I have recently purchased an old house (approx. 80yrs.) and have noticed
that the ceiling in the master bedroom is starting to sag. Unlike the rest
of the ceilings on the second floor, this one has a stucco kind of finish
but I believe it is still plaster.
There is a small access opening in the attic that I looked in today. I
noticed quite a bit of greyish brownish insulation and peeled some back to
try and find out what was supporting the ceiling but couldn't get very far.
As far as I saw, its just plaster.
Any ideas on how to remedy this situation? I was thinking of drywalling it
but I don't know if there is 2X4's or just strapping holding things in place
at the moment.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
If it is really plaster, and sagging w/o cracks, it probably means the the
lathe has pulled away from the supporting joists, or the joists themselves
are sagging. You can check for sagging joists in the attic with a long
straightedge, or even a couple of tacks and some tightly streched string. If
the joists are straight, it means the lathe is pulling away. They sell
screws with big washers to pull the lathe back tight, and you just mud over
them after sinking them through the plaster. If the joists are sagging, you
need a pro to devise the best solution- adding sisters and reinforcing
braces or whatever. The best, albeit messiest and most expensive solution,
is to pull down the ceiling to open up the framing, repair as needed, and
add back sheetrock or or blueboard and plaster. On an 80 YO house, they may
have skimped on the ceiling framing, since most areas did not have code back
If the finish in this room is different, it suggests that previous problems
and patching attempts have occurred. I'd bite the bullet and fix it the
right way, and get it over with.
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