We have little beach house that has a re-occuring cathedral ceiling crack and one particularly pesky nail pop that runs along the length of our great room just below the point where the slope meets the flat spot in the center.
It's definitely seasonal. I started the repair in July, and being the research intensive type, I did it by the book as I stood on top of a 12' ladder craning my neck until I thought it would break! First I gouged out the crack with a and old-fashioned beer bottle opener (a nice tip from a firefighter/contractor guy we know) to open up an angled seam the length of the crack. Used Dust-Off to clean out the dust, laid in the first coat of joint compound, waited a week (it's the weekend place for us). Next I added fresh joint compound and slammed on the polyester mesh tape, sponged away the excess, waited a week, sanded, added another coat of compound, waited, sanded and applied the final coat. Obsessive, right? Sue me, I'm a wife trying to impress my husband with my DIY smarts.
I did the same for the nail pop, drove in the nail, drove 2 screws on either side and finished it up with joint compound a mesh tape. Looked brilliant until winter came and the crack reappeared. The nail popped up under the mesh tape and looks like a ceiling zit.
So what to do now? Actually, is there a best time to repair a ceiling?
In working on the house we found this great stuff called Plaster Weld that worked out great on a crack in another room which to date hasn't reopened. We're thinking of trying some of that when we start all over again on the great room ceiling but this time, he goes up the ladder! Any suggestions?
As always, thanks to the good folks who graciously offer their wisdom so freely here!