Drywall separations

Looked at house built in 1973, concrete foundation. Did not find noticable foundation cracking; one hairline vertical crack on rear, and in surface of garage. Driveway has lots of cracks. 2x4 truss roof structure on 24" centers. No visible cracks in ceramic tile; most areas carpeted.

Some of ceilings are vaulted, others standard 8’ flat. Many separations of wall / ceiling drywall tape, pulls. In the garage at the garage / kitchen wall, the ceiling has separated and raised 1" above passage door from kitchen to garage.

Looking for suggestions. Uplift of truss? Age?

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This reminds me of my forensic final examination. Show me a picture and ask for the cause and manner of death. It’s difficult to tell through one photograph, however the pattern of the cracking above the door header indicates movement of the wall not movement of the ceiling. The wall system appears to have settled in the area below the door, or the wall systems have uplifted while the Center remained stationary.

It looks like truss uplift on the wall pic.


As stated before it is very difficult to make any call with only one picture. I would have to see what the exterior walls looked like before making a call. If it is settlement then the exterior walls will crack at the lintel if they are block. What type of attachments were used for the walls and trusses? In any case it deserves further evaluation by a structural engineer.

One way to help tell if it’s truss uplift or settlement, would be to take a close look at how the door fits the jamb…if it sits in the jamb crooked or door binds or doesn’t close its likely settlement. If door seems to fit properly…more likely truss uplift.

If its a slab foundation there could be uneven movement, from a home inspectors standpoint the cracks ar larger than common size and type, and possibly a structural engineer should evaluate thae foundation, maybe a floor survey, and have someone take a good look at the trusses.

Good call Darrell.
If the trusses extend into the garage this is most likely the problem given Darrell’s tests.

I agree, that would be the first thing I would look for.

Good call Darrell. :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Compliments of InspectVue: “Various ceilings and walls have stress fractures, which have resulted from movement. I can elaborate on this issue, but you should have a specialist comment, and be aware that such cracks can reappear, especially if they are not repaired correctly.”

“I can elaborate” but I won’t!

Truss uplift can be caused by temperature changes which cause the truss to bow upward int he center. If the gap is widest in the center of the span and the doors still fit, excessive bowing from poor truss design may be the problem.
If that’s what’s happening, all the trusses that share the attic space should be doing it. Or at least all the trusses of the same configuration.