A sagging ceiling is not something you want to take lightly. When a ceiling collapses, repairing the damage or replacing the ceiling are not the worst of your worries. Someone could get seriously hurt or even killed, if they are underneath the ceiling when it comes down. So, if you see any signs that your ceiling is sagging, it is best to get it inspected by a building inspector right away. You could save yourself a lot of cash and heartache, if you act quickly and have the issue resolved. As for reasons why your ceiling is sagging; well, there are a number of possible causes.
If your foundations are sinking or shifting, you will have problems with your floors, walls and ceilings. If foundations are the problem, you will likely also notice cracks in your walls; sagging floors; doors jamming, and cracks in your paving. The best way to detect problems with your foundations is by starting your inspection from the lowest floor up. Look for cracks in your basement/lower floor walls, infestation of insects, excessive moisture, and damp odours.
The strength and durability of your ceiling is largely reliant on supporting structures. Different ceiling types require different supporting structures. So, if the structure is not suitable, there are missing load-bearing beams, or undersized frame, the weight of the unsupported ceiling will eventually lead to a sagging. The same principle applies where supporting joists are placed too far apart, thus reducing the level support in affected areas of the ceiling. The good news is, so long as the problem is not left unchecked, you should be able to carry out repairs rather than replacing the entire sagging ceiling.
There are a few ways in which moisture can cause a sagging ceiling. Moisture, as already stated, can cause foundations to sink or shift. Excessive moisture from a leak can also pool on top of the ceiling, causing it to sag and eventually collapse. Even if you don’t suspect moisture in the ceiling plaster, water may have leaked into supporting beams or frame. Once the beams or frame begins to warp, it will cause your ceiling to crack and sag. You will first need to address the source of the water damage, before replacing or repairing supporting beams and frame.
It is not the most likely explanation; however, using insulation that is too heavy can also cause a ceiling to sag. Ceiling types each have a specific load-bearing capacity, so carrying too much weight will definitely result in a sagging ceiling. If insulation is the culprit, you may eventually see uniform sagging across the entire ceiling. Again, this is a situation where an early repair is much cheaper than repairing a collapsed ceiling. A building inspector or qualified builder should be able to quickly determine if insulation is the cause of your problem.
If you have a termite problem, it could become completely out of hand if the infestation spreads throughout your home. Termites are experts when it comes to destroying supporting or load-bearing timber structures. Termites leave telltale signs of their presence in piles of feces or wings shedding; damage to wooden structures, such as doors and furniture; or termite tunnels in close proximity to your home. The best course of action in dealing with termites is to get the exterminators in.
Contact Houspect to schedule an inspection of your sagging ceiling to determine the cause.