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Ways to repair cracks in drywall

Drywall is a popular construction material around the world. It also goes by the name plasterboard and gypsum board, depending on where you live. This material holds many benefits; it is affordable, easy to install, saves time on a building project and can be moisture- or fire-resistant. Drywall is commonly used in modular construction, such as office blocks and apartments, to create walls and ceilings.

The main ingredient in drywall is gypsum – a natural rock that is crushed and mixed with water and other additives to form a slurry. This paste is then sandwiched between two sheets of recycled paper and cut into specific dimensions. Drywall is lightweight and durable, but it is prone to cracks if bumped with furniture, a slamming door or a falling person.

Accidents in the home can happen, but if your drywall becomes cracked or dented, it is usually cheap and easy to fix. All you need are some basic tools and common building materials to get the job done. Most hardware stores will stock all the materials you need to fix cracked drywall and the repair generally takes an hour or so.

Materials needed to repair cracks in drywall

  • All-purpose (premixed) drywall compound or regular wall plaster
  • Trowel or putty knife
  • Coarse and fine sandpaper
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Paint

How to fix a crack in walls and ceilings

Depending on the size of the crack, it may be easier to replace the entire panel of drywall. For smaller cracks in walls and ceilings, these can be plastered over and sealed in a matter of minutes. Here are three simple steps to take in order to fix cracks in drywall:

  1. Preparation

    Start by roughing the area around the crack with coarse sandpaper. This gives the wall texture which will allow the drywall compound to bond properly. Use the vacuum cleaner to remove all the dust and paint filings.

  2. Application

    Use the putty knife or trowel to apply a thin coat of drywall compound (plaster can work too) over the crack. Wait for it to dry then sand it smooth with the fine sandpaper. Repeat this step to apply a second coat for added strength.

  3. Finishes

    Once the drywall compound is dry and flush with the rest of the wall, paint over the repair to make it invisible to the eye. Remember to carefully match the paint colour with the surrounding wall, otherwise, you will notice the line of mismatched paint.

It’s as simple as that! If the crack has a wide gap or runs the length of the drywall panel, it is probably safer to just replace the entire board. Chat to a local construction company for help – they can generally assist you with these bigger repair jobs. 

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Written by Joshua Oates

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