Soffit/Ceiling material?


Old 05-04-14, 01:07 PM
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Soffit/Ceiling material?

I bought a house that was built in 1951. It has obvious roofing issues, but I want to know if someone can tell me what the ceiling and external soffits are made from (they're the same material - house has no attic, just exposed beams and ceiling).

It's a soft material, obviously rotting outside, just want to make sure I'm not dealing with some kind of hazardous material (asbestos?)

UPDATE: Could this be beaver board??

Photos below are the ceiling just over the front door, and then two of the exterior soffits.

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Name:  Soffit1.jpg
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Second update: The picture below is a piece I pulled down - the consistency is almost like multiple layers of compressed cardboard(??), and/or soft fiber board. It's very soft and "flaky"

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Last edited by greg98; 05-04-14 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 05-04-14, 03:21 PM
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Ceiling Material

Looks like Celotex, which is an indoor material.
Old 05-04-14, 03:48 PM
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Thanks Wirepuller,

After poking around a bit more I think you're right - either Celotex, Homasote, or something very similar. There are a lot of mid-century modern style homes around here where they've used this for both interior ceiling and exterior soffits. From what I can tell it doesn't appear to contain asbestos, but still something that requires a good mask and protective clothing before removal.
Old 05-05-14, 04:25 AM
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The 3nd pic is obviously water damage so after you rip it out, inspect the underside of the roof to make sure the leak has been repaired and there is no other damage to address.

The fact that it was an indoor material isn't a big deal since the soffit/ceilings are protected from the elements. I know of a house in town [built 30's/40's] that still has the original drywall soffit on the exterior ..... and it's a nice fancy home.
Old 05-05-14, 09:18 AM
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OK, so I think this mystery has been solved. I reached out to the Homasote company and they answered me, literally within a few hours.

This appears to be Homasote "Easy-Ply" roof decking. One of the most common/popular applications for this was homes with open beam ceilings, and the good news is that it is 98% recycled paper, and contains no asbestos or carcinogens.

Thanks to everyone for their help.

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