Garage Ceiling Sheetrock Wavy/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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In our almost 30-year old Florida home, we have a garage that is about 20-ft X 24-ft. We had the roof completely replaced several years ago and have been doing some upgrades. The garage is a normal garage with a popcorned sheet rock ceiling. Between some dampness from the Florida weather and a few bumps from stuff in the attic, the sheet rock is wavy between the joists in several places and in other places broken away slightly from the joists. The garage door mounts are bolted to the ceiling and the garage is your usual 30-year collection of stored stuff and tools.
We could strip the popcorn without much trouble but our question is if there is any way to fix the wavy sheetrock without having to rip everything out of the garage and re-do the entire ceiling (a major project). Would we need to put runners between the joists to screw it back in to between the joists? Is there any quick and easy way to do that if that's the only solution? Once sheet rock warps is it shot or can it be pulled back into alignment (we don't need it perfect, this is just the garage)?
Any suggestions and helpful hints greatly appreciated.
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Sounds like it has to be ripped out. You probably have 3/8" sheetrock which is not really suitable for ceilings, it should be 1/2".
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The existing ceiling sheet rock is 1/2"
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How far apart are the joists?
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24". The majority of the ceiling is under the garage roof alone, but part of it is under the main house roof and that's perpedicular to the centerline of the garage peak so the joists run the opposite direction for about 8-feet of it.
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infiniteMPG wrote:

THAT is why it is sagging. Even 5/8" rock won't stay flat forever hung off 24" OC, unless there is cross-blocking to nail into. And in FL humidity?
-- aem sends...
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You may want to check your building codes. Some places require a garage to have 5/8" drywall, usually mandated IIRC if it is attached to the house. In your case since it is the detested popcorn finish, just replace the whole ceiling to save on labor. Once the old ceiling is removed, the joists can be leveled for a good fit for new drywall. A rented lift can get it all in place in a couple of hours. Good luck.
Joe
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wrote:

You may want to check your building codes. Some places require a garage to have 5/8" drywall, usually mandated IIRC if it is attached to the house. In your case since it is the detested popcorn finish, just replace the whole ceiling to save on labor. Once the old ceiling is removed, the joists can be leveled for a good fit for new drywall. A rented lift can get it all in place in a couple of hours. Good luck.
Joe
I agree with Joe...Remove the old rock,strap the ceiling 16OC shimming where necessary under the strapping and re-hang with 5/8 Fire Code drywall to bring it up to code. Your house insurance may even go down a little......Good luck...Old brittle sheetrock that has been bowed for a long period of time will never go back up and stay for long....
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The old might be 5/8". The only place I can measure is in the attic opening and it's hard to get to. It was either 1/2" or 5/8" but when I measured I was just seeing if it was thicker then 3/8". We just re- did the kitchen, tore out a dropped ceiling and it was 5/8" in the kitchen what we removed.

ceiling to save on labor. Once the old ceiling is removed, the joists can be leveled for a good fit for new drywall. A rented lift can get it all in place in a couple of hours. Good luck. I think the big thing is clearing enough floor space in the garage to access everything. After 30 years the garage is a collection.

necessary under the strapping and re-hang with 5/8 Fire Code drywall to bring it up to code. Your house insurance may even go down a little......Good luck... Not sure what 16OC shimming is.... ???

I did put some screws in at a few spots a long time ago and had to put washers on the heads as to pull the sheet rock back flush it would pull the head of the screw thru the sheet rock. I guess we have some work to do. Biggest issue is space. Garage is filled with old kitchen cabinets we're going to use for garage cabinets but won't be able to work on ceiling over them when installed. Kind of a catch-22, to make space need to put cabinets in, but to put cabinets in need to do ceiling, to do ceiling need cabinets moved to make space... ::sigh:: Home ownership is an adventure! :O)
Thanks for everyone's help!
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SUGGESTION..... We have a pretty quick and clean way to remove the popcorn. We have a neat scraper we got that a shopping plastic bag attaches to and you put a wetting solution on the popcorn, scrap and toss the bags. Not much mess. The sheet rock in the garage ceiling, although warped, is not in terrible shape.
Since we don't have the money to pay someone to do this and the two of us would be taxed trying to place 4X8 5/8" sheet rock even with a lift, what if we removed the popcorn, painted the ceiling, then running perpendicular to the joists we screwed stained 1X4 pine strips on top of the sheet rock every 2-feet or so???? Would give it a nice look. The pine would support the sheet rock and we'd save from trying to do 480-square feet of new sheet rock (and having to work around light fixtures, garage door brackets, outlets, steps in the wall, attic openings, etc).
????????
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infiniteMPG wrote:

