Sagging Sheet Rock

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  #1  
Old 08-16-08, 06:39 AM
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Sagging Sheet Rock

I am in the final stages of finishing a project in which I took our guest bedroom and divided it in two...half larger walk in closets for me & she and the other half main level laundry.

I have electric heat in the ceilings that has never worked and I have disconnected it in several other rooms. I have notice in this room where the ceiling sheet rock in shagging slightly in areas and the taped joints are showing. I have a textured ceiling. I tried last night to screw the SR back up but the screws popped through. 47 year old home.

? Best way to fix this?

And here are some of my ideas: Use washers and screws to pull SR up and then apply a 1/4" sheets over it so I can get my slick ceilings that I like and have done in several rooms I have already remodeled.

Or rip it all out and replace...kinda don't want to do this because of extra mess and blown-in insulation. If I do this would I not have to do something with a 1/2" space because of the two layers of SR in the ceiling for the heat?

Any help would be great. If I go with 1/4" over I will have to address the issue of my remodel recessed lighting. They have been a pain to install in other rooms because of the 1" thick SR.

JIM
 
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  #2  
Old 08-16-08, 09:42 AM
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Sounds like this may by "pillowing" gypsum board" (drywall), I see this from time to time at home inspections of rooms with spray-on textured ceilings here in Chicago. Here's some technical information on the problem:

Water-Based Spray Textures on Gypsum Board Ceilings

If the ceiling is pillowing, adding and additional layer of drywall below the deflected surface may not work, or 5/8" drywall may be required to prevent further deflection.
 
  #3  
Old 08-16-08, 10:16 AM
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Do you really have those 2 layers with the space? Sounds like sound channel (but what for if attic above?) or 2-layer sheetrock firestop, with metal furring strips, and maybe was spaced 2 feet apart rather than 16 inches. If that is what you have, you could remove bottom layer of rock and you'd be okay.

Your plan about the washer method is clever enough except if you went with 1/4 inch, then THAT would sag (even worse!), unless you glued it good, and hope that holds the test of time.

You say 1 inch sheetrock layer. But isn't it really 1 1/2 inches overall?

And if you have that 1/2 inch separation channel, maybe when you are screwing through the bottom layer, you are trying to screw through the void and into ceiling joists, rather into the metal channel.

[If I am misinterpreting your next to last paragraph about 1/2 inch space and what you mean is simply a difference in thickness or height with an overlay, I can't see what major problems this would create that cant' easily be resolved.]

You might try the washer w/ screw method where you use washers/screws and then as you draw the area up, you add at least 2 unwashered screws. Then later remove the washered one, and run an additional unwashered screw back into that hole for a total of 3 screws in say a 6 inch proximity.

But you need to be screwing into what is solid directly above the bottom rock layer, which may be a metal channel that is installed crosswise from the direction of the joists.

.............................................................

I keep rereading your post trying to figure out what you have and have been doing on your house. You say you had problems with recessed lights in rooms with 1 inch sheetrock ceilings (per your 1st post's last sentence). Did you overlay THOSE rooms for the same reason to get rid of pillowing? If not, then why do THOSE rooms have 1 inch? And why was the lighting difficult because of that?
 

Last edited by ecman51; 08-16-08 at 10:30 AM. Reason: added more
  #4  
Old 08-16-08, 01:40 PM
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Thanks for the response. And I'm sure I'm not clear and using the correct terms here either.

Between the two layers of ceiling sheet rock is a grid of electric heating. It's hard to tell it's there until you cut into it. And I have often when I've installed recessed lighting in other rooms without sagging problems. So I have about an inch of sheet rock to deal with when installing the can lights.

My sheet rock guy came over today and suggested that we/I not use 1/4" because it will contour any sagging that I can not get out with my screw and washer idea. He suggested that I/we use the washers to pull said pillowing back up the best we can then use 1/2" SR overlay. Which I am OK with because I like the smooth ceilings.

So, with all that said the remodel recessed lighting that I have experience with has these feet(if you will) that snap/press into place and depending on how thick the SR is the tougher it is to get these feet to engage properly for a secure fit.

