Home & Garden

Middle of garage ceiling sagging/sinking?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 3rd, 2019 11:44 am
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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Oct 1, 2004
5805 posts
501 upvotes
Toronto

Middle of garage ceiling sagging/sinking?

8 year old home, Tarion structural warranty is 7 years, so I believe I’m sol.

Noticed this big gap running across top of my garage ceiling, middle seems to be where the biggest gap is, while it gets narrower towards the sides.

There are no sign of leak or water damage on the ceiling surface. I’m no professional but shouldn’t there be nails across the top attaching the piece across to the ceiling? Seems like it’s purely supported by the sides with no support in the middle.

Anyone had anything similar?
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18 replies
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Oct 23, 2008
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Jerico wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2019 9:15 pm
Room above garage? Or unfinished attic space?

I’d get up there with a flashlight ASAP. Looks like something has given way.
I'm guessing there is a room above it because there is no reason for the ceiling to drop like that versus the section closer to the garage door.
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Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
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from what you have described, it looks like your roof truss structure has decided to separate from your stick framed structure. Most modern houses are conventionally / stick framed, with walls comprising studs with top and bottom plates, built on floors. On top of the finished frame structure, carefully designed roof trusses are placed. BUT.... These roof trusses are lightweight but extremely rigid structures, and they rely on a uniform height top plate around the entire framed structure on which they rest.

During construction the truss is nailed to the top plate, but only one or two nails is used, because the weight of the roof will keep the truss structure in position. but if there is a dip or lowered section of top plate, the truss structure initially is stressed when nailed in position, but after a while will pull away to the natural position the truss initially was constructed with.

It looks like something along those lines has happened to you here, with the entire roof popping up and away from the horizontal slab framed structure underneath. If I was in your garage, I could give you a better idea exactly what happened.
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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Oct 1, 2004
5805 posts
501 upvotes
Toronto
Jerico wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2019 9:15 pm
Room above garage? Or unfinished attic space?

I’d get up there with a flashlight ASAP. Looks like something has given way.
Room above, the part where the lower wall end is where the roof starts. With a flashlight all I can see across is pink insulation.
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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Oct 1, 2004
5805 posts
501 upvotes
Toronto
fieldhousehandyman wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2019 9:44 pm
from what you have described, it looks like your roof truss structure has decided to separate from your stick framed structure. Most modern houses are conventionally / stick framed, with walls comprising studs with top and bottom plates, built on floors. On top of the finished frame structure, carefully designed roof trusses are placed. BUT.... These roof trusses are lightweight but extremely rigid structures, and they rely on a uniform height top plate around the entire framed structure on which they rest.

During construction the truss is nailed to the top plate, but only one or two nails is used, because the weight of the roof will keep the truss structure in position. but if there is a dip or lowered section of top plate, the truss structure initially is stressed when nailed in position, but after a while will pull away to the natural position the truss initially was constructed with.

It looks like something along those lines has happened to you here, with the entire roof popping up and away from the horizontal slab framed structure underneath. If I was in your garage, I could give you a better idea exactly what happened.
So should I be contacting a structural engineer or framing contractor? Is this something that happens due to age(nails popped due to tension) or poor workmanship to begin with? Would the bottom part of the ceiling eventually collapse if unattended to?
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Jan 25, 2007
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greg123 wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2019 10:15 pm
So should I be contacting a structural engineer or framing contractor? Is this something that happens due to age(nails popped due to tension) or poor workmanship to begin with? Would the bottom part of the ceiling eventually collapse if unattended to?
It’s so hard to tell without being there in person... maybe someone missed with a bunch of nails in the bulkhead and your kids held a dance party in the bedroom above, or maybe the whole thing is failing.
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Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
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The first step is to stop parking your vehicles in there until you figure this out.

The second step is bringing someone in to take down the drywall from the collapsed section. From here you should be able to find out what the problem is, but the drywall will likely need to come down either way. A framer should be able to tell you what failed and it should be quite visible. Their explanation should make sense to you - it seems like an obvious defect. This should be enough work for someone to take on (removing your garage door openers, garage door rails, all the drywall, light investigation) as it may encompass most of a day to be done safely.


You can always bring someone in to merely give an opinion, but my thought is that the drywall is likely to come down either way in order to fix this so might as well bring it down and get a really good look at the problem by exposing what's under the drywall.
Deal Addict
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Mar 12, 2005
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If that room above the garage feels cold in the winter, now is your chance to get it spray foamed since all the drywall is being removed. Just something to consider
Deal Addict
Sep 20, 2008
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Toronto
greg123 wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2019 10:01 pm
Room above, the part where the lower wall end is where the roof starts. With a flashlight all I can see across is pink insulation.
Looks like not enough duct tape was used. Who was the developer?
Deal Guru
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
Is it just a drywall box to contain the insulation under the room? If so, then not the worst thing ever, but it still probably needs to come down unless it can be reinforced in select spots.
Jr. Member
Feb 5, 2019
101 posts
114 upvotes
I would suggest to not use the room and garage until this is sorted out. Remove some of that drywall to get a clear idea of the issue. Also, it would be wise to cut a couple 2x4s and have it wedged between the floor of the garage and the failing ceiling as a precaution. If you do not feel comfortable proceeding, hire someone.
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Sep 8, 2007
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Way Out of GTA
Builder should goodwill the repair. That’s a ridiculous situation to happen after 8 years or ever.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Oct 1, 2004
5805 posts
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Toronto
Parked cars outside and won’t be going through the garage anymore till its Looked at. Contacted both the city and builder, will give update to see what they say.

Talked to couple of owners in the neighbourhood with the same model build around the same time, and couple of them are having the same problem. Although the gap is not as severe as my.

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