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  1. #1
    JIT
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    Default Covering up cracks in internal walls

    Hi all,

    A friend of mine has a single-fronted, semi-detached, Victorian-era period home (c1900), in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne.

    Due to a number of factors (reactive soil in the area, large trees on neighbouring properties etc...) there are cracks through several of the internal walls (and external walls too), up to 1cm wide in some areas.

    A recent Archicentre building inspection has noted these cracks to be quite significant, but common amongst properties in the area and of this age. Essentially, the house is not expected to fall down, but fixing the cracks permanently is very unlikely. Restumping, underpinning etc...may still not prevent further cracking.

    My friend has done some basic things like removing a large tree in the rear yard close to the rear and side wall, and improving subfloor ventilation, as simple ways of helping to reduce the problem of cracking. They are considering a new damp-proof course, but this appears quite expensive, and as it is an investment property, she is not keen to do this at present.

    The property is rented out at present.

    The question here is -

    What can be done to cover up the cracks, cosmetically?

    ie, given that permanently fixing the cracks is unlikely, what can be done to improve the cosmetic appearance of the walls?


    1. The simplest thing, I presume, is filling the cracks with plaster and repainting...but with a change in climate and further movement, they will obviously just re-open.

    2. Another option, using a fibreglass or paper plaster tape to cover the cracks, then repainting. I am not sure how lasting this method would be? Will it last longer?

    3. Another option, using plywood or pine-panelling as the internal wall cladding, would these materials be less likely to crack?

    I am looking for the simplest and most lasting solution to this problem of cracks. Mainly a superficial, cosmetic solution, so that when my friends property is re-valued by the bank, or is for sale, or open for new tenants, it looks good on the outside...

    Any thoughts or ideas would be much appreciated...

    GSJ

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    We have a section in our web site on repairing lathen plaster.

    The repairs if done properly will last provided no further movement occurs.

    You have no control over that. Over time there will be new cracking but that is the same for most buildings.

    No one put more effort than me into crack prevention in my new home. But 5 years in and some minor cracking has occured in stress areas. I will wait another year or 2, then repair them.

    Any superficial repairs will definitly crack again, the crack has to be dug out and filled properly.

    The plywood is not a very good option it will look like ****T

    Lining boards will work if you like the timber look but expensive and way too much timber, and would not suit the era.

    Another option wich is also expensive but the best option for long term, is to rip out all the lathen plaster and replace with plasterboard. This is a major renovation though!


    Cheers Rod Dyson

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    JIT
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    Thanks Rod,

    Is it not possible to just put a new plasterboard on top of the existing wall, hence covering the cracks, instead of removing the lathen plaster first?

    Also, the plywood, can“t you paint the plywood?

    GSJ

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    I agree with rod.Ply will look like painted ply,not like plaster.Is it a timber house or brick?

    Tools

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    You can put plasterboard over the lathen plaster. In fact its a good idea where you can, as it will add to the insulating and soud proofing qualities of the home.

    However if you are going to do this you should remove and replace all skirting architaraves and cornice. Here you are getting into major renovation work.

    We have in the past, (at the owners insistance) put plasterboad straight over the lathern plaster WITHOUT removing arc's skirtings,etc. The problem is how to finish off where the plasterboard butts against dissimilar surfaces. Casing bead looks terrible, stopping up will crack, and stopping angle makes the job expensive and will also hairline crack eventually.

    Not to mention you will lose all definition in the edges of skirting, cornices, etc. I really is not a good look.

    As metioned above, ply will look like ply. YUCK!!!!

    If you can't afford to strip out and replace the plasterboard profesionaly, then don't do it at all. It won't help the value of the place if its not done right!

    Do the next best thing. Patch the cracks properly as shown on our web site. We also show what is "patchable" and what is not and how to do it.

    Cheers.

  6. #6
    JIT
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    Default Flexible sealant

    Thanks,

    What a great forum...just like somersoft.com.

    It is a brick house.

