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Why Does Drywall Tape Bubble?

Drywall tape bubbles because there was improper application of the compound and there wasn’t enough contact with the tape as the compound dried.  As a result, the lack of contact made between the compound and the tape caused air bubbles to form, but it is imperative that you correct this issue because air bubbles can easily be seen once a fresh coat of paint has been applied to the drywall.

How Can I Prevent Bubbling?

The single biggest tip that we can give you to prevent bubbling from occurring is to not apply the tape when it is bone dry.  This will almost certainly cause bubbling or peeling at some point in time.  Instead, lightly coat (not soak) the tape with water. Doing this will improve contact with the joint compound and will prevent bubbles from ever forming.  The easiest way to moisten the tape is to keep a bucket of water near the area you’re working in and run it through the bucket before every use.  Give it a try, you’ll be impressed with how much it helps with contact and how easy it is to apply.

Do You Even Need Drywall Tape?

The short answer to your question is “yes”, you absolutely need drywall tape to finish off the space between two drywall joints.  The ultimate purpose of the drywall tape is to create a seamless finish between two joints, if you didn’t have the tape, you’d start to see a lot of cracks where the tape was missing.  Houses shift as they settle more and more and as that process occurs, the compound begins to crack and dust up.

Believe it or not but the tape does a great job at minimizing any kind of shifting or moving between drywall sheets and keeps the compound in place to prevent cracking.  If the compound were to crack, you would certainly see the effects on the wall and through the paint.

How Do You Fix A Bubble In Drywall Tape?

So, you’ve applied the joint compound and tape, but after letting it set for a few hours (and maybe even already applying a couple of coats of paint) you notice the tape bubbling in several places.  When this happens, it normally doesn’t happen in one isolated spot, it usually can be seen throughout the entire wall.  This isn’t the best situation to be in, but the fix is a relatively simple one.

What we’re going to do here is remove the area of the tape where the bubble has occurred, to do this we’ll need to cut out the area with a sharp utility knife.  Simply cut above and below the bubble and remove the small section of tape.

You’ll need more joint compound so mix up some of the compound and apply a thin coat to the drywall.  Grab a strip of drywall tape with a length as needed and lightly dampen it with some water.  Apply the strip of tape on the drywall and use your drywall knife to press the tape firmly to the surface while pressing out any possible air bubbles. Directly apply the joint compound to cover the strip of tape while making sure to create as even of a surface with the remaining drywall to its side. Repeat the process once more just in case.