Interesting crack question

I inspected a 20 yr old cape style house today. The interior walls had the normal run of the mill cracks, with 1 exception. When you walk in the front door, you are lined up with the rear sliders (about 30 feet away). Both sets of doors had the same horizontal cracks, at the same height, same length, at the exact same location. The home owner has patched up the cracks previously, but they always returned. The door frames appeared to be square with no other defects noticed. The house has always been used as a summer only residence. Winter time turned off heat and winterized plumbing system. The house has no central air. Can these cracks be a result of severe temperature changes? Inspection of the crawl space did not reveal anything of major importance. It is just too weird that these cracks are a perfect mirror of each other. The inspection was a structure only with the home owner wanting a technical answer in regards to the cracks. He may be putting the house up for sale in the near future. I will be using the necessary verbage for liability protection, but I’d like to be able to give a slightly better technical answer. Any suggestions would be helpful.


Pictures would help John;

Differential in temperature changes as you are describing and drywall, never got along very well.

Would it be possible that those cracks were at four feet off the floor in both location.?

Marcel:) :slight_smile:

The cracks were closer to 7’ off floor. I agree that some pics would of been useful here, but I dont use pics.

Are the sliders Original to the house?
If not,perhaps a proper header was not used.
Or perhaps the cripple studs that carry the headers were;
a) cut out to make room for the new doors
b) never put in place.
In either case you won’t know unless “invasive” means are taken,which of course,an inspector should not do.

Yes the sliders are original, and I agree with the slider assessment, but the same identical crack at the entry door also?

Were the ceiling by any chance at 9’ ?


Vaulted ceilings

"Re: Interesting crack question "

Damn, it’s about furnaces…:twisted: :twisted:

often times drywallers will carry either a horizontal or vertical joint in line with a door or window header or jamb. in the case of the sliders the drywallers may have put a horizontal joint at the head of the doors. or perhaps the door openings were once wider than they are now and the drywall was patched in. i suspect a drywall joint at the head of the doors. it is more typical to have a vertical joint, but . . .

Pretty much what I was leading to Andrew, and if the exterior wall heights would have been at 9’ before the vaulted ceilings I would say that this is where they installed the 12" piece with drywall installed horizontally. That would explain the cracked joint in the tape.
Without pictures we are all speculating, but we are still learning right?

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

You really are too much.:p:p:p:p:p

Maybe the drywall joint was never taped…