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When attempting to do or contract-out any kind of ceiling installation or repair, one must know exactly what there is on your ceiling in terms of layers or parts. There could be drywall; sheetrock; plaster and lathing; and even cement; not to mention, vapor barrier and possibly, even insulation. Each separate material you find will take a vastly different approach to replacement and repair. And especially, cost!

Ceiling demolition is a messy job requiring ground-cloths or tarps on the floor to make clean-up easy and fast. You can seal off other rooms to prevent dust spreading and settling outside your area of work. Having a wet and dry vac is mandatory for anyone cleaning up this kind of stuff. And, wearing a protective particle-mask is also non optional. Some older buildings even contain asbestos and others hazardous types of substances lodged in the ceiling. Again, know what you are really getting into!

For now, we will focus on drywall, as it is the most popular; including, being the easiest to pull down or cut out and repair. For ceiling replacement, use a firm utility knife and a solid blade, to cut along and deep into the edges of the walls as they meet the ceiling. Mostly they have been taped or plastered, or in some way joined together. This is to prevent taking down pieces of your wall as you remove the ceiling. If you don't want to be replacing or repairing your walls, please keep this step in mind!

Measure the size of your ceiling repair and then use some sort of straight edge to mark and score the area to be removed; using your drywall saw or utility knife to cut out the area. Cut out only what you need to repair unless there is water damage, and in this case, you would be advised to check for wet insulation or mould developing elsewhere. Once the area has been cut out, you can then replace or repair the drywall accordingly.

Ceilings can have electrical wires running to feed the lights and wall areas. Know or find out where your wiring is; or, just turn the power off for that area; allowing you the safety and security to take down or cut out the drywall in question; and to physically see where the wiring is located. Remove all lighting before demolition. Safety first!

Taking down a ceiling requires scaffolding, ladders, goggles, mask and a cover-all, as it is dirty work. You can use a small pry bar, wonder bar, or a crow bar to pull the ceiling down in pieces. The drywall will either be screwed to the ceiling joists; or the ceiling has been strapped with wood; and that's where the drywall has been screwed into it to make it secure. And, when repairing this ceiling with a cut out piece of drywall, these are where you screw to. Make them easily screw-able to fit snug and tight. Less tape and less drywall compound will thus be required, making for an almost invisible repair.

Ladders are not a good idea to use alone, as you work in the debris around you, and as you work hard to tear out with physical force that section of the ceiling you are working on removing; your ladder can easily tip, and you can easily get hurt in the process. Two ladders of equal size separated apart and with a firm plank of wood wedged or attached between the rungs of the ladders will give you reachable, yet a firmer access to the ceiling; this is the best alternative to scaffolding.

There are a few reasons why it is common for people to hire contractors for any ceiling projects.

  • It is common in most traditional homes to have very high ceilings, which of course adds an extraordinary amount of beauty to any home, but can be difficult for someone with little to no knowhow for any ceiling proposal. Instead of unintentionally hurting yourself, or anybody else for that matter, hire someone who has good experience working with higher ceilings. For any general ceiling ideas and designs, click here.
  • Ceilings that have been left with water damage for prolonged periods of time can easily start to grow mold or mildew, which can be potentially dangerous for you or any of your family members. Water damage can also mean serious structural issues, which might also lead to electrical issues. Anything involving those issues are projects meant for professionals only to avoid coming in contact with anything dangerous.
  • If you want to cover up any defects in your ceiling, or just add any special characteristics, texturing is your answer. There are many different ways to customize your texturing needs, and anything out of the basic level should be left for a contractor to do. Otherwise, you could end up with a mess that will be hard to clean up. To get some ideas on the type of texture that will fit best in your home, click here.

Whatever your new ceiling project is, it is sure to make a huge positive difference in your home. Using TrustedPros to help find someone who can do the job right is quick and easy. You can scroll through the extensive list of contractors to personally pick one out for yourself, or you can post an ad of your job description and let them come to you.

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