House for sale, not enough drywall screws, what to do?

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Went to a costumers home (about 35 years old) to estimate some work. Noticed that nearly all the ceiling drywall sags. A 5 foot straight edge across the ceiling drywall showed 3/4 gaps in many places. On entering the rooms and looking up it was quite obvious. The funny thing was that along the long tapered edges the drywall looked tight against the ceiling joists but in the middle of the tapered edges was the maximum sag. Enough fasteners along the edges but not enough in the middle?
The costumer is trying to get the house ready for sale. If I was looking at the house the sagging drywall would be a big question mark. What can be done in this situation short of new ceiling drywall? Would you try and stabilize the drywall with extra fasteners, spackle, and paint?
Thanks for any help or suggestions.
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On Tuesday, April 2, 2013 1:18:51 PM UTC-4, andyeverett wrote:

ced that nearly all the ceiling drywall sags. A 5 foot straight edge across the ceiling drywall showed 3/4 gaps in many places. On entering the rooms and looking up it was quite obvious. The funny thing was that along the lon g tapered edges the drywall looked tight against the ceiling joists but in the middle of the tapered edges was the maximum sag. Enough fasteners along the edges but not enough in the middle? The costumer is trying to get the house ready for sale. If I was looking at the house the sagging drywall wou ld be a big question mark. What can be done in this situation short of new ceiling drywall? Would you try and stabilize the drywall with extra fastene rs, spackle, and paint? Thanks for any help or suggestions.
Determine where the joists are first. You might have to use a small drill bit. You can use a ceiling lift to push the drywall back up and add screws if you find joists.
One common problem that causes that effect is ceiling joists on 24" centers with 1/2" wallboard ceiling. Also common on ceilings that are the bottom part of a premanufactured roof truss installed on 24". Or cathedral ceilin gs. Looks fine when installed but after a few years sags. You should alwa ys use 5/8" wallboard on 24" centered joists. If that's your problem then there is no fix except rip it out and install 5/8".
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that nearly all the ceiling drywall sags. A 5 foot straight edge across the ceiling drywall showed 3/4 gaps in many places. On entering the rooms and looking up it was quite obvious. The funny thing was that along the long tapered edges the drywall looked tight against the ceiling joists but in the middle of the tapered edges was the maximum sag. Enough fasteners along the edges but not enough in the middle? The costumer is trying to get the house ready for sale. If I was looking at the house the sagging drywall would be a big question mark. What can be done in this situation short of new ceiling drywall? Would you try and stabilize the drywall with extra fasteners, spackle, and paint? Thanks for any help or suggestions.

bit. You can use a ceiling lift to push the drywall back up and add screws if you find joists.

with 1/2" wallboard ceiling. Also common on ceilings that are the bottom part of a premanufactured roof truss installed on 24". Or cathedral ceilings. Looks fine when installed but after a few years sags. You should always use 5/8" wallboard on 24" centered joists. If that's your problem then there is no fix except rip it out and install 5/8".

That was my immediate thought. With that much sag, it could even be 3/8". I wouldn't put past any builder (or rock jockey).
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They weren't always. They were always *supposed* to be, but that's a different discussion. ;-)

Screws are nice but they won't help sagging rock, even a little bit.
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I am fairly certain that code _requires_ 5/8 on ceilings.
Harry K
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Is this happening in every room? It may be that the dryall is too thin for the joist spacing. e.g. 1/2" vs 5/8".
Have you pushed on the sags to see how far up they move? If it is a "not enough fasteners in the field" problem then you may be able to secure the drywall to the joists, assuming there are joists above the sags.
If the sags don't move then maybe the joists are not even. That would entail a new ceiling with shims on the high joists.
Now, don't shoot the messenger... I'm just tossing this out there.
Thick stippling where it doesn't sag and thinner where it does to even the ceiling out. You might be able to hide the sag.
I know, I know...it's a crappy suggestion but some sellers might not care enough about the buyer to do a proper fix..
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wrote:

I may not be even 1/2", someone may have gone cheap with some 3/8" drywall. Around here it is more expensive than 1/2", but about 35 years ago it was cheaper and may have attracted someone to cut corners. You need to find where the joists or whatever framing there is to attach it to and then lift gently with a jack of some sorts and use lots of screws as the normal count may pull through as the drywall has taken a set.
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pull down cieling in one room to get a better idea of whats going on......
plan for the balance of the rooms
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This happens in all the rooms! We can get above the drywall in the unfinished attic.
So there is a solution, no easy way out.
If you guys saw this it would raise a red flag with you, right?
Thanks for your help!
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yeah big red flag that will kill sale.
dont forget theres wiring and plumbing potentially everywhere.....
running a screw into a water line may not leak much intially but start a flood later
at least pull down one room to see whats going on.....
too thin drywall? studs 24 on center? etc etc?
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Will have to get back in the house, will report back. Thanks!
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A little eager to pull down drywall, no? He said he can see the other side from the attic......
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wrote:

Seeing the other side doesn't tell you much about the drywall but will tell you about the structure and joist spacing or if there is any strapping, thickness of the drywall can be checked at a wall or ceiling outlet.
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wrote:

The printing on the other side of the sheetrock might give a clue.
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On Apr 2, 7:41 pm, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

t

ell

quoted text -

And even if it's not what it should be, it's probably a moot point anyway. Is anyone going to redo all the sheetrock, instead of just screwing it in more places?
Thinking about how to do that, it might be easiest if a helper were in the attic to drive a finishing nail through near the ends of the ceiling joists, one at a time. The other person has a string and screw gun and drives them in.
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On Wed, 3 Apr 2013 05:58:58 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

More screws aren't going to help if it's sagging between joists. If there are only ~three screws per sheet, then it's certainly the way to go. It's still not likely to be perfect because the rock has already sagged (the ripples will be smaller;).
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On Tue, 2 Apr 2013 14:01:28 -0700 (PDT), andyeverett

I'd be out the door before the flag was raised fully. No way would I touch that place.
Could be the drywall guys cheated, but also could be the rest of the house is substandard also. I'm not going to invest to find out.
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I'd buy it for the right price - but the price would be about $10,000 less than the price of the bare lot so I could afford to bulldoze the place if I had to.
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As a customer, I certainly would not buy the house in that condition. I doubt that adding screws will pull it back up. It's worth trying but don't expect it to succeed.
Harry K
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Yeah, I was wondering about that too. Over time it's sagged, probably more so when it was humid, etc. Depending on how much it's sagged, it may crack when you try to screw it back in. May have to push it back into place with some supports or else the new drywall screw may just pull right through.
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