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My home is less than a year old. A few months after moving in, I noticed a few spots where the drywall looks like it is cracked and flaking outward. The spots in question are on the second floor just below the ceiling in our laundry room, hallway and a bedroom (towards center of our home). What could be causing this?

I have a one year new home warranty and an 8 year structural warranty, so I want to make sure I figure this out before either expire.

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    It's tape peeling off. You'll see more of those for the first couple of years. Should be all covered under warrenty. Nov 12, 2022 at 19:55
  • This is fairly normal. Hard to say how much it's somebody's "fault" vs just bad luck.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 12, 2022 at 20:06
  • "Settling cracks" is the general term. Framing drying & shrinking as much as anything actually settling, usually. Tend to be aggravated by people who ignore 30+ year old recommendations on how to drywall those corners from the Gypsum Association, because "That's not the way granddaddy did it." diy.stackexchange.com/a/36030/18078
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 12, 2022 at 20:16

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Like Jack said, you might want to wait until the builders warranty is just about to expire to have them come back and fix it. What is looks like to me is that whoever did the taping had topping mud in their pan and put taping mud on top of it, or visa versa, something to that effect, and when the topping mud got used it began shrinking back while the taping mud doesnt shrink. It looks that way to me because it isn't everywhere, it's just hit and miss, and it looks like you could even tell where the taper was when he filled his pan and what direction he was moving, as it tapers off and the spots become further and further apart, it's definitely not structural, tho, purely cosmetic. If you choose to do it yourself, it's pretty easy. you could take a razor knife and cut a small slice perpendicular to the tape line to roll the tape back and smear a little compound under the part that has released entirely, then just press the tape back in place with your taping knife, using the excess mud to skim and fill the surface. After it sets up for fifteen minutes or so, wipe it with a damp sponge.

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  • Either they totally sucked at it or they embedded the tape with Plus X instead of Easy Sand, +1. If under the tape is water soluble, that's what they did.
    – Mazura
    Nov 12, 2022 at 23:12
  • I think you meant to write that the patches of topping compound didn't bond to the paper tape? Both taping and topping mud are drying compounds and will shrink. It's hot mud that's a setting/curing compound and won't shrink. Topping compound cannot be used for the taping stage, which still supports your theory.
    – P2000
    Nov 13, 2022 at 6:35
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It looks like a bad taping job where the installers skimped on the mud when taping the ceiling. The small amount they used is now cracking and flaking. Let the builder know about the problem but you might want to wait a bit before having them fix it because you might find more cracks.

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Nothing to worry.

Just cosmetics.

It is the drywall tape that is used over joins and it is coming off.

Usually the cause is not enough mud.

The Fix is to add more mud, preferably under the tape.

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