    Rod, it sounds like the best option is the plasterboard sheeting, and if doing it properly and removing architraves etc...then it will be costly...do you know very rough ball park figure for say a 2 bed house with floor area 100m2??? I have no idea what sort of numbers we are talking here?!

    Of note, the hallway is the only area of the house where there is virtually no cracking, and I believe there may be plasterboard sheeting here from the architect´s comments.

    Otherwise, filling cracks properly would be my other option...

    Is "flexible sealant" something that could be used here, since there has been and may continue to be some movement in the house???

    Regards,

    GSJ

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    No! Flexible sealant will fix the cracks, yes, but you won't be able to "hide" the cracks with flexible sealant.

    It can't be sanded, and it shrinks, etc.

    I have no idea what the cost of replacing the architraves etc. would be. The cost of plastering would depend on the type of cornice etc.

    It is the sort of job you would need to carefully cost out before starting, so there are no hidden surprises. You would need to factor in electical costs etc. as well.

    Where in Melbourne is the house? I may be able to call in over the next week or so and give you an idea which is the better option. We only contract out on new housing and units etc. So I would NOT be able to do the work. But I would be happy to give you an estimate of what you would expect to pay a reasonable contractor for the plastering only.

    Cheers

    Rod

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    Thanks Rod,

    The house is in Northcote.

    I am overseas at present. Will try and contact you on my return.

    Will do more investigations re. costing in the meantime.

    This thread has been very helpful for me.

    GSJ

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    GSJ Northcote is good email me when you get back.

    HJO, render works well. The only probelm with it is that, most people find it hard to work with. and even harder to get a quality finish.

    Digging the crack right out back to the substrate is the most important thing with fixing cracks. When you have done that what you fill it with is not that important. Some products give a better result than others astheticly and are easier to use for various reasons.

    Cheers

    Rod

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    If you get a quote to cover the walls with plasterboard then you'll also need to get a quote form a carpenter to remove all the skirting and architraves and to refit them. The problem you'll encounter though, is that the walls will be 2 x 10mm thicker, thus the jambs will be 20mm too narrow and the hingepoint of the doors will be back behind the plasterboard. The doors will need to be removed and rehung on the extended jamb and the hinge and lock mortices will need to be patched and recut. More work, more money....

    Mick
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    If you are going to take the render option (which is the cheapest and in keeping with the house),make sure you fix some expanded metal over the cracks and fix them to the brickwork on each side.Even a heavy chicken wire will do.Then render and set over the top.

    Tools

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    Ive got some issues similar to you with plaster which is lathen in a couple of rooms in my house. I'll take some photos soon and post them. I took away the wallpaper an in the corners of the rooms there is like a strip running from the roof to the skirting board joinging the plaster (i think). I have no idea what it is but it looks crap!

    I just got my house restumped and the cracking is not as bad as expected which is good. I'm hoping to not have to replaster because of the cost (the extension is costing enough!) so Im hoping tp patch it up uf I can figure out what to do with the corner strips.

    Good luck with your efforts repairing the plaster and let us know how you go.

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    hello,

    if cracks <2mm i would you use a good quality sealant like Sikaflex (around $17 at bunnies)

    even up to 20mm (2cm) this stuff can be used it is a very high quality polyurethane sealant

    keep flush with wall, any excess can be sanded, but you dont want to sand your finished sealant, ie, sand of any excess on sides of crack

    when painting over it needs to be done in two distinct coats with 12hrs drying time between coats

    is best overcoated with textured paints or suede effects paint, something with a bit of hiding power and flex.

    I believe this would be the most cost effective way

    have rectified numerous render jobs this way

    the sikaflex will allow for movement to occur and most arylic paints have a little bit of give to them

    apart from that, I would think rendering would be the next best thing

    if substrate is reasonably sound, but cracks would still need sealant and mesh appiled in wet render over the top or expanded metal as mentioned

    thankyou
    myla

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    Looking at this photo from an old posting maybe I dont have lathen plaster?

    http://www.woodworkforums.ubeaut.com...7&d=1098868722

    Part of the plaster has detached itself from the skirting board at the bottom. When I push the electrical plug in the powerpoint I can push the plaster in. Judging by this photo it wouldnt be possible?

