Suspended Ceiling Problem - HELP!


Old 08-14-03, 07:38 PM
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Suspended Ceiling Problem - HELP!

I am preparing to move. I have lived (rented) this townhouse for the past seven years. The garage ceiling is a suspended ceiling with very brittle tiles and a metal frame. My landlord says it MUST be repaired in order to receive my deposit back... Three/four years ago my next door neighbor's cats found a way to crawl up there and enter my garage. There are cat urine stains and splits in the tiles from the cats. The twist ties that hold the framework up have snapped in a few locations and the ceiling is now sagging. My lease states that I am responsible for damage done by myself or my guests. The cats were NOT my guests and the neighbor paid a non refundable pet deposit, she has since moved and is long gone and very far away from here.

What I need to know is if the ceiling is meant to bear any specific amount of weight?
What is the stress point of the ties?
What is the "life expectancy" of the tiles? (these are nearly thirty years old and practically turn to powder when touched)
I would appreciate any specifics regarding the life span of this type of structure in order to have a "battle of the brains" and WIN!
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Old 08-15-03, 06:01 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
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From what I can find, the metal tracks should be suspended by 16 gauge wire. Properly installed suspended ceilings will support drop-in flourescent light fixtures. Ceiling tiles themselves are not very strong. Certainly 10 pound cats walking around would not be part of the design. Wetting the tiles tends to make them brittle and weak when dry.

I imagine that 30 years is a long life for tiles installed outdoors. In a garage is outdoors, it is neither sealed against the environment nor is it heated and cooled. Besides, if the tiles crumble to the touch, they obviously have outlived their usefulness.

Then again, trying to reason with unreasonable people.............

By the way, since this ceiling is so old has the presence of asbestos been ruled out? Asbestos was common in ceiling tiles prior to 1981. Since the tiles are crumbling, they can be releasing airborne asbestos.

Since there is no way to tell about asbestos by looking at the tiles. I believe the local EPA office might be able to give you some direction. It seems that the property owner is responsible for testing for asbestos to have them certified as free from asbestos, or having them removed.

Last edited by chfite; 08-15-03 at 06:30 AM.
Old 08-15-03, 08:58 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Kansas City
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I agree!! You shouldn't be responsible for an indoor application outside. The ties probably rusted from the humidity. And the tiles wouldn't have made it even if there was no cat.
Old 08-15-03, 05:20 PM
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Thanks for the great input! I'm going to research the asbestos issue. Even though we are moving I imagine she would rather pay me my deposit than have to renovate all her leased units! Maybe she'll HAVE TO renovate shortly after we are long gone!

Chris aka Chritter

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