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*sigh* the money pit continues - need advice on fixing collapsing ceiling supports on a 30 year old

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by joefrompa, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. joefrompa

    joefrompa New Member

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    Hi all,

    I don't know how to explain this, but my 30 year old 2-story colonial has some failing ceiling framing in the garage. This has manifested itself in the following symptoms:

    1. 3/4 of the garage are 8' ceiling and 1/4 is 9'. Where this seperation and resulting height increase occurs, the "step-up" vertical wall has seperated from the 9" ceiling by ~2.5" in one corner. So the drywall tore there all along where it had joined with the 9' ceiling.

    2. A 2x8" running from the side of the house (garage doors) inwards to where the ceiling turns from 8' height to 9' height....that 2x8 has a massive split in it.

    3. The garage door on the suffering side of the garage is opening unevenly, to the point where it occasionally halts itself 5" off the floor from the load. Oddly, it opens and closes fine once it's been opened. But let it sit for 8 hours and it jerks open as if it's going to collapse.

    In the middle of the garage is a steel pole set in concrete and with an I-beam resting on it. For some reason, the 2x8 and surrounding timber does not seem to have been tied into this seemingly obvious point of strength. The 2x8 seems to have been improperly tied into the ceiling joists in the first place.

    The roof joints appear in great shape and structurally strong. In fact, the ceiling joints are attached to the roof-joints via vertical 2x4 studs....and those studs are pulling out of their nailings. So it appears that the roof joists are fine and supporting the weight of the ceiling just fine, but the ceiling is not adequately supported and is pulling itself down.

    ...

    My immediate next step is to get up there and reinforce the ceiling with 2x4's attached to the ceiling joists in a number of places. I'll overkill it, but that's not a problem.

    Then I'm planning on ripping all the drywall off the ceiling and inspecting.

    Based upon what I find, I'm going to use 2 2x4's nailed together on a floor jack to raise the corner of the ceiling back to it's original height. I'll then re-do the 2x8 properly and tie-in the framing, if possible, to the i-beam.

    Floor jack will be rated to 2.5 tons. I can pick up a 10-ton hydraulic bottle jack too if that's better.

    Any thoughts on this plan based upon what I've described? It's all rough-framing.

    Joe

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Your going to have to pull all the drywall, my first taught is the header over the garge door is the real issue. Now you have other stuff to deal with from the result's...Just a guess though.
  3. joefrompa

    joefrompa New Member

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    Header over the garage door shows no problems as far as I can tell. It's the header in the middle of the garage.

    If the garage ceiling was broken into quarters, the quarter touching the garage door on one side, the house on another side, and the middle of the garage on a 3rd side....that one is falling where it hits the middle of the garage, stemming out from the center.
  4. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    The header over the garage door nees to be 2x10 min. and doubled at that a single 2x8 does nothing. Then there is the steel pole with the i beam attached if it is not tied in then this is no good. Drop the drywall and start from there.
  5. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

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    Can you post pic's after removing the drywall?
  6. joefrompa

    joefrompa New Member

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    Yes, I'll do that. Gents - this isn't a header. The ceiling is falling from the centerpoint of the 4 quadrants of the garage. In that centerpoint is a steel post with an I-beam on top of it....but the part that is falling is directly NEXT to that and not tied in.

    I'll post pics after removing drywall.
  7. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    +1
  8. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    This should be good.... Save all you can of anything you can!
  9. joefrompa

    joefrompa New Member

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    While this does not sound technically difficult to fix, I'm considering hiring a graduating student from Williamson Free Trade School (specifically, a carpentry student) to come out and do the grunt work once I have everything exposed.

    Or maybe I'll offer it to one of the instructors there and see if he wants to do it as a field-trip assignment :)
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    The grunt work is opening it up...lol Once I start holding new lumber life just got easier. :cheese:
  11. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    You're right about that. The worst part of any rehab /remodel is the demo. Once you start the rebuild, the most you'll need is some help: "here - hold that there". Don't need to be a carpenter for that.
  12. joefrompa

    joefrompa New Member

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    I was actually planning on tearing out the entire drywall of my garage anyway. Between the cracked ceiling and the overall poor shape of the drywall (lots of holes and such), I'm relatively certain it's a massive airleak to my house and heat-suck. So I'm planning on tearing it out and re-insulating it, air-sealing it, and re-drywalling anyway....
  13. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Sorry to hear about your structural issue Joe. I know I'm not the guy to solve this prob, but knowing you have a bunch of other work going on your place leads me to ask if you bought it fairly recently? If so did this come up in the inspection? May be worth digging out the report, giving the inspector a call. Seems a big issue to overlook. Maybe they'd at least send someone by to make recommendations. I'm very likely in left field here...
  14. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Hello Joe,
    I am a contractor that does framing repairs. Start analyzing from the ground up. Foundations, studs, posts, top plates, rafters etc. Its usually obvious when you see it. You'll also have to use a level to see where the problem comes from. I'm in central NJ. If your in a very rural area you could be in trouble. I've seen structures built with very little interest in code compliance. Check to see if permits were pulled for your construction (This is a can of worms you might not want to open).
  15. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Pics!!!!

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