We just moved into this house a month or so ago, and with every passing day it seems like these horizontal lines on our drywall in the basement are getting more and more pronounced. When we first bought the house, I'm pretty sure these lines weren't even there or not noticeable. We did a home inspection and this was not brought up.

Does anybody know what these lines are, and how I can fix them? Are they an indication of some structural damage?

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    Do you have 9’ ceilings? 1 line 1’ from the floor and the middle one at 4 or 5’ ? If this is the case it is the tape job , that’s what it looks like to me. – Ed Beal Mar 26 at 15:29
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    Very unseamly. If the work was relatively new (new house, or newly renovated basement) then that is a sign of a poor tape job and not a big deal (except for looks). If the work is old and looked good until recently then there may be foundation shifting or other serious problems. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Mar 26 at 15:39
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    I should have also asked if the house was unoccupied for a while, I have seen the tape lines bulge when flips were done in unheated houses or big temp changes causing the bulge. – Ed Beal Mar 26 at 15:44
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    Wow the 4’ makes sense I figured at 4’ because the light switch, is this a basement or mason army walls where electrical may have been added? That might explain 2’ or if in area that has flooded they could have cut the bottom out and just replaced that. That is unusual in my experience except remodel or flood remediation. – Ed Beal Mar 26 at 16:48
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    I'm with Ed, a line at 4' would be normal, it's common to place the sheets horizontally. the line at 2' very strongly indicates a repair job, and that the repair was water related – Ack Mar 26 at 17:28

Masonry walls sorry spell check brick , concrete etc . I am not sure if flood damage once repaired requires notifications. The bulge won’t hurt but it looks ugly I use a steamer and sometimes a spray bottle with water to remove bad tape jobs. Then retapping and painting. I don’t know if it will get any worse but it normally won’t get better, some cases it will fall off. Don’t get aggressive and pull the paper tape because some spots usually stick and can rip the Sheetrock paper.

If the room is a recreation room for kids I would wait to repair until just prior to repainting , if it is a nicer area and bothers you it is a good beginner DIY job for tape and texture .

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    Thanks a lot again, appreciate your helpful comments. – David Mar 26 at 18:20
  • @ED - you actually remove the tape; don't try to re-set it? – SteveSh Mar 26 at 20:46
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    I have tried in the past to poke some mud under loose spots and it always looks like crap to me when it drys usually worse because the bulge is now more than just a bubble. I found removing and a quick pass with corse sanding fiber pads on a pole sander works the best. Yes you can use sand paper but the pads I thought did a better faster Job once the tape was down. This is one area I use a heavy 4” knife I lay a layer of mud then the tape and squish out the excess then a thin coat over the tape and let dry, a quick sand and a top coat if needed then match the texture prime and paint. – Ed Beal Mar 28 at 5:09

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