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Repairing saggy drywall on ceiling and walls

Repairing saggy drywall on ceiling and walls

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  #1  
Old 11-02-16, 07:54 AM
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Repairing saggy drywall on ceiling and walls

Hey guys,

Doing few renovations to my 1960s home, and came across a dilemma regarding what looks like "saggy" drywall on the ceiling and some on the wall as well, pictures attached below. One of my friends who is a contractor/handyman, suggested that I have 3 options - 1) Patch and mud over the dents in the drywall 2) Take down old drywall and replace it with new half inch drywall or 3) put a layer of a 3/8 drywall on top by screwing it to the joists or the straps that run perpendicular to the joists to which the original drywall is attached.

Any recommendation as to what to do in my case? Obviously I am looking for the optimal way to get this resolved.

Thank you in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-02-16, 09:45 AM
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How far are the joists apart in your ceiling? How far apart are the valleys in your sagging drywall? I have seen some houses use 3/8" or even 1/4" on ceilings and eventually the sagging appears. Combine it with a humid day when the AC is not running and I've seen it fall down in places.

Whatever the answer I would side with option #2 if you want a permanent fix. If you just fill in the valleys with more joint compound the area between joists may continue to sag causing your patch to crack and fail possibly making it look worse.
 
  #3  
Old 11-02-16, 10:17 AM
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What is above the ceiling? If you don't have to fool with insulation the best bet would be to tear if off and replace with 1/2" drywall, 5/8" if the joists are spaced further than 16" That would also be a good time to inspect the framing.
 
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Old 11-02-16, 10:18 AM
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I'm with PD on option 2. #1 involves at least half of the work/time as #2 and doesn't address the underlying issue. It's a cosmetic fix that may or may not last. #3 is almost as much work as #2 but since you haven't exposed the framing you don't know if inadequate framing is the real problem.

I would also add that if the framing is on wider than 16 centers you should use 5/8 drywall, especially if there is insulation above.
 
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Old 11-02-16, 11:16 AM
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Thank you all for providing a quick reply.

Here are the answers to your questions:

1) The ceiling joists are spaced 16" OC.
2) This is a bungalow so, above the ceiling is the attic.
3) The attic has an older type of insulation, sort of like the pink fiberglass insulation but wrapped in brown paper, and on top of it is blown insulation.

So I also think that perhaps replacing the old drywall ceiling with new drywall is a better option, my only concern is that all of the insulation will be falling through the joists once I remove the existing ceiling, and that would be a nightmare. Any solutions to this issue?

Also I believe the existing ceiling drywall is attached to the wood strappings that run perpendicular to the ceiling joists. Once I remove the drywall, should I re-strap the strappings or reuse them.

Another thing is, if I decide to replace the drywall on the ceiling, I would like to put pot lights in it. Do I cut holes for potlights before hanging new drywall or once everything is hanged.

Thank you again.
 
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Old 11-02-16, 11:43 AM
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Dealing with the insulation is a pain but if you can handle the mess that's the best way to go.

Is the strapping also on 16" centers? You can either cut the holes for the cans after the drywall is up or before [which requires precise measuring]
 
  #7  
Old 11-02-16, 11:52 AM
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I don't know why they would have used strapping or furring strips if you already have ceiling joists. Perhaps things were not level and they needed to shim or do some adjusting. Whether or not you can use them you'll have to take a look at them and see. Ordinarily you would attach to the ceiling joists as it's less work.

When you remove the sheetrock the insulation probably will fall through so be ready. Have some big garbage bags and snow shovels ready. After the new sheetrock is back up it's quick and easy to blow new insulation back in. And, since the ceiling is opened up it's a good time to inspect for any insulating problems like insulation blocking soffit vents.

I've done can lights both ways. Generally with new construction the lights go in first. For no measuring or precise cutting, after the light is up, I hold a plumb bob in the center of the light and use the bob to mark the exact spot on the floor. Then a few screws can hold up the sheetrock allowing it to bow over the fixture. Hang a plumb bob to your spot on the floor and you know where the light is. Dive in with a router and follow the outline of the fixture.

With retrofit installations the light often goes in after the sheetrock. The important thing is to make sure you have enough wire available to do your wiring from below or else you're crawling in the attic to do the work. You also need to make sure your intended light position does not interfere with a joist so check before you bore that big hole through your new sheetrock.
 
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Old 11-02-16, 12:55 PM
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Ceiling strapping is a Canadian thing. I would drywall over the existing on the ceiling, but would check / chalkline all the strapping. Use 5/8" on the ceiling so that those humps are less likely to telegraph through. Any tremendously bowed areas should be cut out before you add an additional layer.

You would be wise to check your proposed light locations by making a hole in the existing drywall to ensure there are no joists where lights will go. THEN use a remodel style light, cutting in the holes in drywall after it is up.

The walls are just bad taping and can probably be fixed with more mud.
 
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Old 11-03-16, 06:55 PM
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I am really now debating what to do about these ceilings. I have cut into it and measured the thickness of the drywall, its 5/8 thick but looks like it consists of two layers of different size drywall. I am think removing the old one and putiing new sheetrock is amsafer way to go although requires more work and bigger clean up. I also checked the strapping, it runs perpendicular to the joist. So replace it completely, or put an extra sheet of drywall on top of the excisting one? I would loose almost an inch of head room as well.