    How can I tell easily whether its lathen or not???

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    Quote Originally Posted by myla
    is best overcoated with textured paints or suede effects paint, something with a bit of hiding power and flex.
    That is because you can't get a high quality finish with sealants.

    The line of the crack will always show up unless texture finished over.

    Everything you do will work to some degree or another.

    What you end up with will definitly be determined by your skill level or how much you are prepared to pay.

    Cobber you have got lathen plaster there.

    Cheers

    Rod

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    Rod - if its lathen plaster do you have any idea what to do with the corner sstrips that I have in a few of my rooms....they look awful. I'm inclined not to replaster as the condition is not too bad apart from the corner strips? I could maybe sand the strips or replace them. I'll take a photo on the weekend as i appreciate its a but hard to comment without a photo.

    By the way whats makes you think its lathen plaster?

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    Lathen plaster is sand and cement render over wooden slats, with a skim coat of hard plaster over it.

    The photo shows the slats.

    Post a photo so I can get an idea of what you have got.

    Cheers

  18. #18
    JIT
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    Default Photo...

    Hi,

    Here“s a picture of the cracks across the right side wall at the back of the house, where the living and kitchen area is. I think this area of the house was renovated many years ago by a previous owner. Makes me cringe whenever I see it...Any thoughts...

    GSJ


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    They can be dug out and repaired

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    Looks like a bit of work. I have cracks going all around the room in one line also. I will post my photo next week if i remember. If you can fix that then it gives me some hope.

    I pulled off one of the corner strip bits and its definetely lathen plaster as there is 2 pieces of wood strips behind it and thick threads.

    I am not convinced that the rest of the plaster is lathen though. Half of the house has been demolished I can see the plaster from the back of the exposed house....if it was lathen surely I would see all the strips. All I can see us a white lumpy sheet. The plaster has alot of threads hanging out of it not as thick as the ones from the lathen strip I pulled off.

    Was there a plaster after lathen and before the modern plasterboard by any chance Rod?

    Thanks

    Cobber

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    Yes fibrous plaster sheet replaced the use of lathen plaster.

    Then came plasterboard.

    Fibrous plaster sheet typically was made in 2.1 m wide sheets so the join would be at door height and covered by the picture rail. It is a common practice when renovating to remove the picture rails and stop up the join.

    We see it often where the stopping hasn't been done well in older renovations and the join cracks. Another problem is the sheet below the picture rail is often thicker than the sheet above giving you and uneven finish.

    Cheers Cobber.

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    Ah I reckon thats what I have then as there is a gap between or underneath the picture rails. That makes sense then. Fibrous plaster sheet with the horrible corner join strips.

    Rod is it easy to fix cracks in fibrous plaster (as per lath plaster). I havent seen much on this website. Is it the same technique as your normal plaster sheets or lathe plaster as described in your website?

    Thanks for your help.

    Cobber

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    Treat cracks in the joins of fibrous plaster much the same way as you would a cracked join in plasterboard.

    The only thing is the join in fibrous plaster is not rebated, so you can assume any previous attempt to fill them will cause a "lump" like a butt joint in plasterboard.

    When fibrous plaster was jointed there was no tape the used to face scrim with hemp. So one way to get back to a reasonable flat surface it to get into it with some heavy duty sand paper and a belt sander. (just along the join and only if you really need to). If you hit fibre STOP. you cant sand any more. If you break through the to the fiber the sand paper will cause the fibres to raise up and it is very hard to coat over them.

    If this happens, I have found scorching them is the best way to get rid of them. Take care don't burn the place down!

    You will find a thread here on fixing cracks in plasterboard joins.

