Drywall tape – loose, bubbles or wrinkled

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Published: December 24, 2014 Last Updated: November 22, 2019

Many homes experience loose or wrinkled dry wall tape at some point. Generally it is nothing to be alarmed about and just needs to be touched up or re-taped in a few places.

Drywall tape is normally embedded in drywall compound, usually called “drywall mud” by the tradesmen doing this type of work.

Most common causes

1. Probably the most common cause is that there was insufficient drywall compound applied to the taped joint or improper application. i.e. the tape did not get properly embedded into the mud on a hot summer day.

2. Moisture or dampness may also cause the tape to come loose. If the drywall had a high moisture content when the tape was applied or a high humidity condition came about, then there may be loose tape. Even too much water in a primer coat of paint that has been sprayed on to the drywall in the painting process may contribute to drywall tape coming loose.

3. Bubbles, technically called blisters, (usually caused by insufficient drywall compound being applied in the taping process) and wrinkles, may occur because of improper techniques in applying the drywall compound to the tape; perhaps an inexperienced drywall taper.

4. Occasionally movement of the wood from moisture content changes, truss uplift, seasonal movement of the slab or foundation, settlement or expansive soil issues may affect the taping.

Who to fix

Drywall tapers, painters, handymen and home owners usually do this type of work.

Who to consult? Drywall tapers and contractors or painters.

Home owners will often re-tape or patch an area where the drywall tape has come loose, bubbled or wrinkled. Painters and drywall tapers or contractors are the most proficient at this type of work.

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