Having the perfect wall starts long before paint ever touches it. In fact, it starts before sheetrock is even delivered.
We all like a smooth wall to hang those pictures of our grandchildren on.
In many houses, you’ll see a rough textured wall. In our retirement communities, we opt for a smoother wall. It’s harder to make perfect, but they look good when they’re done right.
I remember walking through a parade of homes and getting sea sick just looking at the ripples in some multi-million dollar house walls. That’s a problem that can’t be fixed without some major surgery. Usually, that kind of a problem never gets fixed.
But we’re not talking about whole wall fixes, we’re focusing just on the drywall. Let’s get into it.
Common problems with drywall itself
The biggest problem with drywall is that you are putting a plaster type product onto a fiber type product. This is a problem that occurs any time you put two different classes of material together.
The wood in your walls will expand and contract with temperature and moisture changes. Also, while all the wood in your home has been dried, it is still likely shipped to you from some other part of the country.
One thing is for sure, it will not act the same way that your sheetrock does. This will create problems, especially for that first year while the wood adjusts to the climate and settles as much as it will after its construction.
There are two main issues that come about because of this. The first is cracks. The second is nail or screw pops.
We expect these little problems to happen. We also warranty them. There are two main problem with them. First they look unattractive, that’s a no brainer. The second problem, is that during that first year, you’re likely to either get more or notice more of them.
Logistically, this becomes a challenge. Paint touchups aren’t easy, and they often leave a little flash for a while afterwards. So what we recommend is that every homeowner keep a list of where all the little nail pops and cracks are, then let us know one time, at the end of your first year living there.
This way, we only have to come one time instead of dozens of times re-re-nit-picking walls. This also means less paint touchups, which means cleaner looking walls.
A lot of people worry that if they don’t get it done sooner than later, that we won’t honor their warranty. We definitely want to get those walls taken care of. Giving us your final drywall puchlist a day late or even a month or two late isn’t going to keep us from coming back to fix it. We want you to have the best house you’ve ever owned in the best community you’ve ever lived in. We want you to tell all your friends about us.
You wouldn’t be willing to do that if we ignored something we promised you, would you?
How to fix it
Since we like to only come once to fix all these drywall issues, we often have folks who want to do some drywall repairs before the one year mark. Also, if anything happens a few years down the road, say a grandkid does a body slam into the wall and you end up with a crack or nail pop, you might wonder, how how can I fix this now?
For popped screws, you have to dig out the plaster on the screw so that you can screw it back in, tighter. If you don’t cinch the screw in tight, the sheet rock will wobble back and forth, popping any patch back out again later. The same principle holds for nails.
Then you can put a couple layers of sheetrock mud on, sanding between each coat until you have a smooth surface to paint.
For a crack, you will want to put a mesh tape over the crack before you plaster. This will help reinforce your plaster repair so that the crack doesn’t just transfer back through later. Again, do a couple coats of sheetrock mud, sanding between each layer and feathering it out so that it is smooth.
Don’t forget, that when you closed, we gave you a paint touchup kit with your wall color in it. If you never received this, please talk to the sales representative who helped you with your home. They have one for each homeowner.
With any luck, you will not have to be repairing any of your own walls. The touchup kit is mainly for you to patch little holes from when you hung a picture, then rehung it in the right spot.