Shrinkage, Temperature, Settlement
Drywall nail pops and cracks are a common occurrence in new homes and they can occur to varying degrees in each home depending on several factors.
The three most common causes of cracks and nail pops are the drying of wood framing material (shrinkage), temperature changes associated with the four seasons and normal settlement.
These factors contribute to the drywall cracking and nail pops at the wall and ceiling corners (inside and outside corners).
This is especially common in every home built in our northern climate and is usually more prominent during the first year of occupying a new home.
It is for this reason that most new home builders and renovation companies recommend waiting a minimum of 1 year before applying custom paint colors to walls or ceilings.
This is also the same reason that most builders use a mid quality paint product that is builder grade as they are aware most homeowners will add their own paint colors to match their taste and choice after patching drywall cracks and nail pops.
In addition, it is much easier to determine color and texture choices once you have lived in your home for awhile and get a feel for what design elements would work best for you.
The Tarion Warranty Corporation “Construction Performance Guidelines” that govern minimum warranty requirements and protect Ontario new home buyers considers the occurrence of nail pops and cracks in article 9.4 as follows:
One-Year – Work and Materials – Cracks resulting from normal shrinkage of materials due to drying after construction are excluded from the statutory warranty.
For further details regarding nail pops and cracks or to view article 9.4 as noted above please visit www.tarion.com to review the construction performance guidelines in their entirety.
The occurrence of truss uplift is most frequently reported during the colder months of the year as temperature is one of the primary factors influencing this condition.
Truss uplift becomes visible when the bottom chords (the ceiling joist part of the truss above your ceiling), which are covered by insulation, stay warm and dry but the top chords are exposed to moisture changes.
The resulting stress causes the truss to lift up at its center thus causing cracks and gaps to appear.
Signs of truss uplift are observed as gaps between the wall/ceiling juncture and usually measure 4mm or less.
It is important to note that this does not represent a structural problem or defect, but at worst is a cosmetic issue that in some cases could repeat itself every year during the colder months. As this does not occur in all homes and is often the result of conditions beyond a builder’s control, no action is required unless the gap exceeds 4 mm.
Although there are a number of ways that this cosmetic condition can be remedied, the easiest way is to install molding such as crown molding directly connected to the ceiling. (Where the condition is within the acceptable tolerance, the cost of repair would be the responsibility of the homeowner).
By using this technique, the molding is allowed to move freely up and down whenever truss uplift occurs and because the molding is not attached to the wall this movement does not affect the molding.
Best of all, the gap is no longer visible and the fix is cosmetically pleasing to the eye. A variety of contractors can be hired to perform this type of work, such as trim installers, carpenters or general contractors.
Lastly, The Tarion Warranty Corporation “Construction performance guidelines” article 9.5 states the following: Cracks resulting from normal shrinkage are acceptable; crack width in excess of 4 mm is not acceptable.
One-Year – Work and Materials – Cracks resulting from normal shrinkage of materials caused by drying after construction are excluded from the statutory warranty.
For further detail regarding truss uplift or to view the entire article as noted above please visit www.tarion.com to review the construction performance guidelines in their entirety.