    Cheers

    Rod Dyson

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    Thanks alot Rod. When I get around to doing it I am sure I will be asking questions. In anycase I'll post some photos at some stage soon.

    cheers

    Cobber

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    I don't think we are talking about lathe and plaster at all. If these houses are brick it may apply to the ceiling but the walls sound like solid plaster. Much the same job with a weak but thick base layer and a harder top coat. Look at what Tools said about bridging the gap, there is a product made for the job or bird wire can be used. Get someone in to have a look first, your jumping the gun talking about plastering over etc, when what it may need is a proper repair job. A straight repair will be a lot less fiddly, but may not solve the problem. Ground moisture, drainage etc may be causing a lot of the problem. Large trees, heavy clay soils or just a few very dry years could all be part of the problem.

    I think everyone needs to take a deep breath some of the ideas such as sikaflex and plastering over may not produce a very appealing outcome.

    John

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    I would still go with cutting out the cracks to the substate be it bricks or laths and fill them with cornice adhesive with top coat over.

    The most important thing is to open the crack wide enough to get the material used to repair right in to the substate.

    Using chicken wire or expanded metal, then rendering over is not required in most cases, of cracking in solid plaster or lathen plaster. Definitly not required for simple cracks but is useful if a larger area needs to be rendered, but even then a combination of cornice adhesive and perlite will adhere perfectly. We even make cornices institu, around curved walls to get a seamless finish, with this mix.

    Chicken wire or expanded metal is essential if you are rendering over a non porous surface, where the render cannot bond. Eg, painted walls or glazed bricks etc.

    Obviously if the cause of the cracking in the first place is not addressed, the most likely result is further cracking.

    We did a major renovation of the historical society in melbourne that had very seveer cracking in the solid plaster walls.

    They wanted the restoration to be original, as it was on of the oldest buildings in Melbourne and was where Burke and Wills left on their historical journey.

    We had to reconstruct 1 meter wide cornices etc that had basically fallen apart.

    The buliding had some under pinning done to stop the sinking at the junction of an old renovation. Once this was done we placed plastic tabs on the cracks with markers to see if over a period of time the cracking worsened. When satisfied that the building was secure we cut out all the cracks, removed loose and drummy plaster, repaired them all in the exact manner describe on our web side. For a fantastic result.

    Needless to say the reason for the cracking in the first place should be investigated and the building made stable.

    In most cases cracking repairs are done after reblocking etc.

  27. #27
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    Default Plasterboard Sheeting...

    Just a quick question, might be an obvious answer, but...why is plasterboard sheeting less likely to crack? Is it much more flexible, rather than "brittle", like other materials?

    If I were to do this to the Victorian-era property mentioned at the start of this thread...would the plasterboard sheeting not just crack with further movement????

    GSJ

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    G'Day GSJ,

    I'm thinking I've missed something.
    Is the present cracking in BRICKWORK or
    Rendered Plaster?

    I'm thinking EPOXY Injection,
    BUT
    that would only transfer the cracking to somewhere else.

    NEXT DOOR ??????
    Navvi

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    hello,

    cracking looks like through solid plaster to me and sure if drummy would need to be replaced

    this is why a flexible sealant is an immediate fix, as provides continual movement if the "larger issues" are not resolved

    as stated need seude effects or textured paint or around 4 coats of quality paint to cover and make presentable

    I think GSJ's brief was for a cost affective "fix" and from memory is currently rented and therefore addressed with minimal fuss

    thankyou
    myla

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    Ivan in OZ

    The cracking is on the plaster I think, cannot see the bricks on the inside, but on the outside walls there is cracking seen on the bricks...what is EPOXY injection?

    GSJ

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    hello,

    you have solid brick walls

    they then render (sand & cement) to level and then apply a hard set plaster (smooth finish)

    the cracks are through the hard plaster and render, and generally due to movement of the brickwall which has moved because of foundation issues etc

    most likely the cracks would be over/around the mortar lines of the brickwork as this is the weakest part of masonry wall

    if cracks are through bricks you are more likely to get reasonably straight vertical cracks

    thankyou
    myla

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    Thanks myla the lingo you all use makes sense now.