than you were, other than the cost of the scraper and the pine strips. which would always work as garden stakes. Had to do a similar thing on the carport at my house down south- idiot sub used too-thin plywood for carport ceiling, and rather than rip'n'replace, we just went crossways to the trusses every 2 feet, plus around the edges, with 1x4s painted the same color as ceiling. Looks okay, a lot better than the bowed plywood and gapped joints.
-- aem sends...
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I was about to suggest this idea, then read the rest of the replies. I've done that for two customers over the years, they and I were quite pleased with the resulting appearance. Labor and time-wise it's your best option. Hint: stain the 1x4's to match the cabinets!
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I can't see your ceiling. After removing the popcorn just fix the bad places by patching with new or reattach with more screws and then mud the whole ceiling. 5/8" sheet rock doesn't need additional support. 1/2" sheet rock spans 2 feet okay on ceilings. This is a one man job requiring around 3 days. Shouldn't be expensive to hire someone. Get two men if they are going to shift your stuff too.
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Hehehe... one person says even 5/8" sheet rock will sag on 24" centered joists, someone else says even 1/2" is fine on 24" centers :O)
We were thinking to strip the popcorn and get the sheetrock screwed back up in any really bad spot (like where a joint is not matching by 1/2" or something like that) and tape and mud the joints. Then put 1 X 4 pine strips flat against the ceiling down the two long edges. Then space them around 24" and strip down the ceiling all the way across.
Regardless of the thickness, or if it's new or old sheet rock, the inside of the garage and the attic over the garage get a ton of Florida humidity and get cooked all summer long. I really think sheet rock will start to sag again on it's own. The pine will support the sheet rock in the opposite direction then the joists and they'll get screwed thru the sheet rock into the joists so the joists will be holding the pine. Could be done in small sections and doesn't all have to be done in one day.
Then mud or fill all screw holes (sheet rock and pine) and paint the whole deal with white ceiling paint. That should last longer then the house. And this will also give good places to mount fluorescent lights, bike hangers, fishing rod hangers and stuff like that. And it will better support the ceiling in care some of the stuff in the attic slips off the joists (which has happened). This would be a ton easier then the two of us trying to install 20 sheets of 5/8" 4X8 sheet rock in a crowded garage. ?????
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Hehehe... one person says even 5/8" sheet rock will sag on 24" centered joists, someone else says even 1/2" is fine on 24" centers :O)
I don't live in Florida. Around here 1/2" is installed with ceiling trusses on two foot centers on almost every house. Then 16" of insulation is piled on top. My own home is built like this. No sagging in 25 years. High humidy here causes mildew not sags. Roof leaks with water pooling on top of the sheet rock causes localized sagging that is easy to repair. Your pine solution may work. It is not done normally. If I was looking at a house with a non standard ceiling I would be examining it closely. If the owner has done anything weird I expect to find problems hidden everywhere.
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Work on one side at a time. Clear half of the garage by jamming everything over to the other side, rip the old drywall off the cleared side, try to get just over the half way so that you can stagger the sheets as in brick work. I would apply 1 x4" strapping on 16" centers shimming as needed to make it flat then apply drywall. When the one side is taped, mudded and painted, move everything over to the finished side and start over.

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Move the stuff out and cover it with tarps,do the work then install the cabinets...

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benick wrote:

Areas I am familiar with, you only need the fire-block ceiling if you DON'T have a firewall that goes up to the roof decking on the house side. I prefer open-ceiling garages- easier to vent, easier to store stuff. And after a couple years, garage ceiling drywall always looks like crap anyway, and is a major pain to repaint.
-- aem sends...
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depends on the cause & how bad the condtion of the drywall is....
imo (with seeing or photos thereof) fixing the drywall ceiling w/o doing an R&R has got to be possible.
It won't turn out perfect but it is a garage. Insulation above the drywall & between the joist? If the drywall has pulled away, there will most likely be debris between the drywall & the bottom face of the joists preventing oyu from getting drywall seated back tight to the joists.
How stuff do you have stored above? Ceiling joists unless designed as attic floor joists aren't meant for storage. They're there to support the drywall ceiling.... have you over loaded the joistss/
I'd check out whether or not you can "re-seat" the drywall, a couple (or a couple pair) 3rd Hand jacking struts would be helpful.
If the end of the drywall are damaged & will not accept screws, consider some local joist sistering.
I prefer nails over drywall screws.....nails have bigger heads & with practice, nailing isn't that bad. I'd install fasteners at 6" o/c.
My suggestion is to attempt repair of the worst area first...if repair works there it will work everywhere.
cheers Bob
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No insullation above the garage ceiling so not much worry of debris.

Some boxes of kid's clothing and memorabillia, not much weight and since I climb around up there on the joists, I think they're pretty secure.

We just got a little lucky with that. When we tore out the kitchen dropped ceiling there was a lot of 2X4 framework. We were about to toss that today but instead cut it into pieces that would fit between the joists. We ended up with about 50 pieces so that's a lot of in- between support we can add in the spots where it's bad to help pull up against.

Joist sistering????

I agree on the nails, probably a really good place for that. I don't mind if I ding the face a little hammering as I will have some mudding to do anyway.

Thanks Bob! Great suggestions and much appreciated! Scott
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