I live in Seattle and it's currently wintertime. The house was built in 2014, we purchased this house in 2018 and did not have any nail pops or drywall cracks back then but the house was freshly painted so they probably just covered up a bunch of nail pops and cracks.

When it started getting cold this fall, I noticed a few nail pops in the ceiling on the 2nd floor of the house. A little later I got a crack along the edge of the ceiling and what appears to be drywall tape peeling in a couple of places.

I've checked the attic and there is no sign of water damage in these spots. There is some water near the edges of the foundation in the crawlspace that we are having addressed this spring by installing a french drain via a foundation repair contractor.

What's the best way to repair the peeling tape along the edge?

Is there anything out there that's better for edges than just applying more drywall tape?

Bedroom Ceiling Hallway ceiling with nail pop

  • This could be "partition separation," which is likely caused by the movement of the roofing system with temperature changes and/or winds. Applying more drywall tape would be a temporary fix at best. One suggestion is to install crown molding, but attach it only to the ceiling, not the walls. Jan 15, 2021 at 4:35
  • Could be that the tape wasn't embedded properly in the joint compound.
    – SteveSh
    Feb 15, 2021 at 1:01

1 Answer 1


I don’t see any evidence of repair so it may warrant a little more investigation. In the Pacific Northwest we have multiple possibilities that could cause this;

Carpenter ants.


Wood rot.

I like to use metal inside corners. Sand the texture mud the corner in and retexture.

Since this looks new and things may still moving I would put a scale or ruler up there and take a clear photo. Wait a 6 months and re measure. If no change repair.

If there is a change . Be on the lookout around the home for carpenter ants and termites. This new of construction should not have issues yet but look for water running down walls (plugged gutters) things that could start wood rotting) If you haven’t noticed any of our big 3 and the crack has not gotten worse now would be the time to repair.

It could have just been “New house settling” since the structure is not very old and we have had some high winds lately.

  • 1
    I have to mostly agree with Ed Beal, But depending upon exactly where you are in Seattle, there are unstable soils there and you may have more settling than normal. How recent is this? Like Ed said, we've had a ton of rain and a windstorm recently. Something to keep an eye on but I wouldn't worry too much yet. But if doors start sticking, windows become hard to open and more cracks in the drywall...damn, sorry, but you've got an issue. I'm in Olympia, BTW so I know the area. Jan 15, 2021 at 15:19
  • I was not aware of the soil conditions issue I lived in Edmunds long ago but have lived in Oregon for the last 30 years.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 15, 2021 at 15:27
  • It really depends upon where in Seattle. I can't even recall how many times Burlington Northern (Amtrak) has had to suspend service due to landslides or danger of landslides along it's track. And of course we had that terrible Oso landside in 2014 that killed 41 people and destroyed 49 structures, mostly homes. So yeah, I really hope the OP has normal settling issues, like you said, not uncommon and usually not serious unless it gets worse. Jan 15, 2021 at 15:37

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