears the paper face, the nail pulls it up.

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David Coil/C. R. Construction

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I can answer most any remodel and repair question. I have done almost everything...and done it well. From foundations to the roof. I have helped MANY from all experts.com recently.

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Most expertise is carpeting, flooring, tile, sheetrock, electrical and plumbing.   40 yrs of experience in all trades.

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