Ask RiotACT: Re-screwing sagged gyprock ceilings – to prop or not to prop?

Tim 27 February 2018 6
Ask RiotACT

Hi Rioters,

The gyprock ceilings in my old house have pulled away from the ceiling batons as a result of the glue failing. I have since got two quotes to re-screw the gyprock to the batons, reset the joins and patch over the screw holes.

The quotes vary markedly in price. The more expensive quote (double the cost) involves propping the ceilings prior to re-screwing and sanding back the entire ceiling (not just the patches), which they believe is the only way of making the ceiling look brand new.

I would be grateful to hear from other Rioters on their experiences repairing sagged ceilings and techniques used, and perhaps recommend a plasterer so that I can get a third quote.

Thanks very much.

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6 Responses to Ask RiotACT: Re-screwing sagged gyprock ceilings – to prop or not to prop?
Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:16 pm 01 Mar 18

I don’t think horse hair is compatible with Gyprock which is the standard plaster sheet one uses these days and it is probably the one you already have.

One can only sand Gyprock so far so if the saggy bits are propped and screwed on there will still be distortions everywhere.

For $2,000 and some DIY you can have a brand new garage ceiling. Sometimes, I don’t know why I bother to try and help.

Tanya Louise Tanya Louise 7:30 pm 01 Mar 18

Depends how sagged, but you can often screw up the sagging part and plaster over. If its too much to simply screw up, you might need to cut a small section away first.

Samantha Morgan Samantha Morgan 7:22 pm 01 Mar 18

Jean Mc can you help here?

Chris Williams Chris Williams 6:17 am 01 Mar 18

The old school method is to prop all the ceilings back up. You then go into the ceiling cavity, remove all the insulation and clean the dust off the plaster board, then with a mix of "Horse Hair" and fairly wet cornice adhesive, tear off strips of the hair, dip it into the adhesive and lay it over the batons and onto the plasterboard.This means you will not have too much patching on the underside and a secure ceiling but it's a cow of a job.

Alternatively, you could locate all the batons from below and start screwing the ceiling back up, possibly with some props to help hold it up and rely only on screws to hold it up. You then patch all the screws. This method may or may not hold. It would depend on how sagged it was to start.

John Collinson John Collinson 10:32 pm 28 Feb 18

All depends if the customer wants to rip it all out or just patch it. Paching is the cheapest fix but not guaranteed to stay with the presure of the board still wanting to sag.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:06 am 28 Feb 18

Was your garage ceiling constructed in the 1990’s? If so, it is likely that the plasterers used fewer screws to affix the sheets believing the new glue method was faster and cheaper. The glue has since lost its adhesion with ceiling sagging being the sad outcome.

Some plasterers were also using galvanised clouts which over time have shed the galvanised coating and are slipping downward with the ceiling plaster sheet.

It will eventually collapse (onto your cars) if it is not fixed so there is only one solution and that is to replace the ceiling. For an average 2 car garage you could expect to pay about $8,000. I thought this was excessive so I removed the saggy ceiling myself, bought new plaster, ceiling cement etc., found a couple of weekend plasterers with electric sanders and had the job done completed in a few hours. I did the painting myself the next day. The total cost was about $100 for hire of a trailer to take the old ceiling to the tip, $600 for the new plaster, glue/screws etc. $1,200 for the plasterers and $200 for the paint.

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