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Old 02-02-2013, 12:03 PM   #1
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Are these plaster ceilings salvageable?


http://imgur.com/a/cNaUD

My house was built in 1925. I decided to take down the previous homeowners drop ceilings and quickly realized why the drops were installed - the ceilings are in bad shape as you can see in the pictures.

So my question is, should I:

1) Repair the plaster and then re-paint? (And if possible add some remodeling grade recessed lights)
2) Sheetrock over top the plaster? (Again, adding some remodeling grade recessed lights?)
3) Rip it down to the joists, add some lighting, insulation, and then put up new sheetrock?

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:27 PM   #2
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Are these plaster ceilings salvageable?


I would not waste my time.
Do you have access over this area?
If so I'd leave the old lath to hold up the insulation that already up there now.
Add 1 X 4 strapping shimming and check with a brick string pulled tight for being flat.
The strapping will lower the ceiling enough so it lines up with the plaster on the walls.
In most cases your going to find the ceiling is sagging in the middle so start your strapping in the middle of the room.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:38 PM   #3
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Are these plaster ceilings salvageable?


I do not have access from above, unfortunately.

Would going down to the joists and sistering new 2-bys be a better alternative since I don't have access?
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:55 PM   #4
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Are these plaster ceilings salvageable?


I would try to save them, but they are in pretty bad shape.
I would start digging and scraping at the cracks, remove all loose stuff.
It needs to go any ways. You want to protect your floors, a sheet of plywood on floors and covered with a tarp.
And wear a hard hat

When plaster gets wet, say from a leaky roof, this kind of damage will happen.
You may lightly pick at a crack, and have a 3' section fall down, depends on the amount of water damage.
But I would remove all the loose stuff, and then access if it is worth saving or going over it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:02 PM   #5
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Are these plaster ceilings salvageable?


I should mention, I measured the distance between the current drops to the ceiling since the drops are level. The lowest point is 6" and the highest point is 9".
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:34 PM   #6
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Are these plaster ceilings salvageable?


As Joe said already about the ceiling sag... older houses over-spanned/under-sized joists often do, they may need sistering/replacing. Don't add more drywall weight (2#- board alone), and strapping weight to the already heavy plaster (8# per sq.ft.), just pull it all. OR, if you find other areas (walls) that require refastening; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zuj_1...eature=related

or are cracked; http://www.plaster-wall-ceiling-solu...wall-tape.html

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Old 02-02-2013, 04:53 PM   #7
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Are these plaster ceilings salvageable?


what is above that ceiling ?
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:09 PM   #8
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Are these plaster ceilings salvageable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fix'n it View Post
what is above that ceiling ?
A finished attic room.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:18 PM   #9
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Are these plaster ceilings salvageable?


Finished attic above is a lot of extra weight.
Also with water damage, the plaster will sag and cause this.
Really is no way to find out until you open it up and see.

In most cases, attics were not built for living space and will not have proper floor joist.
So when someone comes along and finishes it into living space, you will get this issue.
Again, it could be fine and just water damage to the old plaster from a old roof leak.

How will you find out, without opening it up?
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:58 PM   #10
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Are these plaster ceilings salvageable?


You can see all of the water spots, there was definitely a water leak.

Has anyone used the Chicago/USG suspended drywall ceilings? They seem like they would be a good alternative since I could just create the grid right above where the current drop grid was (easy way to make it level?). Then I could just put up some 1x4s across the plaster, screw it into the joists, and that will ensure it won't sag anymore.

Does that make sense or am I dreaming? haha
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:22 AM   #11
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Are these plaster ceilings salvageable?


Tear it all out. Level the joists (sistering is good) but be aware this is most likely going to disturb the floor in the room above. Since there is a room above unless it's to help with noise why insulate. Once everything is level drywall and finish. On the floor above I guess I was assuming you were going to jack the joists up, but I guess you could sister to the lowest one to make the ceiling level.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:42 PM   #12
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Are these plaster ceilings salvageable?


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Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
Tear it all out. Level the joists (sistering is good) but be aware this is most likely going to disturb the floor in the room above. Since there is a room above unless it's to help with noise why insulate. Once everything is level drywall and finish. On the floor above I guess I was assuming you were going to jack the joists up, but I guess you could sister to the lowest one to make the ceiling level.
this ^

my ceilings were much less damaged & sagging than yours. and i tore all that crap out. its a lot of work (lots of friends make it a ton easier/faster), but in the end the result is far better.

how flat is the floor in the attic ?

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