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Saggy Ceiling Repair


The ceiling in this little lake cottage had popcorn. It had been built about 30 years ago when popcorn was what one did to their ceilings.

It was not the look I was after. My guy said, “Why go to all that trouble to remove it? It works.”

Not for me. It felt like a maze of baby stalactites growing across the ceiling. Or clotted zit pus.

(Pus—as in: puhs, that yellow/white oozy stuff that you squish out of zits. I first wrote p-u-s-s-y zits—thinking, “Puhs-ee.” But, pussy (poosey) is a kitty. To figure out how to spell it correctly, I Googled “pus.” Then, “pusy.”

Do. Not. Do. That. You will find a plethora of porn sites. Evidently, pornos are somewhat challenged in spelling. Pussy, pronounced “poosey”–is also spelled pusy. We’ll just tiptoe out of that right now.)

Removing popcorn is not a hard thing, but it is messy. First, cover or remove any furniture and carpets; tape off doors and windows with plastic sheeting. This is dusty work.

Take a spray bottle of tap water (our guys used a new, 1-gallon, garden sprayer) and spray the ceiling, saturating the popcorn. Spray a 5 foot area, let it sit 15 minutes, and scrape away.

Be careful to not spray too much water, as you don’t want to damage the sheet rock underneath.

Using a 6″ putty knife and making smooth, even strokes, you just start scrapping away, letting the popcorn fall where it may. Or, you can catch it in a bag. There are tools for this you can buy at Home Depot. We had no furniture in this house and the kitchen was dismantled, so we let it fall to the floor.

One good thing about letting it fall wherever—all the kitchen grease on top of the cabinets was absorbed by the chalky, popcorn material. When we were done, it all just vacuumed up. Cabinet tops now grease free, dust free, and clean—really clean.

After the popcorn is removed, check the condition of the sheet rock. Spackle any divots and frayed seams. Paint with a good primer, then follow with your paint of choice.

Our guys finished the removal, started patching, then called out, “Hey, boss. Come look at this.”

We had a sag. A FIVE-INCH sag. Straight across the center of the room the ceiling was 5″ lower than at the edge by the walls.

Parts of the sheet rock would have to be removed and the ceiling joists in the attic reinforced. A ceiling needs serious beams because those beams hold up not only the ceiling, but keep the walls from falling off the house which are supporting the roof.

What did we find? Measly 2″ x 6″ boards every 16″. To hold up everything. A whole-house attic fan had been added—with no more support. Later, a new, heavier metal roof had been added. No additional support added then, either.

So not enough.

My guy bought the needed beams and had his guys install them. Three additional beams that measure 10″ x 2″ x 16′ were needed here. They were installed side by side to make a 10″ wide x 6″ thick x 16′ long board.


sagging ceiling 1


           Temporary support walls were installed while the ceiling was repaired.


sagging ceiling 3


                                           The old beam is removed.


sagging ceiling 4


                               And three new 2″ x 10″ x 16′ beams are installed.


Sheetrock was cut to fit the hole, nailed into place, seam tape added along with spackle (or sheet rock mud). Everything sanded smooth, then painted. And we’re done with the ceiling.


Saggy Ceiling repaired


 I know you can see some ripples in the sheet rock.

But at this point, we’ll take it.

It looks awesome.


Saggy Ceiline repaired 2


The rooms feel bigger — a definite bonus in our limited space.

And no more pus.

Until next time. Be sweet.

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