So i am thinking replacing the drywall on the walls in every bedroom would be a very large undertaking. Perhaps, it would be more reasonable to try to put extra mud on the joints. Can I do that over the existing paint?

Thank you.
 
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Old 11-03-16, 07:10 PM
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If there is no insulation to be concerned about, by all means remove the ceiling layers.
 
  #11  
Old 11-04-16, 02:51 AM
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I'd remove the drywall on the ceiling, especially if it's 2 thin layers of drywall. I know it's a messy job but I think it would be worth it in the long run.

It's no big deal to apply a skim coat over paint. If the paint has a sheen it should be scuff sanded first. Normally the ceiling is hung first and then the top of the wall drywall is used to help support the perimeter of the ceiling drywall but you could leave the walls and just replace the ceiling.
 
  #12  
Old 11-05-16, 01:41 PM
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It looks like gypsum plaster over gypsum lath. The age of the house would make it possible. This should not have happened but since it did your best option is removal. I think I read somewhere that there is equipment and probably contractors who know how to do it who can vacuum out the insulation. I may have imagined this. But it might be worth investigating and depending on the cost worth the investment. It would be worth a lot to me not to have to clean up and dispose of the insulation. But if you do this yourself I think you can figure out a way to scape out a lot of the sultan on before you take the whole lid down. Make a hole brig enough to work in in each joist bay then drag it out into big bags. I mean big like mattress sacks r something like that. It might be a two person job.
 
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Old 11-21-16, 01:22 PM
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Yes, so I did some more research and it is a Rock lath with plaster board on it. They were installed in panels 16" by 4' in size hence I am seeing so many joints connections. I haven't decided what I will be doing with this yet, but I did rip out a chunk of the ceiling in one of the bedrooms and the insulation is intact, so I might try to replace only the ceiling. But then again, the walls also show joint connections so ripping out all ceilings and walls in 3 bedrooms would be a nightmare. How about putting up a layer of half inch drywall over existing ceilings and walls?
 
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Old 11-21-16, 01:45 PM
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Laminating over the existing wall/ceiling is always an option. Just keep in mind that any woodwork would need to be adjusted to fit the slightly smaller room. Electrical outlets would need box extensions installed.
 
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Old 11-21-16, 02:30 PM
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It is usually easier to overlay a ceiling than walls -- fewer electrical and fenestation penetrations to work around and usually wood work is not a problem on ceilings. If the joists are strong enough to support the weight it isa lot less mess to overlay than to tear out. But it is possible that the drywall is not rigid enough to pull the bows out of the lid. You might end up with a wavy ceiling anyway. I have overlaid ceilings many times, usually over wood lath rather than gypsum. I think you might could do this. Use a panel lifter to get the new gypsum board in place and give it an extra part of a turn to push the ceiling up a little. Screw it up then look it over carefully. If you have waves then try this on the next pieces
Put in enough screws to just hold the rock up then between each joist prop it up with a 2 X 4 "T" and wedge it tightly enough to make it flat again. The lath and plaster will move some for you but I fear not enough for new rock alone to pull it into place but I think once it is flat and the rock screwed tightly it will stay flat.
You might be able to push the walls flat and then overlay them too. The caveats mentioned about trim and boxes are important considerations,
I went back and reread your post about the thickness of your ceiling. It might not be 5/8" everywhere but if you took it down and replaced it with 5/8 rock it would be the same thickness. To add anymore than 1/2" overlay would be a lot of weight but it would end up flatter than if you use 1/2"

5/8 total thickness of gypsum lath and plaster is too thin. That might be why it sagged. Moisture and humidity had something to do with this as well.
It should not have happened on walls. Is it possible that insulation was blown into the walls sometime since the house was built? Maybe it was overfilled?
 
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Old 11-25-16, 08:40 AM
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Thank you all for your response.

To answer to your question re blown in insulation after the walls were in place, I am not sure if this is the case, I bought this house this past May so I have no idea why the walls buckled up this way, but it is very noticeable in all 3 bedrooms.

I think what I might try to do is start with one room, get rid of the ceiling, and try to plaster and mud the wavy walls at the joints of rock lath panels.

My concern with dry walling over the existing ceiling is adding extra weight to the joists, although I would much rather prefer that option than tearing all of the ceiling down. With respect to the walls, ideally I would replace the wavy plaster, but it seems like it is so much work, plus disposing of all of this thick and heavy rocklath would be a pain.
 
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Old 11-25-16, 09:47 AM
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Put a rolloff dumpster in your driveway for a few weeks, throw the plaster in there and with whatever room you have left in the dumpster, get rid of all those other things in the house and garage that have needed to get thrown out for years. That's what most people on our job sites will do when they have the chance to top off a dumpster. Just be sure you don't fill it too high.
 
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Old 11-25-16, 12:54 PM
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re blown in insulation after the walls were in place, I am not sure if this is the case,
Insulation is typically only blown into the exterior walls. IF interior walls are also bowed it's not likely the insulation is the culprit.
 
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