    Yes, on the external walls, the cracks seen are through mortar lines

    GSJ

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    Default Flexible Sealant Use, Photos?

    Hi,

    Having just re-read this thread the two options which stand out for me are:

    1. New plasterboard sheeting over the top (with removal/replacement of architraves/cornices/skirtings etc., and repainting).

    This is a part of a major renovation though and costly.

    2. Flexible sealant.

    Allows for movement and much cheaper.

    I am inclined to initially use flexible sealant (as a cosmetic solution, eg, to present to new tenants) as I am not convinced yet that the movement issues can be resolved.

    The property is on reactive clay soil. Although work is planned for this property to fix other potential causes of movement, fixing these may simply minimise movement and not eliminate it all together (cracks will need monitoring over a period of time to assess this ?12-18months). Thus any crack repair, even if done well, may still crack again.

    The only thing that remains if this option is taken is,...what will it look like???

    It is an old house, it has character, and many imperfections too...so I would not expect it too look that great, just acceptable and less frightening than having huge cracks through your living area or bedroom wall.

    Does anyone have any photos of what a crack filled with flexible sealant and then painted over looks like??? myla?, before/after shots?

    Any other comments appreciated.

    Cheers,

    GSJ

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    hello gsj

    will see what I can dig up as do not have digi camera

    the cracks will probably need some sanding as may of moved out as well as open

    need flat or low sheen paint and several coats or seude affects etc

    everything needs to be allowed to dry correctly ie. seal one day, paint 1st coat the next etc

    thankyou
    myla

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    Default Expansion Joints/Articulation/Control Joints

    Thanks Myla, any photos would be good.

    I just read in a previous thread regarding expansion joints.

    Is there a role for expansion joints (or I think also called “articulation joints or control joints“ in the cracks seen in the photo shown previously? Can they be painted over, and how would they look?

    Could someone explain what these are and when/where they are used?

    Thanks,

    GSJ

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    Expansion joints will look ugly in that application.
    Expansion joints are normaly used in stair wells between floors of buildings. Or in commercial projects where there are long coridoor ceilings or walls. Usually installed at critical points in the building adjacent to other structual expansion joints.

    The flexible sealant option can surley only be seen as a very temporary solution. I cant say I have ever seen this done where the cracks are not visible afterwards, I have seen many attempts that have gone horribly wrong.

    Here is a crack repaired with sealant that has shrunk back. Also a typical expansion joint use.


    fscr.jpg.jpgeju-400-x-300-.jpg

    Cheers
    Rod

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rod@plasterbrok
    Here is a crack repaired with sealant that has shrunk back. Also a typical expansion joint use.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cheers
    Rod
    Hi Rod,

    Thanks for all your replies on the various threads to vother members thread (including mine). Saying that how would you (as an expert in this field) go about correcting the crack in the picture you uploaded?.

    The reason I ask is that I have several cracks starting from the corners over the door (as shown). It would be nice to get it fixed on the first attempt rather than run into the problems other have encoutered here previously.

    Kindest regards
    David

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    With this type of crack, which is in plasterboard, I would use wet and stick paper tape as described in another thread here, on fixing cracks in ceiling joins.

    There is no need to dig out a crack in plasterboard as descibed, for cracks in render or lathen plaster.

    Cheers

    Rod

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    Default Not so good looking...

    Rod, thanks for the clarification re. expansion joints.

    The photo there of the crack repaired with sealant looks quite bad, certainly not the cosmetic outcome I am looking or.

    I hope Myla or others can dig up some photos to show a better outcome than this.

    If not, I may have to initially just do a good crack repair as you suggested Rod, and also attempt to fix potential causes of movement and thus minimise future movement and repeated cracking.

    GSJ

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    Default Another method...“furring channels“???

