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Old 05-04-2014, 02:26 PM   #1
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Help identifying soffit/ceiling material


I bought a house that was built in 1951 in the Los Angeles area. It has obvious roofing issues, but I want to know if someone can tell me what the ceiling and external soffits are made from (they're the same material - house has no attic, just exposed beams and ceiling, and basically just continues outside).

It's a soft material - almost like a cross between cardboard and fiberboard. I'm thinking it might be beaverboard?? It is obviously rotting outside, just want to make sure I'm not dealing with some kind of hazardous material (asbestos?)

Photos below are the ceiling just over the front door, and then two of the exterior soffits.

UPDATE: Fourth picture is a piece I pulled down - the consistency is almost like multiple layers of compressed cardboard(??), and/or soft fiber board. It's very soft and "flaky".
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Help identifying soffit/ceiling material-ceiling.jpg   Help identifying soffit/ceiling material-soffit1.jpg   Help identifying soffit/ceiling material-soffit2.jpg   Help identifying soffit/ceiling material-soffit3.jpg  


Last edited by greg98; 05-04-2014 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 05-04-2014, 02:45 PM   #2
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Help identifying soffit/ceiling material


Might be a fiber-board material, but that is not recommended for a wet environment. Since it has to come down anyway, take a piece of it to your county health department, or the building inspectors office, ask them their advice on it, Or get an asbestos lab to evaluate it for you.

ED

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Old 05-04-2014, 02:52 PM   #3
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Help identifying soffit/ceiling material


Thanks Ed. I pulled piece down and took a photo, not sure of that helps. Obviously the soffits have to go, but I'd rather not have to pull out the entire ceiling if there is any way around it.
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Old 05-04-2014, 04:18 PM   #4
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Help identifying soffit/ceiling material


Without actual hands on this stuff, I am not sure what it is, It resembles stuff that was made back then that was tar infused on one side, and semi permeable on the other for roof sheathing, and wall sheeting, but after 65 years in the weather it has obviously deteriorated. I would have it analyzed and see if it is asbestos infused also, and if not then try to just remove the rotted parts, and go with modern materials.


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Old 05-04-2014, 06:48 PM   #5
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Help identifying soffit/ceiling material


I see that in Orange and Garden Grove usually. I think the last time I did a reroof on one we got it at either Christian Building Materials in Orange or ABC Supply. Same issue you have, the eves had water damage.

If you cant find it just layer plywood in to match the existing roof deck, I think its about 2" thick and has a T&G edge.

Last edited by AndyWRS; 05-04-2014 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:40 PM   #6
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Help identifying soffit/ceiling material


After poking around and researching some more I'm pretty sure this is something along the lines of Celotex or Homasote - one of the older fiber board materials they used to use. Really should be used for exterior (for obvious reasons), but any way.

I think next weekend I'll cover up really good, wear a good mask and tear it out, trying not to make too much dust. Once I have the roof done I'll upgrade to a more "modern" soffit material.

Thanks for the answers, much appreciated!
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Old 05-04-2014, 09:16 PM   #7
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Help identifying soffit/ceiling material


Celotex. That's the name I was struggling to recall.

Thanks for the reminder.

Sounds like you got a plan now.

ED
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:17 AM   #8
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Help identifying soffit/ceiling material


OK, so I think this mystery has been solved. I reached out to the Homasote company and they answered me, literally within a few hours.

This appears to be Homasote "Easy-Ply" roof decking. One of the most common/popular applications for this was homes with open beam ceilings, and the good news is that it is 98% recycled paper, and contains no asbestos or carcinogens.

Thanks to everyone for their help.
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:12 PM   #9
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Help identifying soffit/ceiling material


Quote:
Originally Posted by greg98 View Post
OK, so I think this mystery has been solved. I reached out to the Homasote company and they answered me, literally within a few hours.

This appears to be Homasote "Easy-Ply" roof decking. One of the most common/popular applications for this was homes with open beam ceilings, and the good news is that it is 98% recycled paper, and contains no asbestos or carcinogens.

Thanks to everyone for their help.
That is good news, now you can D I Y to your hearts content.

just remember safety first, that fall wont hurt you, it's that sudden stop at the end that really hurts.

ED

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