I live in an area with clay soils, so the homes here move quite a bit leading to typical cracking in drywall around door and window frames. My home seems particularly bad, ex this large crack in my living room:

A structural engineer said the foundation looks fine. Two contractors suggested two very different things, one wants to add helical piers under the entire home (which would be super expensive) the other suggested adding adjustable posts under the home.

I'm more wondering if there is any degree of confidence in any contractor/solution or if everyone is just guessing?

  • 1
    Did you ask about improving drainage? It wouldn't be the whole solution, but if you had a more stable substrate, you'd probably get some more stability.
    – User95050
    Nov 29 '16 at 0:57

I see this question was asked 4 months ago (oh, and a comment added 1 month ago) so this may not matter, but the topic intrigues me. So...

Yes, there is a way to determine exactly what to do and how to determine if it will crack again. There are geotechnical engineers out there that analyze soil and sub-soil conditions. They can tell you exactly what "your" soil bearing value is and what "kind" of footing to install, (I.e.: standard spread footing, piling, etc.). However, they can't tell you how big the footings need to be...that is done by an architect or structural engineer.

They will add up all the loads in your house and decide where the loads come down on your footings and then decide if the existing footings are big enough based on the "soil conditions " provided by the Geotech Report. If they are not the right size, they can provide a design on how to fix it.

As you can imagine, this is quite expensive. An alternative to all that is to work with a REPUTABLE builder in the area and repair your walls, "fix" your footings and see how it goes. This trial and error method seems silly to me, but it probably depends on how long you're going to stay in the home.

Also, you could ask your neighbors if this occurs every year, or just once in awhile. Maybe you just repair the cracks and paint ever couple of years.

By the way, if you get the geotechnical report done, but don't follow through with the repairs, then where I live you need to disclose that when you go to sell your house. Attorneys love it when the seller does not disclose EVERYTHING.


That doesn't look like drywall cracking, but plaster. Either it's a very heavy coat of plaster over the drywall seam or you actually have plaster walls which tend to crack like this with moisture/movement.

Your title question is answered by using drywall tape on the seams, but for structural engineering you might want to ask it as it's own question regardless of the drywall/plaster conditions.

  • It also looks like a horrible plastering job. That kind of makes me wonder what is behind it and how sound it is.
    – Trevor_G
    Mar 1 '17 at 23:02

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