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I recently discovered a fairly long (~2 foot) crack in my drywall within my home. Aside from the aesthetics, is there any negatives associated with leaving a drywall crack alone for an extended period of time? Of course I will eventually fix it up, but does delaying this fix pose any risk for further damage?

Edit: The property is basically brand new. It is a condo that was constructed in 2019. The crack (image attached) is about 2-3 feet long. From top to bottom, it starts off jagged like a normal drywall crack but then suddenly becomes very straight near the window frame. The area right at this crack-type transition is raised off the wall. Don't know the exact dimension of the raise, but it is obvious in sight if you are close and very obvious running your finger over it. I do not know what would be in the wall here since it is a perimeter wall. enter image description here

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    Depends where the crack is, but the crack is a symptom, not a cause. Further damage depends on the reason the drywall cracked in the first place. – isherwood Jul 6 at 20:34
  • @isherwood how can I figure out what caused the drywall crack in the first place? Is this something I can do on my own? Or do I need to bring someone in? – Runeaway3 Jul 6 at 21:05
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    Post a picture of the wall where the crack is. Depending where it is you will get suggestions of what additional things to look for. – Platinum Goose Jul 6 at 21:57
  • Right, or at least revise your post to describe the location and nature of the crack, the age and type of the home, and any other relevant information. We have almost nothing to go on here. – isherwood Jul 6 at 22:23
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Assuming your unit is similar to those outside your window. The crack is worthy to keep an eye on. If there is a beam in that bulkhead, there could be a shoddy load support in the wall under it or in the floor below. Is the lower floor(basement)finished? Depends on where you are located, structural defects such as that crack indicates is typically covered under the new home warranty. Structural engineers or Building science engineers will have the expertise to identify if there is reason to escalate the issue.

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Cracks that are straight are very common as a result of mud shrinkage or maybe some drywall fasteners weren't properly countersinked(?)... countersunk(?)... so cracks occur at the drywall seams. That would be a superficial blemish and nothing to worry about. This doesn't look to be the case to me here.

Based on the diagonal nature of the crack leads me to believe its cause indicates the building is settling. These are also pretty common fractures and usually nothing to be too concerned with. That being said, it doesn't rule out that there could be something more serious going on as @user68368 noted in their answer. I would suggest keeping an eye on in to see if the gaps change in size or if the raised surfaces get any worse.

There's usually a 1 year warranty in new home construction, but I don't know what the typical warranty for a condo is. It wouldn't hurt to call the builder to get their input if you really wanted to ease your mind. I would also suggest if it's still under warranty to let them do any repairs so not to risk voiding the warranty for that particular problem.

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Cracks like that are very common near the edges of windows and doors, since those spots often have the perfect conditions for it. You have a hole in the framing that will never be quite as strong as unbroken studs, and lots of vibration. Drywall is weakened for much the same reason, and there are often vertical seams near the edges of the opening. All of that, combined with the natural shifting and settling of the structure over time, makes this a very common issue.

Definitely keep an eye on it, but don't get too worried. By themselves this kind of crack does not indicate any deeper problem. Next time you are in someone else's home, take a look around the doors and windows and you will probably see a few with similar drywall cracks. You are just more likely to notice it when it happens in your own home.

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