How to Repair Splits in the Drywall Seam?


Splits occur in drywall seams when shrinking house frames cause poor workmanship or insufficient covering to break at the weakest point. Seams are blocked with a special paper tape and then covered with several layers of drywall compound. Replacing a broken seam can take some time to achieve good quality results, but the process is fairly simple. This procedure will return the wall to its original appearance, and it most likely will not need another repair.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Drywall compound
  • Drywall tape
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Damp cloth
  • Cut away the tape from the area of the broken seam. Use a utility knife and a putty knife to cut away the surrounding area and leave a gap for new tape and drywall compound, also known as mud. If this is not done, you will see a raised area after the repair.

  • Place a thin layer of drywall compound over the area for the new tape. Spread it evenly over the area, and thread it out away from the break.

  • Cut a piece of drywall tape equal to the length originally cut from the wall, and enough to cover the whole split. Lay the tape over the seam and smooth it into the mud layer to secure it.

  • Fill the area with another layer of mud using a putty knife, this time over the tape and similarly feathering it over the wall board. Let this layer dry for a few hours and then sand it smooth. Lay another layer and repeat the drying and sanding process as many times as necessary to blend the repaired area into the rest of the wall and make the repair invisible.

  • Wipe the surrounding area with a damp cloth to remove drywall dust from the wall. When the wall is dry, roll as many layers of paint as necessary to cover the wall thoroughly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take your time spreading the drywall compound and sanding for the best repair.
  • Use quick-set drywall compound if you need to do the repair quickly.
  • Use eye protection and a face mask when sanding to keep the dust away from your eyes and lungs.

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  • "Do It Yourself Home Improvement: Step by Step Guide to Home Improvement;" Julian Cassell, Peter Parham and Theresa Coleman; 2006
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