ceiling/wall drywall separation


Old 12-29-00, 06:01 PM
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Dear Forum:
We had our house built 3 years ago. The first floor has a
vaulted ceiling to the second floor in the living room with an open
stairway and hall on the second floor upon which 2 bedrooms and a bath
open off of. My problem is that in winter the ceiling of the inside
walls separates - up to 1/2 an inch near the center of the house. Then
in summer it comes together again. I have cut through the drywall
taping completely because that just seemed to tear the drywall up; and I
tried to put caulk in, but the movement is so great that it also
separates. We have roof trusses and I have heard that others have had
this problem. Is it because of the trusses? How can I fix this? My
husband is suggesting that we put a small piece of trim up, attached to
the ceiling which in turn would move with the seasons and be
unobtrusive. Is this a viable option or are we missing fixing the
cause? Thank you for any help you can offer.


Nancy Sowders
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Old 12-29-00, 08:22 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 160
What you are experiencing is "Truss Uplift". This occurs in the winter when the upper chord of the truss contains more moisture than the lower chord. The upper chord lengthens & bows upward, pulling up the lower chord and causing the ceiling to move upward. Some pieces of lumber expand & contract more than average. This lumber is called "Reaction Wood". If the truss is made of reaction wood truss uplift can occur every winter. Some remedies are, ensure the attic space has good air movement with adequate roof vents and soffits are not blocked by insulation. Connect the ceiling drywall to the partition walls using drywall clips and nail the ceiling drywall far enough from the partition wall intersection (approx. 18") to allow for deflection without joint failure.
Old 12-30-00, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 3,140
Good call Allen. Allen is correct. You are just one of many with this problem. That's just how it is. No ones fault. Wood is wood. At some point the wood will all get evenly dry and it will stop. May be several more years though. Good Luck

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