Drywall seam visible in ceiling

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Old 07-03-18, 09:27 AM
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Drywall seam visible in ceiling

Posted earlier about dimples showing in my ceiling. While getting ready to fix those have noticed that seams are evident. Does not seem to be any real pillowing of the drywall. Aside from some small movement where I found some dimples, cannot detect any real movement, no cracks (hairline or larger). Would like to know if this is more cosmetic or something that needs a larger fix.

Can see the same pattern in other parts of the room depending on lighting can be very noticeable as you look, but feels fairly level as you run your hand over the area.

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Last edited by crober72; 07-03-18 at 09:36 AM. Reason: Adding photos
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Old 07-03-18, 09:56 AM
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How far apart are the lines in the top pic?
If you set a straightedge across that area you'll get a better idea of how bad it is. 4' level works great for this.
 
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Old 07-03-18, 10:47 AM
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That's just poor finishing... it needed one more skim coat and sanding prior to being painted. With all that existing texture on there, it's going to be pretty impossible to make that disappear unless you skim and retexture the entire ceiling.
 
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Old 07-03-18, 10:49 AM
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Shoddy workmanship. Its definitely a joint(s). It seems from your pic you do not have much texture on the ceiling, I would consider the easiest fix to be to scrape the ceiling yourself, then call in a qualified texture applier to have a thick knockdown texture applied. A qualified contractor will tell you after its scraped down whether or not the seams will need work before new texture can be applied. Unfortunately from the pic, we cannot tell if it requires sanding or more mud applied. Refer to the above answer to find out the answer to that question.
 
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Old 07-03-18, 11:42 AM
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Thank you for the responses -- will check marksr's questions and post more info later tonight after I get back home.

A general question, though -- from what you can see in the picture, would you be concerned about drywall coming down, or does this appear to be more of a poor workmanship/cosmetic issue?
 
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Old 07-03-18, 11:54 AM
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If you are not seeing cracking, sagging, or nail/screw heads being exposed I highly doubt that it is more than cosmetic. If you do however decide to scrape and re-texture, you can always add some new screws for extra peace of mind beforehand.
 
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Old 07-03-18, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Wick012 View Post
If you are not seeing cracking, sagging, or nail/screw heads being exposed I highly doubt that it is more than cosmetic. If you do however decide to scrape and re-texture, you can always add some new screws for extra peace of mind beforehand.
Thanks, Wick012 -- No sagging or cracking that I have noticed. I do have a few spots where I can see a dimple in the ceiling that looks like it matches up with a nail head.
 
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Old 07-03-18, 12:01 PM
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As long as you can't push up on the drywall and get visible movement there is absolutely no danger of the drywall coming down. And even if you get some movement adding a few screws should fix it.
 
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Old 07-03-18, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
How far apart are the lines in the top pic?
If you set a straightedge across that area you'll get a better idea of how bad it is. 4' level works great for this.
Checked the distance between the 2 lines -- about 5 inches. Also put a level up to check, setting it perpendicular to the lines, and the spot in the picture is level. The level did not sit higher than the rest of the surface when across the two lines.
 

Last edited by crober72; 07-03-18 at 04:01 PM. Reason: correcting wording
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Old 07-04-18, 02:32 AM
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So the space between the lines needs to be filled with mud to make it all level ?
Drywall tape is normally 2" wide although the joint gets feathered out way past that. As noted above while filling the depression is easy, matching the texture is not. Some are good at matching texture but many are not. The fact that it's a ceiling with no windows, pictures, etc. to break up the line of sight makes a less than perfect texture patch show more.
 
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Old 07-04-18, 10:04 AM
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Thank you again for the info. Did more checking with the level this morning, and now that I've looked a bit more closely, I do find some areas where it looks like the drywall is sagging. Seems to be between the two beams. My guess is at this point, I may be best having a contractor come out to take a look to figure out the best fix?
 
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Old 07-04-18, 10:51 AM
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Do you know what the ceiling joist spacing is?
Some builders will go cheap with both 24" spacing and 1/2" drywall. Over time 1/2" drywall will sag. I'm assuming it's attic space above that ceiling ??
 
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Old 07-04-18, 11:13 AM
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Honestly, I'm not sure. The house was built around '71 if that tells you anything. You are correct that it is attic space above this ceiling.

One other question I meant to ask in my last reply -- when I'm checking for movement -- is that obvious movement with a small amount of pressure, or slight movement with a significant amount of pressure?
 
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Old 07-05-18, 03:31 AM
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You can stick your head into the attic and determine the joists spacing although the odds are you have trusses set on 24" centers.

It only takes a little bit of pressure to determine if the drywall is loose. A lot of pressure could end up with your hand pushing thru the drywall
 
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Old 07-05-18, 06:41 AM
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If you are on 24" centers, you could (admittedly with quite a lot of work) add scabs/braces between them, then screw the sagging drywall back into place. It will be dirty nasty and hot work, but the only solution to the problem that would be economically feasible.

As I mentioned before, that ceiling texture appears to be a basic sand-mix roll-on, and quite thin at that. It should be able to be scraped or even sanded smooth, then you can level out that joint and have a pro re-texture your ceiling with a good knockdown.

Be warned however, that if on 24" centers and if you have sagging, without adding braces your problems will multiply out of control, as the weight of the new texture will make the sagging much worse, possibly even to the point of the drywall pulling off the ceiling.

Be CAREFUL with how you proceed.

BTW, how well is your attic vented? High moisture levels will elevate the problems.
 
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Old 07-07-18, 11:34 AM
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I believe we are vented ok but your comment makes me wonder if that might be a cause we had our roof replaced about a year ago. Would the pounding, removal of the old roof and replacement cause these seams to show?
 
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Old 07-07-18, 11:45 AM
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I suppose it's possible although nail pops and such are more common on walls when siding is installed because both the wall and siding utilize the same stud. A roof is more insulated from the ceiling because it's not the same exact piece of lumber.
 
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