Visible Dry wall seams

I’m an in a 1960 built home. The seams of the wall board can be seen in each room. Hard coat is not cracked. Any suggestions on what is happening? It’s every room wall and ceiling.

Morning, Patric.
Highly unusual to be so pronounced. I have seen and installed my fair share of wall board. as I suspect so have many members here.
There is a pressed groove around both sides of drywall to accept plaster than tape. Typically another coat of plaster is used to smooth out imperfections. So again I say this is unusual.

Pat, did you in any way measure how the drywall/wallboard is hanging? In other words, was the drywall sagging towards the center due to insufficient fasteners or the inability to fasten under floor joists. A Infrared camera would pick up and nail or screw heads as well as the flooring assembly structure when a reasonable delta-T is introduced into the room by lowering or increasing ambient temperature.

Likely 1/2” is installed on the ceiling instead of 5/8”.

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It’s the old 16 inch gypsum board. No pronounced nail pops. I suspect humidity may have caused it over the years. It’s in every room on every wall and ceiling. I do not see any structural issues or an excessive amount of season cracking.

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Any images further back, Patrick?

No additional images

Even if that were true, poor finishing is what causes most seam/joint defects.

so it is rock lathe and plaster then ?..somewhat different than drywall I think…

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They installed it with every butt joint lining up. The quality did not improve on the taping & mud or skim coat.


I agree, the panels are not staggered. Plus, it looks like it is running parallel to the joists…not helping. I would say this is nothing but a poor install. Moisture may be “exposing” the problem but is likely not the culprit.


Exactly what is going on.

Any attic pics? Was the ceiling strapped? Did you look at the top side of the panels from the attic?


Depends how cheap they were! LOL


What is the ventilation in the attic ? Any insulation?

Its hard to say from the pic and limited description, but if it’s sagging midspan the way it looks (16" o/c) than moisture, uniform loading or ceiling material thickness are the only causes. Fastener failure is out because it’s connected at lower cords. I would (advise them to) ask the seller about historic use and conditioning of indoor air (Possible poor humidity control), verify attic ventilation and insulation (ceiling being condensation surface), and look for uniform loading (like old/dense materials). Check the thickness of ceiling at attic access.

Looks like they only nailed the perimeter of each sheet.

The sags in the panles have the characteristics of Homasote, most likely skimmed over with drywall compound. :thinking:


Older buildings that had homasote panels that I seen all had 1/4" batten strips on the seams, but I am not saying that those are not. Very bad picture to go by.


Attic picture? Is there heavy blown in cellulose insulation factoring into this?