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We recently moved into a house that had chipping drywall in a doorway between the living room and kitchen. The chipping seems to be getting worse and now has brown spots in some spots. We live in a ranch style house with an unfinished attic. Any ideas what could be causing this? I wasn’t to concerned until the brown spots showed up.

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    The brown spots are common rust from the metal reinforcement used on corners. It looks like you might have a moisture problem, I’d guess tho the moisture would be from above. Is that picture sideways? I can’t quite figure out which edges are ones that might be getting bumped from traffic.
    – Tyson
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 17:50
  • Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. The top picture did upload side ways. The cracking is pretty much from top to bottom and only on one side of the door way. We will head up to the attic and see if we can find the Moisture corporate. Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 18:44
  • Ahh I didn’t realize there were two pictures!
    – Tyson
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 18:51
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    Tyson that should be an answer.+
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 15:49

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Pretty much just moisture is the cause, not the house collapsing or anything like that.

The moisture may just be right above and at this beam or box in the form of a Mouse Infestation or by simply being the only place where insulation isn't. Where cold air slams into hot air is where condensation happens...insulation eliminates the collision so condensation doesn't happen in a gross amount.

The moisture's introduction could also be from a Roof or Plumbing leak or even an improperly installed exhaust fan from the kitchen and/or a bathroom(s). Their exhaust may not be going outdoors and is just dumping humid house-air into the attic.

On a much more rare level, it could be the combined efforts of air-leaking Electrical Outlet and Light-Switch boxes, poor fitting Attic Access Panel, shoddy or clogged Clothes Dryer vent pipe and even incorrect Furnace and Water Heater exhaust pipes.

Nothing's expensive and you can likely handle most everything yourself, the stores even have electrical box foam insert gaskets for both outlets and switches...usually in the Weather-Stripping section owned by Frost King.

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  • Thank you so much for answering my question. The house sat empty for two years before we bought it and we did notice mouse droppings. (Hopefully not infestation!) We will head up to the attic today And see if we can find the moisture source. Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 18:48
  • Sorry I had to throw that in, but it's fairly common and mice can stay for decades if ignored. Good luck. I'm sure you'll be fine in your new place.
    – Iggy
    Commented Dec 28, 2018 at 19:06

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