Ceiling Inspections: Save your ceiling BEFORE this happens

Ceiling Inspections can save your ceiling before it collapses.
Last week we were asked to conduct a ceiling inspection on a ceiling that had collapsed on a Perth property the day prior. The damage was extensive and the tenants were lucky that no one was seriously injured.

The really alarming part about this is that the man who was called to secure the ceiling until it could be properly replaced said that he was attending five properties that day (Saturday) that had collapsed ceilings. One in Mandurah, one in Forrestfield, Success and two other locations south of Perth.

Ceiling inspections and cases of ceiling collapses in Perth aren’t uncommon however this property was less than ten years old! It is advisable to have your ceilings re-lagged if they are over 30 years old because insurance will not cover you for ceiling failure if it is older than this. For a ceiling to collapse that has only been fixed within a ten-year period is very uncommon however the risks and the photos speak for themselves.

The conclusion of our inspection was that the most likely cause of the ceiling to collapse was due to the glue having failed. Our inspector noted that the heat in the ceiling seemed hotter than usual for a summers day in Perth. Potentially due to the domed sky lights allowing too much heat into the roof cavity.
There are always variables when conducting inspections unless the full history of the property is available to the inspector.

Some unknowns while conducting ceiling inspections where we don’t know the entire home history, were whether any goods had been stored in the ceiling cavity that caused excessive weight on the ceiling panels. Another unknown is when the insulation was installed. Who installed it and whether any trades people or foot traffic had been through the ceiling that might have walked outside of the supporting beams.

The other unknown is whether the manufacturers instructions for installation were followed for example; the correct screw type, length and quantity, the glue, type, quantity and application etc.

What you can do to avoid this happening to you: check your ceilings. Signs of a ceiling wear and tear is sagging, cornice separation, electrics not working correctly, spaces around light fixings, sky lights, vents etc.

BCI are offering a set price for ceiling inspections of $275 inc. GST. This includes:
Driving to and from your property
Inspecting the ceiling from underneath – applying pressure to check movement and torch scanning to check for undulations, sagging or popped screws.
Inspecting the ceiling from inside the roof space where access is available.
Writing a report giving their expert opinion on the ceiling condition and advice for repair and maintenance.

Please note that there are limitations with inspections inside the ceiling cavity as sometimes the manhole is too small and the roof space is too confined to allow easy access. Also depending on the age of your property and the insulation type, inspection of the ceiling fixings may be extremely difficult. If our inspector finds that there are issues that require further investigation they will let you know before proceeding with the additional hours so you can approve it first.

The BCI difference is that our inspectors are old school and recommend cost effective and PRACTICAL advice to make your home safe. The scope of works can range greatly when getting quotes for ceiling repairs. Our recommended trades list takes the guess work out of where to start. We inspect with an unbiased attitude to give you as a buyer, seller, owner, occupant or investor the most independent, expert advice to guide you through your property problems. Our team meet every week to discuss any recurring or new issues that we have found and after 24 years there are not too many new issues but as a collective we discuss solutions and source the latest building code or industry products and suppliers that might assist you with your building needs.

Ceiling designs have evolved over the years, and these are some of the most common types we find during our ceiling inspections:
Conventional ceiling
Suspended ceiling
Tray ceiling
Coffered ceiling
Cathedral ceiling
Coved ceiling
Shed ceiling
Beam ceiling.

What Is Gyprock?
Is there any difference between a Gyprock wall and one made of plasterboard? No there isn’t. Gyprock is still plasterboard, just with a particular brand name. Gyprock plasterboard is the preferred material used in Perth ceilings.

How Is Plasterboard Made?
In some parts of the world, plasterboard is known as drywall. Produced on a machine, plasterboard is comprised of a core of gypsum that is then wrapped in a heavy-duty paper liner to bond it together. Gyprock plasterboard derives its name from the gypsum used to make it.

Gypsum is a non-toxic sedimentary rock. When making the core, a foaming agent is combined with the gypsum to create a mix of wet plaster. Once ready, the mix is applied to thick paper, where the edges are then wrapped around the plaster mix to keep it in place. Forming a plaster sandwich, another sheet on linerboard paper is then applied to the top. It’s now time to pop the sheets into the oven to dry and harden them. Once cut to length and ready for use, the finished plasterboard sheet has 2 paper wrapped edges and 2 bare edges.

If you notice any signs or have any concerns about your ceiling or your investment property, please contact us for free advice and a professional inspection service for Perth, the CBD, surrounding suburbs, hills, Fremantle area, North, up to Yanchep or South as far as Mandurah without a driving fee.

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