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Wall crack was raked out & filled, but has reappeared. Help!

(DavidJ) #1

Not sure how well this photo show, but it’s one of a few cracks I repaired in my customer’s bedroom using Easifill. Dragged crack out well using shave hook for a nice ‘v’, dusted off properly then applied Easifill mixed fairly stiff. It’s now cracked again after painting.

Cause? Well, this is an empty house customer has just bought, no carpets etc., and boiler broke last week so drop in temp could be responsible. But then that’s not really satisfactory, because if he went on holiday, for example, it might happen again.

So I’m wondering, would it be daft to repeat the same repair and expect a different result, or should I perhaps use two-pack as it’s marketed as flexible? It is an outside wall.

Suggestions please!

(Andy Crichton) #2

Saw a lot of that cracking 3 years ago now, where the temperatures really dropped and plaster was cracking like a pear, on outside walls as you mention. Even old properties that hadn’t had issues before, customers were seeing huge diagonal cracks appearing. Central heating and hermetically sealed draught proofing and all the modern heating and so on, is a tricky one.

You did prep the original crack correctly, but Easifill is not designed for that sort of repair.

It is hard to say what is the “best” filler here because there are so many variables, but I did a side by side test of Polycell deep fill and Toupret TX110 on an internal soffit, and couldn’t see any difference in performance over the course of 3 or 4 months ie neither cracked. The TX110 is a doddle to use and sand.

I was asked to deal with a similar failure on an outside wall that had been plastered the gypsum route, and used the Polycell Deep fill, and those cracks seemed to hold. But you have to make the crack worth filling, and gypsum plasters arent flexible like filler, so even if your filler is doing its job, you arent always going to keep on top of the movement.

The sooner internal walls are skimmed the Toupret way, the better for all concerned. This article on filler still stacks up, cant go too far wrong with the info.

(Zen) #3

Hi David,
i lost confidence in easifill a long time ago after having many issues with it, in short i dont feel that the particles bond very tightly so it wont hold up well in a problem crack as you describe. Have you considered applying some scrim tape and then applying toupret interior filler or polyfilla interior. It will take a couple of aplications using a broad filling tool like a caulker so that you can loose the ridge by feathering it out. ( one of the problems i found with easifill is that if feathered off like this, when you roll emulsion over it, it lifts off on the roller cos it hasnt bonded well to the wall.)

(DavidJ) #4

Thanks gents for your advice. I think I’ll have to get hold of some Toupret and try that out, if it has some degree of flexibility in it.

I’ve not considered scrim taping; there were many fine cracks in this house, most of which have held up (so far), plus I think the tape may have shown through on such a flat surface as this. Also, to be honest, I really don’t have that much experience in using it, always thought it was really for bigger, deeper cracks…

Have always used Easifill, since the guys I trained with used it, nice to use and easy to sand down. But, clearly, not always going to be appropriate. I’m guessing I won’t find the TX110 at a DDC, so have to mail order.

Incidentally, am I the only decorator on TP in the Reading area…?

(DavidJ) #7


DDC did have TX110, will report back on how I find it. Btw, I’ve always mixed my Easifill really stiff, thinking that is better because it will both dry faster and sink less. Toupret says to mix according to filling type required. What would your advice be?

(Puma) #8

One Strike fillers which will handle quite a lot of movement compared to almost all others.

(Andy Crichton) #9

[quote]Quote from Puma on November 29, 2013, 18:40
One Strike fillers which will handle quite a lot of movement compared to almost all others. [/quote]

What’s One Strike all about Puma, not used it before.

I just read some user reviews on Amazon, a mixed bag from great to ouch. What’s the best way to use it successfully in this scenario, from your experience.

(Puma) #10

You know the Red Devil variety of filler. People usually recommend the Toupret version - Redlite. It will take a bit of movement okay as it is very slightly rubbery. It is less resilient to knocks and bangs though so in some areas I would consider it to be unsuitable.

I guess with fine cracks you can also use a filling blade with normal caulk though it will require a wet sand with fine sandpaper to get a finish.

(Aggie) #11

Interesting one. I lean towards the lightweight fillers myself for general filling. The ready made light whitest fillers a manufactured from tiny glass fibre balls I believe. It is quite resistant to cracking. ‘Red devil’ & Redilte being brand names.
The powdered fillers are ok for filling over similar backgrounds, eg; bare plaster, & also for skimming/feathering. At least, that is what my tendency of use is.
You mention that there are a lot of fine cracks on this particular wall, might be thermal indifference between the substrate & the rendered/plaster finish. If this was the case, I would be looking at using a liner as a more economical route.

(Russ Pike) #12

I’m using these fillers more and more and find they work really well:

Hi Puma, its good to see you on here. I must say I’m a little skeptical to filling fine cracks with “normal caulk” but if its working for you then, Hey!

Flashing fillers on fine finishes
(Puma) #13

Cheers to you PD. For general mud cracking on skim (which I guess can happen if the plaster dries front to back/ different batches of the skim have substantially different amounts of water content / the skim has too much water or as Aggie says the substrate has a different rate of thermal expansion), for those cracks I have found that raking out and any kind of white powder filler works as they are quite stable.

I think the skrim tape is definitely the way to go on larger active cracks, but when the price doesn’t allow it I go for Redlite or similar. I was just putting the idea of caulk out there really, I have used it only once on a 5 mm crack, it was a bit of tricky job getting it right as the levels of the sides of the crack were not level, but it has lasted a good few years.

(Russ Pike) #14

Totally agree with what you and Aggie mention RE the cracking.
I once used caulk to fill a large crack to a boarded artexed ceiling at my sisters house, its currently lasted over 15 years!
I’m not a massive fan of lightweight fillers but can sometimes serve a purpose

(DavidJ) #15

Bought the Toupret TX and it’s working well. I particularly like that you can mix it with warm/hot water to speed up the drying time, and it does seem to go off faster than Easifill. Sands down nicely too. Easifill now back in my store cupboard.

(darlic) #16

I go back after a year to check to see if anythings cracked,we use Den braven anti crack caulk,
if that cracks,then toupret fibracryl,i have only ever used the scrim on walls,never ceilings,a good
decorator told me he uses gripfill yellow,but have never tried it.For hiding cracks i use kip,tape,
desighned for that purpose,sold at decorating direct.i gardz most cracks,any thoughts on using
peelstop to fill in small cracks then paint?Whats your tips?

(tehomas ) #17

one small thing lots of people forget to do is wet there cracks in also

(darlic) #18

i take it teho you fill in two fills ,how do you smooth out we use a sponge?

(tehomas ) #19

smooth out ? with a filling blade

(darlic) #20

My son doing a bit,he sprays a light mist onto the blade ,this helps smooth it out,plastersers use this method.He,s using
toupret tx110 exellent filler,good working time.

(tehomas ) #21

for this size of filling i use my stuko trowel and skim it like plastering

(darlic) #22

he,s scraped back loose paint sealed bare plaster with bin,
two coats spraycan,any areas where he,s removed plugs,
before filling he,s used bullseye 123,the next thing is fill again,then apply bin to the whole wall.he can achieve
quiet a good finish,and will add some photos.