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Ceiling tiles falling down, temp repair options?

Ceiling tiles falling down, temp repair options?

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  #1  
Old 08-28-04, 01:17 PM
KateTooLate
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Ceiling tiles falling down, temp repair options?

Hi, we live in an old Victorian, 2nd flr apt, which the landlords do not maintain. The kitchen ceiling tiles have been sagging over the years due to water damage, and one section is ready to let loose. Here is a photo of that section from a few months ago, but it is much worse now.

My husband and I are disagreeing on how to cover this patch. I'm thinking we should use dropcloth plastic and epoxy, he's thinking either drywall tape, or cardboard and staples and/or tape. I think the plastic would seal best if applied with epoxy (I work with epoxy a lot and so am familiar with its properties) and a prop-up is sustained overnight to re-flatten the entire surface. My husband thinks this won't hold.

Obviously the entire ceiling needs to be redone, but the man who does the occasional maintenance for the landlords is not willing to commit to a date on this, and has let projects here drag on forever before. We need to do a temp fix ourselves, and once we find a house (still searching!), this apt needs to have the ceiling and other repairs done while no one is living here. (Actually the very elderly landlords need to sell this wreck and not have to worry about it any longer!)

Any advice on temporary patching techniques will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-01-04, 03:43 PM
KateTooLate
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*bump*

It's about to fall on our heads.

Anyone? Bueller...?

Thanks.
 
  #3  
Old 09-01-04, 07:20 PM
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Hi Kate,

Wow, you're not kiddin, that lid is about to drop on your heads! You're pretty much right about the apt needing to be empty before permanent repairs are made.

Not much is goging to stick to those tiles, which look to be just the regular cardboard 12" tiles, they are probably either glued or stapled to a wood (probably is) or metal grid on 12" centers just above the tiles. If you can locate that you should be able to use some drywall screws to fasten the tiles back up temporarily. Try to push them back up to a flat position and then fasten them up with screws, staples etc. They already damaged & I don't think you can do any more harm to them. If they are indeed over a 12" centered wood grid, you could probably get away with just putting drywall right up over them, although removal would really be best. Of course unless the leak is fixed, the same thing will happen again & it will get progressively worst. If the leak is fixed, and you & the hubby are up to it, you mught suggest to the landlord that you'll fix it inexchange for credit on the rent. In my area (midwest) an average sized rm say 8'-9' ceiling, 12'x14' rm, rip out the old tiles, hang, finish & paint new board, run ya in the neighborhood of $1000 including material & labor. That ought to at least pay 3-4 mos rent in that place & would only cost you maybe $200 tops for material. Consider it sweat equity that you'll save on rent & save for a down payment on that house!
 
  #4  
Old 09-01-04, 08:31 PM
KateTooLate
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Yeah, and that photo is from almost 6 months ago, it's far worse now.

I believe the tiles are over wood, since 5 or so years ago the landlord tried to fix another section himself and used screws. There are three sections that are bad, but that's the worst. The landlord is incapable now (mentally), and I don't want to worry his wife about this since I know they can't really afford to fix it.

It doesn't matter how it looks (the whole ceiling is totally shot), I'll fix it with aluminum foil for all I care. All I want is to block the oogies from coming down out of the ceiling.

Now, I know I could reflatten that section and use either my method or one of my husband's for a temp patch. Only problem would be the arguing beforehand about whose method. The way it looks now, though, I'm thinking it might be best to remove that section entirely, about 6 to 8 squares, in order to not have the worry of its own weight bringing it down. Then put up a piece of lightweight white posterboard, glue that right over the hole. Then cover that with a single layer of dropcloth plastic and glue that as well. Hole covered, no weight to sag, epoxy makes the edges (at least) a permanent seal.

All I need is a temp fix because as soon as they could afford it, they'd have it fixed for real. But they're very old and just need to sell this place and put NO money into it -- I keep trying to convince the landlady to do this, but it's not easy. She's afraid that whoever buys it will knock it down, and she's probably right. You wouldn't believe the things we and our downstairs neighbour have done over the years to keep it together (including a trip to the basement to shore up the first floor in the middle of a party once).

The leak is from years before and was never fixed properly even though that section was reroofed, so everything up under there has long ago rotted. This is why I don't think screws will help and may even bring more of the place down on us. I should have been more clear in my first post.

Do you think such a temp patch would work better with or without the saggy pieces still in place? Thanks in advance for advice!
 
  #5  
Old 09-04-04, 01:25 PM
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Given the situation you're in, it sounds like a decent idea. You're right about the weight factor, gravity is kinda funny that way, put something on a ceiling that isn't well attached and presto, sooner or later it's comin back down! I'm still rather dubious as the sticky power of epoxy on those porous ceiling tiles, but have at it, what have you got to loose!
 
  #6  
Old 09-04-04, 01:48 PM
KateTooLate
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I'll do that, thanks. I'll do it when my husband's not home so he can't gripe. As for the epoxy, it's an awesome gap filler and is great with porous things as well as smooth, just have to press the edges for a couple hours until it hardens. I'll let you know how it goes!
 
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