Everything you need to know about sagging ceilings

How do I know if my ceiling is sagging?

Simple at-home test

You can do a simple at-home test to tell if your ceiling is sagging and falling down. If you go into a room and look up, a clear indication that the fixing system has failed is if you can see a pronounced bend or ‘V’ where the plasterboard sheets join (see diagram below). This is because the fixings in the middle of the plasterboard sheets have come away, causing it to bow. 

You can confirm this by pushing the middle of the plasterboard towards the roof. If the plasterboard moves upwards or if the screws or nail heads become visible or pop through the surface, this clearly shows there is a gap between the timber and plasterboard and the fixings have already started to fail. Please, be careful when doing this, and gently ease the sheet as comes back down. If you let go too suddenly, the pressure on the sheet may cause it to give way. 

Other warning signs include cracking sounds in your ceiling, dropping of the cornice, and visual cracking or small circles (nail pops) on your ceiling scattered along a straight line.

What causes a sagging ceiling?

Sagging ceilings are inevitable and all ceilings will require maintenance at some stage of their lives. Saggy ceilings can result from a multitude of structural and cosmetic issues including:

  • movement in the building

  • old strapping that wears away with age

  • faulty glue or glue that isn’t holding anymore

  • screws that were drilled in too deep

  • nails that are popping out

  • roof leaks

  • vibrations from garage doors

  • termites and white ants

The WA Building Commission also found an increase in unexplained ceiling saggings and collapses in homes constructed between 2005-2009.

If warning signs are present, then what?

If you are renting, you need to inform your property manager immediately. Owners need to be proactive and arrange inspection and repair of the affected areas. In WA, for homes less than six years old, the Building Services (Complaint Resolution and Administration) Act 2011 includes general entitlements that allow a person to make a complaint about defective building work within six years of practical completion. Regardless, the ceiling still needs to be fixed and the sooner the issue is resolved, the better the outcome is for all parties. Riverside Ceilings services almost all of Perth's suburbs, and we can provide an obligation free quote and affordable work on all roof types and for both residential and commercial. 

How will you fix my ceiling?

​Generally, we will fix your sagging ceiling by going through a number of standard steps. 

  1. We prop the ceiling back up into place from inside the house and then enter the roof space.

  2. We then move any insulation that is inside your roof.

  3. If you have old blow-in insulation, we can organise to get it sucked out and install new batts. 

  4. We then clean the section of the ceiling where we are going to lay the new ceiling straps to secure the plasterboard.

  5. Once the straps have dried we then remove the props and your ceiling will be secure and safe once again.

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Still have more questions?