    I read another thread in the forum where someone was attaching plasterboard sheeting to something called &#180;furring channels&#180;, effectively creating a wall that moves with any future movement in foundations...see the quote below -

    &#180;therefore intend sealing wall sheets to furring channel (allowing sheets to move up and down on walls) and also sealing wall sheets to floor...&#180;

    Anyone have any comments re. this, I presume it would be an expensive process.

    GSJ

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    Default Floating wall

    Here is a post that appeared on the somersoft.com forum for a potential approach to cover up cracks, I think it is like the &#180;furring channel&#180;thing I mentioned in the previous post.

    &#180;One rather expensive solution could be a gyprock wall set on resilient mounts and rails.

    First you would need to attach resilient mounts on the wall at meter intervals. These mounts cost about $3.80 each, they are metal with a rubber insert specifically made to not transmit vibrating sound. You then attach rails to these mounts in a vertical direction and attach the Gyprock to the rails.

    In this wall you should effectively have a floating wall as the rubber in the mounts will allow the movement of the brick wall without cracking the gyprock.

    Doing this you would loose about 45mm so would only be practical in end walls running to other walls.&#180;

    Any thoughts/comments?

    GSJ

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    Default Another option...

    Just to add to this thread, some more contributions from the somersoft.com forum.

    Another method suggested here is to cover the cracks with a thin timber strip, then paint over. This is very cheap, simple and will allow for movement. However, again the issue is appearance. Although the cracks will be hidden, the strips will still stand out, I presume.

    Has anyone here used this approach, and if so, could you post any photos to show how it looks???

    Here are two posts regarding this from somersoft.com -

    (1) &#180;While not the best look, the best solution i have found is a cover strip such as a 50mm by 12mm timber strip nailed over the crack and painted the wall colour. This allows for movement behind it.

    Occasionally the wall may move to the point where it will need touching up with the wall colour but the crack will stay hidden.&#180;

    AND

    (2) &#180;As an interior designer, we used quite a few of the Rondo jointing profiles/strips, one of which is used to join two walls, allowing for future independent movement.

    http://www.rondo.com.au/rondo/

    At the end of the day you will see a joint, but it is a slight shadow gap without any large protruding beading, plus the edges of each side are taped and joined neatly. A nice solution to a tricky problem!&#180;

    I will see if I can ask &#180;Rondo&#180; for any photos of this product.

    Thus far the 3 cheapest/simplest solutions to this problem of cracking are:

    1. Flexible Sealant
    2. Thin timber strips (as mentioned in this post)
    3. Repair the crack properly (as Rod has mentioned previously)

    GSJ

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    Default

    "(2) &#180;As an interior designer, we used quite a few of the Rondo jointing profiles/strips, one of which is used to join two walls, allowing for future independent movement.

    http://www.rondo.com.au/rondo/

    At the end of the day you will see a joint, but it is a slight shadow gap without any large protruding beading, plus the edges of each side are taped and joined neatly. A nice solution to a tricky problem!&#180;"</QUOTE>

    This is refering to expansion joints.

    The timber option may be ok if the cracks where straight and the strips could be applied in a symetrical patten, that makes it look like a feature rather than a cover up.

    The resilient mount option would definitly do the job, but as they say it is an expensive option. It is for you to decide on how much you want to spend vs the desired outcome.

    The desired outcome will possibly be dictated by, factors like:
    a/ How long you intend to keep the house
    b/ Will what I do add to the value or detract from the value?
    c/ Can you accept a less than perfect result?
    d/ Will you need to repeat the process again in X number of years?

    After weighing up all all the options here you should have enough information to make a well considered decision.

    Cheers Rod

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    Default Photos...

    Thanks Rod and others for contributing to this thread.

    Clearly, there are many options for a cosmetic solution to the problem of cracking in internal walls, each with their own pros and cons.

    Will post an update of what happens with this house in due course.

    In the meantime if anyone has any further ideas please add to this thread....

