What Causes Sagging Ceiling? Is Sagging Ceiling Serious?
What Causes Sagging Ceiling?
A sagging ceiling is a serious matter that should not be ignored. The consequences of a ceiling collapse can be catastrophic, potentially resulting in severe injuries or even fatalities for anyone underneath it.
To avoid such risks, it is crucial to seek the inspection of a building inspector as soon as you detect any indications of sagging in your ceiling. Prompt action could spare you both financial losses and emotional distress.
Multiple factors could be responsible for a sagging ceiling, and determining the root cause is important in ensuring effective repairs.
Ceiling cracks and sags are a common problem that can result from a range of cosmetic or structural issues. Small spidery cracks can grow into large cavernous holes if left untreated. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of these problems.
In this article, we will explore the five main causes of a sagging or cracked ceiling and provide some practical solutions.
Structural movement in the building
Building structures can move with seasonal temperature changes, and this movement can lead to problems if not considered during the construction process.
Your home’s foundations or frame can move, expand or shrink due to changes in temperature, causing movement or expansion in materials attached to or held up by the structure, including your plasterboard, cornices, and ceiling. These movements, no matter how small, can cause the ceiling to warp, stretch, crack, and sag.
To prevent a sagging ceiling from becoming worse, it is essential to have your building inspected by an expert. They will look for any hidden weak spots where cracking or sagging may begin and repair any existing issues without hassle.
Roof leaks on the ceiling
Water damage from a leaking roof can cause significant issues for your ceiling. When just a few liters of water soak into your insulation fiber, this adds tens of kilograms of weight to your ceiling plasterboard, pushing it closer and closer to breaking point.
Waterlogged insulation is incredibly heavy, and when it falls, it can cause serious damage to your home, possessions, and family.
If you notice a slow-growing patch of mold or stains on your ceiling, these could be signs of a leak in your roof. It is crucial to address roof leaks immediately, but they can be difficult to detect or locate. For expert help, call in a plumbing specialist who can deal with the roof leak and consequential damage repairs.
Vibrations from roller doors
Garage ceilings can be more exposed to regular vibrations than other areas of your property. Power-operated roller doors and panel lift doors attached to the building can create sharp, repetitive movements that transfer through to your ceiling. If these vibrations occur frequently enough, the continued stress can cause your garage ceiling to crack, warp, or sag. This can cause more significant issues when it comes to doors or windows being misaligned as a result of the movement in the ceiling.
It can be challenging to determine whether a ceiling crack from these vibrations is structural or cosmetic damage. However, it is always best to call in an expert to assess your ceiling before it becomes a significant problem.
Age of the ceiling
The age of your ceiling and your building can be the root cause of cracks or sags. As the building ages, so do the fixings and adhesives holding it together. If these begin to fail, you may notice some movement in your building’s structure and ceiling, including cracks around cornices or sagging near joined pieces of plasterboard.
Even relatively new homes can experience a sudden appearance of spidery cracks along cornices and ceilings. As your new home “settles” within the first two to three years after completion, the moisture in any materials or adhesives will evaporate. Cracks may appear as your cornices, ceilings, and walls settle into their positions.
If you notice any cracks or sags in your ceiling, regardless of your home’s age, it is best to call in an expert for an assessment.
Termites and White Ants
Termites and white ants are a homeowner’s worst nightmare, and for good reason. Like any wooden structure in your home, your ceiling can also fall prey to termites and white ants. Termites can cause significant structural damage with few symptoms.
They can easily destroy load-bearing timber structures, causing ceilings and walls to sag, crack, or even collapse.
To minimize the likelihood of termites selecting your home as their next meal, ensure that you paint, stain and treat any exterior timber that’s exposed, promptly repair any leaks in your roof, keep your gutters free of debris that could provide a haven for termite larvae and, naturally, arrange for a routine termite inspection of your premises.
Is Sagging Ceiling Serious?
Sagging ceilings are a serious issue which require immediate attention as they can cause injury or even death if someone is beneath it when it collapses.
Therefore, if you see any indications that your ceiling is sagging, then it should be professionally inspected as soon as possible in order to take the necessary precautions and make sure your home is safe.
Can A Sagging Ceiling Collapse?
A sagging ceiling can potentially collapse, however it is rare and generally occurs over a period of time. Signs of strain in some areas should be cause for immediate investigation, as typically these sections will start to demonstrate signs of distress before any other area.
Roof collapses usually happen gradually, so if you notice any signs of sagging or strain in the ceilings it is crucial that you take action to ensure the safety of your home.
Is Sagging Ceiling Structural?
Ceiling sag can be categorized as a major defect, however this does not mean that it is a structural one. The ceiling board does not form part of the structure and in most cases the sagging is caused by building materials shifting over time due to exposure to moisture, temperature changes or other factors. Therefore, even though it may be a major defect listed in an inspection report it is not considered a structural problem and can usually be resolved with a repair rather than major construction work.