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Bow on basement drywall

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  • Jul 19th, 2021 11:56 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2014
2007 posts
906 upvotes
Calgary

Bow on basement drywall

I am going through a strange issue and trying to make sense of this. We are renovating an old 1980 duplex. The house on one side had a concrete patio/driveway that was sloping toward the house. First thing we did when we bought it we demoed the concrete to the gravel. now waiting on new concrete to be placed and graded properly. Getting new gutters as well.


All basement drywall are straight except for the one bedroom wall. This bedroom wall was the one opposite the concrete outside. The one wall has a noticeable bow in the middle and seems to be filled with drywall filler. It's about 1/4 inch out only in the middle. The rest of the wall in the basement is ok.

We thought this would indicate moisture and mold. We took a small piece of drywall cut with lots of joint compound on top and found the poly and insulation in very good shape.


The puzzling part is that even though we are fixing the grading and concrete outside so the moisture problem should solve it self but why the bow? Old construction? Should take down that portion of drywall fix it with new or just have the guy sand that area of drywall further to make it straight? The weird part is that the PO must have put the joint compound 8-10 years back or more as the wall paint is super old but there is no sign of cracks.


Also it rained heavily last week with floods across the city and no sign of water coming down from this wall either.
9 replies
Deal Addict
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Dec 10, 2008
4981 posts
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Bowed studs? Poor framing? Trying to match 1/2" drywall with 5/8"? Newb plaster job? Could be anything.

But if the joints aren't cracking it's most likely not structural.
Let's hug it out
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3857 posts
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Toronto
I'd take that entire wall down including the framing and see what's going on. The entire foundation wall could be bowed in.
Deal Addict
Nov 9, 2008
1818 posts
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Toronto
RCGA wrote: Bowed studs? Poor framing? Trying to match 1/2" drywall with 5/8"? Newb plaster job? Could be anything.

But if the joints aren't cracking it's most likely not structural.
Agree with the above. Odds are that a stud was out of alignment, or bowed outward, which caused the drywall to have a hump.

If you want to fix the hump, removing the drywall and fixing the stud is the best.

If you want to hide the hump, feather on both sides with drywall compound to make it less visible/extreme

Or do nothing and live with it, but recognize it could be a pain if you are trying to mount anything into this wall (especially a TV)
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Dec 10, 2008
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torontotim wrote: I'd take that entire wall down including the framing and see what's going on. The entire foundation wall could be bowed in.
How does a wall go from flat to bowed and not have at least a dozen screw pops and a few cracks?
Let's hug it out
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2014
2007 posts
906 upvotes
Calgary
Thank you folks. This is what I was thinking. If there was a structural issue the adjacent room would also have the same problem but it doesn't. The paint on these wall is very very old. So if there was an issue there would be screws coming out and severe leak when we had the flood style rain. I am going to talk to my drywall guy and have him take the portion out to fix the stud and drywall again.
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
1914 posts
990 upvotes
GTA
RCGA wrote: How does a wall go from flat to bowed and not have at least a dozen screw pops and a few cracks?
It probably did over time and that's why it was repaired. The wood may have warped over time and stopped.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 16, 2008
8856 posts
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Maple
May be humidity in the basement in summer time.
I hate to speculate. I hate to forecast. I am just proactive.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2014
2007 posts
906 upvotes
Calgary
Update. Had a pro drywaller look at this issue. We cut the bottom drywall as well and there was no mold or water damage. The drywaller showed me the bump was actually on the joint lines. I told him about my mold/foundation concern and he was physically able to push back the drywall from his weight, essentially if there was foundation damage you won't be able to move the drywall itself. Basically a bad drywall job from before. He is charging me a couple hundred to fix the room up and prepped for paint.
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2005
2803 posts
1866 upvotes
torontotim wrote: I'd take that entire wall down including the framing and see what's going on. The entire foundation wall could be bowed in.
That's the Mike Holmes solution - tear it all down and re-do it at the first sign of a minor imperfection.

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