Have you ever tried to repair a cracked ceiling or wall? I love drywall compound—it slathers on and makes that great swipe. It covers anything in its path! So why, when I’ve completely covered the crack, does it come back? And, moving on to drywall 201, why can’t I just make those popped seams disappear? Well, it turns out the two conditions require two different responses: retape the crack but smooth out the pop. Until it happened in my newly drywalled addition, I had no one to ask (okay, blame) for these errors—I’d always done the work myself. But as the drywall finisher came back for the third time, he explained that cracks will never go away until they are retaped. Who knew!?!? He covered the popped seam with a layer of joint compound that he feathered, returning two more times to make sure it was perfect. The cracked seam got a new sheet of tape and drywall compound, plus the extra visits for special care. Oddest of all, he said, was finding cracks after just two weeks. Looks like the moisture content in “kiln-dried” framing really is higher than we’re thinking. Ah, but that is a discussion for another day!