I did think about pulling off the lower layer of SR and may try it to see how it comes off.
 
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Old 08-16-08, 04:14 PM
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So then you DO have that 1/2 inch air channel inbetween 2 layers of 1/2 inch then. I've never heard of this type of heating before. Interesting. But you'd think heat from above like that would not be near as good as heat like this in the floor.

The 2 layers has to be separated by a channel material and that must be where the screws to the outer layer of rock must be going into. Trying to draw up the sheetrock at any other spot but where these surfaces intersect will result in screws being more easily sucked through. You may also open yourself up to creating reverse humps and/or future screw 'pops'. Let alone screwing into the wire?

Keep us updated on plans and what you do, or have done.
 
  #6  
Old 08-16-08, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
So then you DO have that 1/2 inch air channel inbetween 2 layers of 1/2 inch then.
NO air channel; 1/2" SR, heating wire, 1/2" SR. Sandwich..all touching. It's radiant heat...it is a very warm comfortable type of heat...it heats objects in the room...furniture, floors, walls, however, if you put your feet under..say.. a coffee table they would get cold. Weird! Alot of homes here in the south were built with this type of heating in the 60s and 70s.

The major problem with this type of heating was...1. it was very expensive. 2. if a wire at installation or by happenstance got damaged then it would not work. Cost of fixing it required tearing out the ceiling and trying again. We have been in this house for 8 years and only one room in the house did the ceiling heat work.

Having grown up in a house with ceiling heat and my parents still living in that house all the rooms ceiling heat still works. Just up until a few years ago did my parents never have A/C. They liked the ceiling heating so much that when the Heat Pump was put in my Dad insisted that supply vents not come through the ceiling on the second story, but rather the supplies were run into closets and were vented into adjacent rooms walls so as to save the ceiling heat. They never use the ceiling heat anymore but thought it would add value to the home as a supplemental heat to the heat pump.

I'll let you know how this works out. My SR guy and I did an overlay in my sun room a few years ago and it went very well. I have a smooth ceiling with recessed lighting and it looks great.
 
  #7  
Old 08-19-08, 06:13 AM
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Huh. Never heard of a system like this. Is the absolute total thickness 1". Yet inbetween 2 layers of 1/2 inch sheetrock there is this electric element? What do they do?; rout out channels in the underside of the top sheetrock, and the the topside of the bottom sheetock and place the element inside?

Or is this element like flat heat tape used around plumbing pipes i9n crawl spaces or undr mobile homes, similar to antenna wire, that is real flat? What kind of watts per foot does some system like this use? (For comparison, 240 volt electric baseboard heaters use 250 watts per foot.)
 
  #8  
Old 08-22-08, 07:03 AM
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Phone wire thick

I removed the bottom layer of SR that was pillowing and exposed the heating element. The wire, which is as thick as common phone line, is simply stapled to the top layer of SR. The grid of wiring runs about 3" apart from each other and then to a larger red braided line to the thermostat.

I removed the thermostat from the wall and will patch over it. I've removed all the thermostats from all the bedrooms and installed a switch for the ceiling fans or extra lighting.

All the SR has been hung and mudding starts today...I can kinda see the light at the end of the tunnel with this project.
 
  #9  
Old 08-22-08, 05:56 PM
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I've learned something new, and you are learning too. Good luck to you. Let us know how you do.

Did you do anything different to try to keep this from happening again? Or aren't you really worried about it - that perhaps it took years for this to happen? I wonder if the heat trapped inside reacted with the thin layer of air inbetween and caused some pressure inbetween layers. I wonder if one looked into this, if this is a common flaw with such a system.
 

Last edited by ecman51; 08-22-08 at 06:01 PM. Reason: added more
  #10  
Old 08-23-08, 05:03 AM
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ecman - this was a fairly common heat system in the lower priced homes built in the south during the '60's. It was cheap for the builder to install but not so cheap for the homeowner to operate. The majority of these heat systems have been replaced. They weren't very energy efficent.
 
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