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What to Do About Cracks in the Corner of a Wall

Table of Contents

No one looks forward to discovering a crack in one of their walls. However, if this occurs in your home, you must be prepared to take the correct actions to resolve the issue. The key to finding the right repair solution is understanding the type of wall crack you are dealing with. This article will focus on cracks in the corner of a wall, why they occur, and how to repair them. We’ll also touch on a few other common wall cracks so you are prepared to respond.

What Causes Cracks in the Corner of a Wall?

Generally, there are two main reasons why a crack will appear in the corner of a wall. This kind of crack usually results from an issue with your drywall or differential foundation settling. The following two sections will give you a better understanding of how those causes create the worrisome cracks you find in your wall corners.

Drywall Problems

The excellent news about wall cracks that result from drywall issues is that they do not indicate that your home has underlying structural problems. Still, even if these cracks don’t mean that your house’s structure is in danger, they remain somewhat unpleasant to look at, which is why most homeowners want to get rid of them.

Corner cracks can form in drywall for several different reasons. In many cases, cracked corners reveal a poor drywall installation process. Additionally, temperature changes and increases in humidity and overall moisture can cause drywall to crack in the corners.

Overall, drywall cracks are usually not something you should be incredibly concerned about, as they’re often nothing more than an eyesore rather than hinting at a deep structural problem. Still, if you want to keep the interior of your home looking its best, repairing damaged drywall is a must.

Differential Foundation Settling 

The second common cause of cracks in wall corners is differential foundation settling, which is much more serious than drywall issues. If you are familiar with home foundations, you may know that some uniform settling is normal, especially after construction. However, differential settling is more extreme and causes your foundation and the rest of your home to become unlevel.

Differential settling occurs due to the soil below your home. Since your foundation rests directly on this soil, any time the soil sinks or shifts, the foundation will shift and sink as well.

Uneven foundation settling can cause significant structural damage to your foundation, manifesting as cracks in the corners of your walls. Other signs of this settling include sloped floors, stuck doors, and jammed windows.

Differential settling occurs due to the soil below your home. Since your foundation rests directly on this soil, any time the soil sinks or shifts, the foundation will shift and sink as well. Cracks in the corner of your wall will likely be one of several adverse outcomes this type of settling causes for your home. In most cases, you’ll probably need to spend a lot on repairs to resolve the issue.

How to Repair a Crack in a Wall Corner

As we mentioned earlier, how you repair a crack in the corner of your wall depends entirely on the cause—hopefully, your crack results from drywall issues, which are much simpler to resolve. Otherwise, you’ll need to consider more extensive repairs to your foundation. If you are dealing with drywall problems, the quickest way to fix them is to hire a drywall professional to perform the repairs. Drywall cracks are common, and most competent drywall technicians can resolve them quickly.

If your drywall begins to crack due to an increase in moisture and humidity, it may also be a good idea to use a dehumidifier in that area of your home. Running a dehumidifier will help reduce relative humidity and make your drywall less likely to crack again.

On the other hand, if it turns out that your wall cracks come from foundation damage, the only sensible approach is to hire a foundation professional to assess and improve the state of your foundation. The average homeowner is far from capable of repairing a foundation on their own, which is why getting professional assistance is crucial if foundation issues are the source of your wall cracks.

Read more about – Cracks in Ceiling Drywall.

Other Types of Wall Cracks

Corner wall cracks are common in many homes, but they are not the only type of wall crack that you may notice. Below is a list of some of the most common types of wall cracks you can find inside your house:

  • Normal foundation settling cracks: Some uniform settling is typical for newly constructed homes. Uniform settlement can sometimes cause hairline cracks in concrete that are typically nothing to worry about.
  • Shrinkage cracks: These hairline cracks arise due to the concrete curing process. Like cracks that appear after normal settling, shrinkage cracks are often thin and should not concern you or require immediate professional attention.
  • Stair step cracks: This type of crack appears in masonry walls. When damage occurs, cracks that follow the angular path of the masonry’s mortar can appear. These cracks can indicate differential settling in many cases.
  • Horizontal foundation cracks: If you find horizontal cracks in your foundation wall, seek repairs right away. These cracks often result from hydrostatic pressure and can indicate that your foundation is failing.

Each crack type is quite common but arises from a different source and requires a different form of intervention. Knowing about them in advance will help you resolve them if and when they appear in your home.

Should You Do DIY Wall Crack Repair?

At times, some homeowners are willing to perform wall crack repairs on their own as this will save them money on repairs. However, in most cases, performing DIY wall crack repair is far from the best approach.

Basic Steps to Non-Structural Cracks in Drywall

While it may be technically possible for you to repair nonstructural drywall cracks if you have the correct tools, skills, and knowledge, seeking professional help is a much better choice. Although repairing drywall is not a considerably dangerous task, hiring a pro is the best option if you want to ensure that you get the job done right the first time.

In contrast, if foundation settling causes your wall cracks, you cannot resolve the issue on your own. In this case, DIY is not an option, and finding a foundation team you can trust is the only way to restore the structural integrity of your home.

Get Professional Assistance with Your Wall Cracks

One of the main points of this article is that if your wall cracks result from a foundation problem, the only viable solution is to find a trusted foundation repair team in your area. If you live in Southern California, Arizona, or Nevada, Dalinghaus Construction is ready to help you with your foundation repair needs.

We have extensive experience serving residential and commercial customers with foundation repair, crawl space services, concrete repair, and much more. If you want to learn more, contact us for a free evaluation today.

WRITTEN BY

Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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