What to do with this old ceiling?

mudwormJuly 17, 2011

We are remodeling our kitchen and have come to a decision point about the kitchen ceiling. Half of it is from the 1994 addition done by the previous owner. It is smooth. We don't plan on changing/removing it. The other half has textured ceiling, which we don't like. This part has a low attic above it. Upon close inspection, there are two layers of drywall boards already. The one at the top seems to have gone through some water damage. And under the crumbled insulation (which I removed yesterday), I think it has molded -- is that the mold I see?

The drywall board below (which has the textured plastering) appears to be in good shape, but there is sagging at spots that's visible in the kitchen.

What should we do with this part of the ceiling? The options I can think of include:

1) apply a third layer of drywall board (throughout the kitchen). But that means the nails/screws need to go through two layers of old boards to reach the joists.

2) Install beadboard ceiling over existing ceiling. I'm evaluating this option because I've seen beadboard wallpaper and planks online and they seem a bit easy for DIY'ers to install. DH is against wallpaper idea. Are beadboard planks a cheaper option over all than drywall ceiling (material, labor, time)?

3) remove both layers of the drywall boards in his part only, and install new drywall board (5/8" thick). But that probably requires shimming the ceiling joists since the new drywall ceiling needs to be flush with the other half. Or, should we strap the ceiling and the problem will be automatically addressed? The spacing between the ceiling joist is very inconsistent. There is one span that is greater than 2'.

What would you recommend?

Lastly, an OT question: Yesterday, I was working in the low attic -- terminating part of an old circuit, stuffing the old crumbing insulation into trash bags, and vacuuming the thick layer of roofing dust. I was wearing a respirator. I knew it did not fit me well, but did not bother fussing with it. When I came out, it turned out that the part on my face that was the dirtiest was in that triangle inside the respirator -- I breathed the dust for at least a couple of hours. Looking at the picture of that mold, I am a little worried. Is my exposure to the fiber glass (from the old insulation) and mold anything of concern?

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Your first step is addressing what is causing the mold and get that taken care of. Concerning the ceiling, I'd go with #3 using strapping.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 11:01AM
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Thanks! From the stain, it looks like it was caused by an old leakage. But they had re-roofed the house and the attic ceiling above looks fine. I think we'll just clean it up carefully and take down the drywall boards. I'm now leaning towards using beadboard planks for ceiling in the entire kitchen. So we may just take down the drywall boards in the good half too.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 12:33AM
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You might want to get a decent repirator with cannisters that are geared for fine particulates. I would use something better than a paper disposable mask. Something like these:

Here is a link that might be useful: respirators

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 10:33AM
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