Wall Repair: A Step-By-Step Guide to Fixing Cracks and Holes

Being a homeowner involves a fair amount of maintenance and repair projects many of which can be done by the homeowner themselves at home. Minor wall repair is one such project. You can repair the racks in a few hours with just a handful of basic materials, whether you’re working with drywall, plaster, or concrete. If you spot cracks and holes in your walls, here’s how you can go about repairing them.

fixing wall cracks

Repairing a Drywall Crack

Even the best-built houses develop cracks as they age and drywalls are no exception. Attending to the cracks at the right moment will prevent further damage. There are several ways to repair drywall cracks depending on their size and place of damage. Follow the steps below to fix the drywall cracks

Step 1: 

You can purchase a ” setting-type ” or pre-mixed joint compound from a nearby Hardware store. Setting joint compound is available in powder form. Using a taping knife, mix the compound in a “mud tray.  Remember, spackling should not be used with drywalls. You can find all the tools and materials you need at hardware and home improvement store.  Please keep in mind that setting-type joint compound is more difficult to apply smoothly, and to sand, so it is not the best choice for beginners. Professionals prefer it since it dries quickly. Cut a 1/4 to 1/8-inch (0.64 to 0.32-cm) V-notch along the crack. The “V” shape will hold the compound in place. Brush out the dust from the crack with a paintbrush or a hand vacuum cleaner.

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Step 2: 

Over the cracks, apply several coats of joint compound. Use a 3 to 4 in (7.6 to 10.2 cm) putty knife. Wait until the compound has completely dried before applying additional layers. Fill the cracks with as many coats as necessary. The average number, however, is three coats.

  • The drying time for each coat of a setting-type joint compound can take about twenty minutes and about twenty-four hours for a thick first coat of pre-mixed compound. 
  • If the cut is deeper than 1/4 inches (0.64 cm), you may need to push a piece of mesh or paper tape into the initial layer of compound before it cures to better seal the crack.
  • Thinner coats are preferable since it is easier to sand them down to fit the wall after they have dried. 

Step 3

Sand the dried joint compound with medium-grit sandpaper. Smooth out the part with a sanding block to the wall’s flatness. Wear a dust mask during sanding to avoid inhaling particles. An 80-grit (medium-grit) sandpaper can remove bigger imperfections, while a finer 120-grit can be used for finishing touches.  Sanding in between coats is one approach that may reduce the amount of sanding required in the end.

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Step 4

Apply a coat of latex primer over the crack, and then finish painting the wall. If you do not first apply primer to the patched area, it will not properly blend in with the rest of the wall and, therefore, look uneven. If, however, you chose a paint and primer all in one, this rule does not apply to you. Then it only requires a coat or two of the paint straight on the afflicted region.

Plaster wall crack repair

Plaster walls are highly sensitive to climatic changes and crack if they are constantly in contact with water. The damage might more noticeable above or beside window frames and doorways. In case your plaster wall cracks, here is how you can repair it.

Step 1:

Gently press against the wall near the crack to see if it goes in.  If the plaster moves toward the wall, it has most likely separated from the lath strips. These are 3/8″ x 1″ (1cm x 2.5cm) wooden strips with thin gaps between them. If the plaster has come loose, use 1 1/4″ (3.2cm) drywall screws to secure it to the lath strips. Each screw head should be buried in the plaster. Longer screws should not be used because a power cable may be behind the wall. Then, use a putty knife to widen the crack if it is less than 1/4 inches (6.4 mm) wide. This provides a larger area for the joint compound to stick to.

Step 2:

Over the crack, apply ready-mixed or setting-type joint compound. Use a 4″ (10.2cm) putty knife or a 6″ (15.2cm) taping knife. Ready-mixed joint compound is easier to apply, especially for beginners. A “mud tray” and a taping knife or putty knife would do for mixing the setting-type joint compound. Because it can be smoothed out while still partially dry. Here, very little sanding is required. Dampen the crack before applying the compound to remove any loose particles and improve the compound’s grip.

Step 3: 

Self-adhesive fiberglass mesh tape should be used to cover a large wall crack before applying the plaster over it. If movement in the wall caused the crack, this will prevent the new plaster from cracking. Then allow it to dry. Keep in mind that the room temperature should be between 55 and 70 °F (13 and 21 °C) for the setting-type joint compound to dry thoroughly.

Step 4:

Apply two or three layers of compound to the taped area. A moist sponge can be used to smooth down the final coating. Extend the compound 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) beyond the margins of the preceding layer with each succeeding layer. Your final layer should be 12 inches (30 cm) longer than the initial area. You’ll need a 6″ taping knife for this.

To remove bumps, lightly smooth each layer with fine sandpaper.  When applying the compound, use a feathering technique. With the knife at a 70-degree angle, begin in the center and work your way out to the outside margins of each coat, applying pressure as you get further away from the center.   

Step 5: 

To match the rest of the wall, paint over the mended area. If you can see a raised portion where you repaired the wall, sand it flush to the wall before painting to provide a seamless transition. Allow at least 24 hours before painting to ensure the compound is totally dry.

Concrete Wall Repair

Concrete comprises of cement, sand, and water. This makes a strong composition for a wall. However, during the first few days, the wall should be watered repetitively to prevent cracks. At other times, severe damage might result from sudden strong pressure from an external source. Below, you can learn how to fix cracks and holes in your concrete wall.

Step 1: 

Using a chisel and hammer, widen the crack. The patching material used here is bulky and won’t fill a small fracture. Undercutting (basically chipping away at the concrete) should be performed 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the crack’s edges. This increases the surface area available for the patching substance to grip.

Step 2:

Use a paintbrush or a hand vacuum to remove debris from the fracture. Rinse it with water and use a hair dryer to dry it. Use concrete bonding glue to prime the area. This will help the patching material stick to the concrete better. Spread a thin layer along the edges and well into the crack with an old paintbrush.

Step 3:

Using a strong putty knife or pointed trowel, has many applications in concrete repairing. After pressing it into the crack, allow each layer to dry completely between coats. Repeat this until the crack has been filled and the wall is level.

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Step 4: 

Before the patched area dries, add texture to it. If the patched region is smoother than the surrounding area, it will appear awful. It might be difficult to match new and old concrete. To test your texture-adding method, apply a coat of patching mix to a piece of wood and rough it up to check if the texture matches. You can use a brush to seal the patch with a heavy-duty water-based polyurethane to prevent stains and other markings.

Conclusion

In the above article, you’ll find that we explained how to fix multiple wall cracks. Even though it’s a professional job, with the right tools and material, you can repair many of the holes and cracks in your wall. We tried to include the three most common types of walls and a step-by-step guide to help you repair wall. Hope this would help you one day. 

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