Old 04-10-01, 09:01 PM
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I own an eight year old two story center hall colonial. Within the last year I've notice the second story ceilings showing the outline of beams from the attic floor. These are sheet rock ceilings, primed and painted. It had been 4 plus years since they had been painted so we figured it was just time to paint. We painted all the ceilings and within a month all the attic supports are showing through again. Someone asked me if I had heard mice in the ceiling? When I said yes, they said that the mice probably moved the insulation cause the vabor bearior to be broken. They said the marks we are seeing are actually mildew. Do you believe this to be true and if so how do I fix the problem?
Old 04-10-01, 09:45 PM
Sonnie Layne
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Hi Heron,
A better mousetrap? Just joking.

I thing the concept is bogus. The mice would methodically have to move from one joist to another and along the length of each one to do anything of the sort, and tho' I live in the deep south, I know nothing of a vapor barrier in the attic adjacent to ceiling wallboard.

Now you say this is from "attic supports"... are your ceilings there vaulted to the roof rafters or do you have an attic space between your second floor ceiling and the roof of the structure? I'm gonna give you a link to a sheetrockers/finishers forum that may help. In the mean time give us a chance here, too.

You say you painted after four years. Was it because of this discolouration or by choice? 4 years is too soon to have to repaint an 8 year home. Much less one month. I suspect there's moisture in the "attic" due possibly to inadequate ventilation, or perhaps the ceiling was applied to wet members (don't go there!). Anyway post your question at this site, or my own and I'll work it for you. There's plenty of advice here and I'm sure another pro will contribute, so just stand by.

My best,

Old 04-11-01, 07:49 PM
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Hi Sonnie, Thanks for taking a look at our problem. Our ceilings are not vaulted, we have an attic space between our second floor ceiling and the roof. After speaking with my husband he seems to think the two rooms that the problem is the most noticeable have not been repainted in the last eight years until a month ago. We painted because of the discoloration. We have gone into the attic space and there are mouse droppings and a few places where the insulation is disturbed. We believe we have taken care of the little critters, now we need to take care of the bigger problem. There is no mildew smell, no evidence of mildew and no apparent dampness. There are roof vents across the whole peak of the house. We want to sell our home and really need to fix the problem. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Old 04-12-01, 12:17 AM
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heron, Could be a number of things causing the joists to show but I think there must be some smoke, humidity or something causing this anomoly. At any rate, if the ceilings are dry a coat of oil primer like KILZ will cure the bleeders. Follow with a topcoat on these ceilings and you should be ready to show your home...Mike

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