Sunday, April 05, 2009

This Olde House - Saggy Ceiling

We noticed the ceiling in the garage had started to sag. When I checked in the attic, the strongback running above the garage had separated from the beams it was ment to be supporting.

My plan was to jack the ceiling from below, close the gap between the beams and the strongback, then sink several 7" lagbolts through the strongback and into the beams. Nails didn't hold, but lagbolts certainly would.

When I tried a car jack and a 2x4, the car jack started to bend. When my father brought over his half-ton jack, even that couldn't lift the ceiling. Then I had a flash of insight. I had put the left-over 18" floor tiles (from the kitchen) in the attic. A bunch of them. Turns out, about 600lbs worth of tile. Once we moved those (not fun!) the half-ton jack started to work. But the 2x4 warped under the pressure!

Today, I picked up an eight foot 4x4. THAT work. Liam helped crank it. We jacked the ceiling a full six inches. Then I climbed up into the 120 degree attic, drilled a pilot hole with my cordless drill and then used the hammer drill to sink a dozen 7" lagbolts into place. Once they were all in place, I released the jack, and the ceiling held in place.

No more sag. Mission accomplished.

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