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I recently redid my ceilings and had somebody come out and do the finishing. Used furring straps to level out the ceiling and then hung the drywall. It has been about 2 weeks now and insulation is all done inside, primed and painted. However, in several places I’m starting to notice bulges on what are clearly joints.

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They are not soft and the ceiling does not budge when pressed with some effort. They are not visible except for when natural light enters the room and unfortunately the ceilings are 8’ so the light hits it just right.

Can I sand, prime and paint? Or do I need to cut into the seam a bit, tape and feather first?

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    The problem is with changes in both heat and humidity tape seams can buckle. You could get it perfect and next summer on a warm day you will notice it again. , I find a heavy texture is the best way to hide it but even then a sharp eye can spot the patch. – Ed Beal Jan 5 at 18:40
  • @EdBeal I know its just a finishing thing and the structure is fine, just bothers me when natural light hits it oh just so right. But it shouldn't bug me because when I installed recessed lighting, you can see tape lines on the walls if you're looking for them and those don't bother me either. Something I suppose I have to learn to live with. – datta Jan 5 at 18:49
  • I am just trying to point out a heavier texture will help to make them less noticeable to you. – Ed Beal Jan 5 at 19:40
  • Are you 100% the bulges weren't there before? This just looks like a poor tape job when the compound wasn't feathered correctly as I can faintly make out both sides of the tape. You could skim coat the whole ceiling and reprime/paint or texture – redlude97 Jan 5 at 19:48
  • @EdBeal I don't know what you mean by heavier texture; do you mean with the mudding or the painting? The ceilings were textured and we wanted flat ceilings. – datta Jan 5 at 20:09
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USG calls this defect joint ridging and offered the following cause and remedy.

Cause: All building materials grow or shrink in response to changes in temperature and humidity. When they are confined to a specific space, such as gypsum panels in a partition or ceiling, they are put under stress, either compression or tension, depending on the temperature or humidity conditions. These stresses are relieved when the panel bends outward in the region of the joint. Once this bending takes place, the system takes a set and never returns to normal. It becomes pro- gressively worse with each change of temperature or humidity. This progressive deformation appears as a continuous ridge along the length of joint, with a uniform fine, ridge-like pattern at the center.

Remedy: (1) Let ridge develop fully before undertaking repairs; usually six months is sufficient. Make repairs under average room conditions; (2) Smooth ridge down to reinforcing tape without cutting through tape. Fill concave areas on either side of ridge with light fill of compound. After this is dry, float very thin film of compound over entire area; (3) Examine area with strong sidelighting to make certain that ridge has been concealed. If not, use additional feathering coats of compound. Redecorate. Ridging can recur, but is usually less severe. Continuous wetting will aggravate condition.

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  • Wonder if "entire area" means whole room? – datta Jan 5 at 21:22
  • Any changes can cause it but I haven’t seen it get worse when the temp is controlled.+ – Ed Beal Jan 5 at 21:53
  • @EdBeal I’ll have to keep an eye on it over the seasonal changes and make a call then; with the changes in temperatures in my area this time of year, and the addition of insulation, not sure. – datta Jan 6 at 0:50
  • The insulation helps to maintain stable temps if the house is maintained at a dome what constant temp. 68-72 not 50-90 swing – Ed Beal Jan 6 at 0:58

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