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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Bouncing Sheetrock

    I am looking at a house to buy and all of the upper floor's ceilings appear to be bouncy meaning if I press up on them from the floor below it you can see that there is some give to it. Additionally in almoast every room there is some minor cracking and some decent nail pops and settling at the ceiling/wall edges. Most that was noted seemed to be more towards the center of the house. I looked in the attic and it appeared to be regular 16OC construction however I was not paying attention to the possibility of trusses. Could the use of roof trusses cause this type of condition? Is this just normal settling that can just be touched up with spackle. Is the bouncyness of the ceiling normal with trusses? I am assuming that this type of construction if it is trusses would not be capable of storing items in the attic? I obviously will get a home inspector if we decide to go any further with this house but would be nice to know if what I have already discovered is normal settling or if its something to run from.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    820

    Default Re: Bouncing Sheetrock

    from what you've told us so far i say "run".

    how old is the house? a couple of thoughts are going through my head. #1 is that they covered over an old lath and plaster ceiling with 3/8" sheetrock. #2 is that they covered over some other type of old ceiling with 3/8" sheetrock. #3 is that they replaced the ceiling and didn't properly secure the strapping to the ceiling joists. #4 is that the ceiling was nailed up instead of screwed up and it's sagging from the nails slipping out. #5 is that the ceiling joists are grossly undersized. #6 is that they installed a semi-suspended ceiling below the actual ceiling.

    none of these should be a major deal breaker unless this is a structural issue that might be common throughout the house. installing new ceilings properly can be done for a few grand. the thing you have to find out is why this is happening and that can be done via a good home inspection done by a good home inspector.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Bouncing Sheetrock

    was a structural wall removed?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Bouncing Sheetrock

    Sorry should have added that the house is built in 1998. Its definetly single layer sheetrock, not lath covered over. It does not appear that any structural walls were removed. Nothing that screams that out to me. It looks like most of the taping jobs were pretty poor. Almoast every single seam is visible (by bumps not cracking) including the ones that "should" have had 2 tapered edges facing one another. Part of me wonders if it was a homeowner GC type situation and the sheetrock was not properly installed IE not enough screws only mostly towards the edge? Or maybe only 1/4 inch sheetrock was used.. Its apparent it almost every single room on the top level so its not just in the area of one spot. In other words I'm not suspecting a load bearing wall was removed and thats where all the damage is noted. But if the removal of one load bearing wall could make all the ceiling sheetrock seem springy then its possible. Its possible the springyness was just being observed by the one joist and the 2 adjoining joists to where I was pressing. I guess if I push up inside one joist the 2 adjoining joist gaps would flex in the opposite direction a bit? I guess I was mainly asking if this type of behavior is normal if the ceiling was made with trusses rather than regular joists?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Bouncing Sheetrock

    Generally trusses are far stiffer than dimensional lumber.

    Your joists seem to be undersized or of low grade lumber. Opening the ceiling or pulling up the plywood from above will give us more answers. Do you know the joist size, grade, species, condition and unsupported span? We can calculate the deflection if we know those answers. The builder may have cheaped out with sub-par lumber.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: Bouncing Sheetrock

    Physical inspection is needed. Drywall must be removed to expose joists.

    If seller says "no need", skip this house.

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