    Also, if anyone has any before/after photos to show the methods they used to cover up cracks, please post them on this thread!!!

    GSJ

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    Default Flexible sealant + Fibreglass/Paper Tape on top + Paint???

    Rod and others, just a thought...

    If you used the flexible sealant option, to improve the appearance, instead of painting over directly with several coats of suede/textured paints, could you not then put fibreglass/paper tape on top of it, and then paint over this???

    GSJ

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    Default New solution! “Helifix“...

    Hi,

    I recently contacted a company called &#180;Constructa&#180; in the UK that is experienced with Victorian era properties and their related structural/maintenance problems.

    They recommended a unique way of structurally re-inforcing/fixing cracks to a building that has had cracking problems, that is able to deal with future movement issues and prevent further cracking, that is not like underpinning, restumping, or the Uretek injection mentioned earlier in this thread.

    This is very interesting. The product used is made my a company called Helifix, and they have a presence in Australia too.

    Following is a copy of the e-mail I received from Constructa, who were very detailed and quick in their response to my enquiry, thanks to Mark Genney from Constructa for this contribution to this informative thread (see the link to Helifix for more information on the product):

    Hello GSJ and greetings from the motherland!

    You quite rightly point out that the problem is not only covering up the cracks but ensuring that they do not return. You rightly suggest that covering or filling a crack in a property that is continually moving will actually not prevent the crack from reopening.

    We use various technologies for the repair of Victorian properties, however in this instance, I would suggest the use of “crack stitching” prior to making good with a good quality filler. We exclusively use the products of Helifix for crack stitching, by chance Helifix has a good Australian presence and a website that seems identical to its UK equivalent.

    If you go here http://www.helifix.com.au/crack_stitching.html you will see the application and use of their “Helibar” system with fairly descriptive diagrams etc.

    In your case we would probably break out the plasterwork 1m either side of the cracking, chase out the mortar every third or fourth brick course, insert helibars into these chasings.

    Re-point in the chased brickwork with a strongish sand cement mix (3:1 is ideal) then replaster the area.

    Having read the forum that you have posted the question in, I wouldn’t recommend the short term cheap fix that you are looking for, you will be surprised how quickly badly fixed cracks in Victorian properties reopen, if it is worth doing, it is worth doing properly.

    Hope this helps

    Best wishes

    Mark Genney

    constructa:

    freephone 0808 145 5544
    email info@constructa.co.uk
    web www.constructa.co.uk


    I will contact Helifix in Australia to get more information and approximate pricing and post the details on the forum.

    Any thoughts/comments?

    GSJ


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    Default

    hello,

    used to deal with a chap (John Geraghty) who was handling the Helifix in Vic many years ago

    he also designed many brackets for Hebel construction

    I wouldnt think the sikaflex is a short term solution, many people use this product for waterproofing showers, caulking external expansion joints, sealing external/internal cracks for many years now

    it is surprisingly stable being a polyurethane

    common practice by painters repainting homes is to seal "hairline" cracks which commonly occur at junction of ceiling and cornice or wall and skirting prior to painting

    normally using "no more gaps" though

    thankyou
    myla

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    Default

    Myla,

    John is still doing the Helifix work in Victoria I believe as I was given his name by Helifix Australia.

    From my initial research of Helifix, it seems it is quite commonly used in the UK and is an accepted strategy used to stabilise structures. It obviously needs to be done after review by a specialist/geo-technical engineer.

    GSJ

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    Default Another option...Wallpaper???

    Hi,

    This might be an obvious one, but what about covering up the cracks in the internal walls by using some type of wall paper/covering???

    Is there some sort of flexible type wall covering material that could be used???

    I guess this would be like the plasterboard sheeting option, where the plasterboard covers the cracks, and because it is a flexible material, it allows for further movement.

    Any thoughts/comments?

    GSJ

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    Default If A or B or C don“t work, try A + B + C!!!

