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Jarlanric 06-23-2011 08:15 PM

Help! Drywall Pulling Away from Stud on the Ceiling of our Garage
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The drywall on the ceiling of our garage is pulling away from the studs. It started out just bowing in a few spots in the middle of the drywall. I ignored it as it got a little worse over the past couple months, but when I came home tonight the drywall was pulling away from the screws. I got on the ladder to take a closer look and the screws are still in the studs, it is just the drywall pulling off. Is this something that can be fixed without new drywall being put up? I attached pictures for everyone to see, I'm not quite sure where to start, any advice would be greatly appreciated, I really don't want to spend a fortune hiring someone to do it for me unless this is a major project.

Jessidog 06-23-2011 08:25 PM

How long has the drywall been installed? Is it fairly new? If the drywall is not failing due to moisture from a leak, it looks like it does not have the necessary number of screws or nails. Years ago when I worked for a drywall company, two guys would put the boards on the ceiling with just enough nails to hold it in place. Then someone else would come along and finish the nailing.

It also looks like the butt joints of the sheets are not breaking on a rafter. You probably need to go into the attic and add in nailing support for the butt joints.

As long as the boards are in good condition, you should be able to remove the loose tape, secure the boards to the rafters with screws and then refinish.


Jarlanric 06-23-2011 08:28 PM

Thanks David. We bought the house 2 years ago so I'm not sure how old the drywall is, I want to say at least 10 years.

Jessidog 06-23-2011 08:45 PM

I'm surprised it stayed up so long. In the picture, two sheets are separated along the butt joint. There should be a wood support along that joint with at least 6-8 nails or screws along the edge of each sheet. Maybe it is the picture, but I do not see it. When the drywall came loose, the edge of the drywall would be ragged from all of the nails or screws ripping through the drywall. In the picture, it looks almost like factory smooth edges to me.

Does it look like the sheets are sagging? Does the drywall move if you press up on it? If so, it is not secured properly.


Jarlanric 06-23-2011 08:57 PM

Yes it looks like the sheets are sagging in the middle a few places. When I push the drywall up it moves right up to the stud. I think I'm going to get some more screws and secure it this weekend. I wonder if the new garage door opener we had installed caused this. The only thing I'm confused about is the opener is secure and fine, the drywall around it is secure.

Jessidog 06-23-2011 09:07 PM

I think the drywall was not installed properly to begin with. The garage door is not the issue. The garage door opener has to be firmly attached to the rafters, which will hold the drywall around it tight.

Either by oversight or just haste to finish the job, the sheets were installed with a minimal number of nails or screws. I would use screws instead of nails to attach the drywall properly. Press the drywall up against the rafter before securing with a screw. If it is hanging down, the screw will pull through the paper surface. The screw head needs to be recessed slightly below the surface, but not break the paper. I think you can buy an attachment for your drill that countersinks the screw to the correct level. I use my cordless drill and control the speed to set the screw. You may need to add wood supports from above where two sheets form the butt joint. The good news is I do not see any reason to replace the drywall as long as you get it secured before gravity takes over.


Jarlanric 06-23-2011 09:09 PM

Thanks so much for the help

Jessidog 06-23-2011 09:13 PM


Originally Posted by Jarlanric (Post 673025)
Thanks so much for the help

Good luck. As a final comment, I would start in the center of each sheet and work toward the edges.


bjbatlanta 06-23-2011 10:02 PM

With the sheets as bowed and pilled away from the framing as it is, I wouldn't even try to reattach it. Demo and replace. Better yet, in an garage space with no conditioned air or heat, replace with plywood. Use batten strips on the joints....

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