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Ceiling/Wall depressions?

In our home, the family room ceiling has depressions, or bulges in it.

They are on the wall that leads outside to the patio, and the bulge is actually pushing, and distorting the wall as well.

If you look very closely, you can see the 2x4 stringers pushing on the ceiling as well, 3 of them any way, not all.

I have been up in the attic, and I see no visible cause or reason for the bulges... can anyone explain what is going on, and how to fix/repair it?

Timothy Miller
Re: Ceiling/Wall depressions?

sounds like water damage to the drywall since it is mud with a thin paper wrapping. If it becomes wet but not too wet to fall down it can bow then dry as hard as before. Might you have winter snow that could of blown into an attic vent an then melted in this area- that is all that you need to get this type of deflection.

A. Spruce
Re: Ceiling/Wall depressions?

I suspect two things, ghosting and bowed lumber.

Ghosting is caused by condensation forming on the framing member where there is less insulation than in the open bay between framing members that insulation resides. Wood does not have a very high R-value. This difference in temperature causes mild condensation and dust sticks to the condensation, causing "ghost" lines where framing members are.

Bowed lumber is typically a problem at the time the home is built. If the lumber is allowed to dry out before it gets installed, it will twist, warp, and bow. Builders who are conscientious about this face the bows in one direction, lessening how noticeable they are OR the lumber is culled and not used for framing (works great as blocking and other small necessities). I have been in homes where the builder didn't care in the slightest where walls had huge lumps and bumps in them.

If this is a ceiling problem, it is possible that the lumber is spanned longer than it is capable of, causing it to bow with the weight of the drywall, insulation and other things.

Fixes? This gets tricky, as without a site inspection by the helpful folks of this forum, we can't even begin to assume the actual cause or course of remedy. For this reason, I suggest finding a local professional to assess these issues for you.:cool:

Re: Ceiling/Wall depressions?

Very possible, bowed lumber.

One way to verify, is to cut the drywall from the suspected joist to next joist on either sides, so you have 3 joists exposed. Hold a 4' level across the joists and you'll see right away if the center joist is bowed.

If it is, replace it, which involves cutting more drywall to expose it entirely.

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