    Hi,

    I think I am the only one still interested in this thread/topic! - but, for the sake of completeness I thought I will post the results of my further research into this problem of cracking.

    I started threads on several UK property investment forums (figuring that they have many more period properties in the UK, also have reactive clay soil areas and probably much more experience with cracking problems), the best were:

    www.periodproperty.co.uk
    www.oldhouseweb.com

    I got some very good replies and suggestions.

    Here are a couple of the good posts:

    (1) &#180;I don't think there is any way you can prevent cracks reappearing if there is further substantial movement.
    If there is a prolonged drought followed by heavy rain some movement is almost bound to occur.
    The most flexible wallpaper will tear and ripple over a moving crack.

    However, looking on the bright side, the cracks may not move substantially again.
    Often cracks appear in the early days of a building's life and stop moving to any great extent after a while.
    Most older houses built on clay have old cracks.

    Many people make the mistake of just plastering over the cracks only to find that they usually reappear shortly after.
    It should be remembered that once brickwork is cracked there will always be some slight movement caused by thermal fluctuation or vibration.
    If the patch plaster is too thin it has no strength and cracks easily.

    The most effective method for small cracks is to rake them out right down to the brickwork (or lathes) leaving a gap in the plaster of about 5-10mm.
    Any really loose plaster should be removed too but don't pull it off as that will loosen more plaster. Use a light chisel, knife or sharp screwdriver and cut the plaster off.
    Remove the dust and wash the crack out.
    Then fill the gap completely using an appropriate filler (polyfilla is quite good in this situation as it has good adhesion with some flexibility with strength) and sand it down.
    Then decorate in the normal way.
    I have found this method normally lasts for some time and is able to resist minor movement.

    If the cracks are greater than 5mm it is sensible to remove the plaster directly over the crack and attempt to insert some mortar between the bricks to stabilise the fault. It may be necessary to remove some original mortar to get the new mortar in place.&#180; (posted by Lime from the forum at periodproperty.co.uk)

    (2) &#180;May not have your solution, but I can add a few ideas to your bucket. A few years ago I had some shifting problems in an out building with a poor foundation.I essentially used a combo of your suggestions #1 and #2.

    I dug the cracks (about 30) substantially deeper (as deep as I could) and wider with a knife, then I filled them 3/4 of the way with a flexible sealant. I let that dry (rubberize) a few days and then used a standard spackle for the remaining 1/4. This allowed me to paint and the surface and the somewhat larger more flexible cracks were able to acccommdate some of the movement. This was not a 100% solution. I still get cracks. The building is still "active." But the cracks I filled generally stayed filled. Maybe 20% were incurable based on the shifting weight/stress points the building. But it helped. Might be worth a test. Really not as much work as it sounds. And it was about $10 of material.

    I failed intially becase I didn't use enough flex sealant. The spackle should really just be a paintable topper.

    I know they make silicone spackle which is presumably paintable but I have never been able to locate. Must be special formulation.&#180; (posted by d18mike from the forum at oldhouseweb.com)

    From these replies and reviewing the previous posts in this thread I think the best solutions are:

    (1) Use of new plasterboard sheeting on top of &#180;gypliners&#180;(or resilient wall mounts plus furring channels), to create a non-load bearing/&#180;floating&#180;wall. I think this is perhaps the most effective solution, but, also the most expensive.

    (2) Just cover with new plasterboard sheeting. Also effective, less expensive that option 1., but maybe has a slightly greater chance of still cracking compared to option 1.

    (3) From the 2 UK posts above, and previous posts on this thread, overall I think the simplest, most cost-effective, practical and logical solution is a combination of a proper crack repair with flexible sealant and a paintable top coat (or spackle as mentioned in the 2nd UK post).

    I think this is what I will try and do for this property!

    The wallcovering idea is not ideal as it may wrinkle or tear.

    The helibars can also be useful I think, but is better done after consultation with a geotechnical engineer.

    Thanks for all contributions to this thread.

    Any further comments appreciated.

    GSJ


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