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  1. #1
    Doug Gressett's Avatar
    Doug Gressett Guest

    Question Attic Flooring May be causing ceiling to crack

    I have a floored in storage area in my attic and have recently developed a crack in my garage ceiling. My garage is a 3 car size and DOES NOT have a support beam inside the garage. Several houses in my neighborhood have the same 3 car garage and while some do have a post in the garage, many do not. How can I find someone to inspect this area and tell me if adding a post will be sufficient to stop/repair the crack or if I need further structure work?

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  2. #2
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Attic Flooring May be causing ceiling to crack

    Doug,

    You might try and locate a home inspector in the Midland/Odessa area, but he may refer the observation and recommendation to a Texas Licensed Professional Engineer who focuses on "structural" engineering.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Attic Flooring May be causing ceiling to crack

    Doug,

    The cause of the cracks at the garage ceiling is most likely deflection of the bottom chords of the trusses (assuming you have trusses) due to the added dead loads (attic floor decking and stored materials) and live loads (you and others walking around and carrying materials to store).

    Generally speaking, the attic floor above a garage is not designed for storage. Did you add the flooring in the attic or was it placed there by the builder? Are you storing heavy items up there? If you contact your local building department they may be able to tell you what loads the bottom chords of the trusses (or joists) are designed for.

    What kind of framing do you have? (Trusses or stick framing?) Do the trusses (or joists) span from side wall to side wall or from front to rear?

    I see two possible solutions for you:

    1) Stop using your garage attic for storage.

    2) Install structural supports under the garage attic trusses (or joists). You will need a beam to support the trusses and one or more posts to support the beam (plus supports at the ends of the beams). You should contact a structural engineer to design this for you. Be advised that an added beam may interfere with garage door openers.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  4. #4
    walter bailey's Avatar
    walter bailey Guest

    Default Re: Attic Flooring May be causing ceiling to crack

    Doug, sometimes what you are describing is caused by the strapping installed improperly. When strapping does not span over the beam it's fastened to, and the seam of the Sheetrock lands at the beam, the finished ceiling will almost always crack at that seam. I see this all the time. I would cut an inspection hole In the ceiling where the crack is first , to rule out strapping issues.


  5. #5
    walter bailey's Avatar
    walter bailey Guest

    Default Re: Attic Flooring May be causing ceiling to crack

    Doug, I was assuming the crack was showing directly below the beam.


  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Attic Flooring May be causing ceiling to crack

    How can I find someone to inspect this area and tell me if adding a post will be sufficient to stop/repair the crack or if I need further structure work?
    Professional Real Estate Inspectors Qualified to Sponsor

    Go to the TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission) web site and search for inspectors by city. Several names pop up. Take your choice since this is a pretty easy call for any inspector worth his salt. Talk to a couple and find one you like.
    For Texas inspectors, the lower the License number, the longer they have been licensed in Texas.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Attic Flooring May be causing ceiling to crack

    In many, perhaps most, cases I recommend starting with a good and knowledgeable (and, of course, licensed in Texas) home inspector, however, being as ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    You might try and locate a home inspector in the Midland/Odessa area, but he may ...
    ... he will likely do as Nolan stated, I would recommend going straight to the "structural" engineer, as Nolan stated below:
    refer the observation and recommendation to a Texas Licensed Professional Engineer who focuses on "structural" engineering.
    If, on the other hand, you have other concerns about the house, a knowledgeable home inspector can look at the entire house and tie the different systems together whereas individual contractors for those separate systems may (should) excel *in their trade* they typically fail to have the knowledge of all trades to be able to tie everything together.

    Even if you go with the home inspector for all the advantages of doing so, I would also go with the structural engineer for your garage question - but hold off doing so until after the home inspector has done their inspection as the home inspector may also find other things the structural engineer should look at.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Doug Gressett's Avatar
    Doug Gressett Guest

    Default Re: Attic Flooring May be causing ceiling to crack

    Thanks to all for the responses. The crack in the garage follows the tape line in the ceiling sheetrock and is directly below a main (front to back) beam in the attic. This beam has several support beams that go up to the roof. I have searched for Sturctural Engineers in Midland and will be contacting one for an opinion. Thanks again to all you "guys" on this forum. Everything I read on here is most helpful and it is good to see several approaches to many of the issues posted.

    Doug Gressett
    Retired, ExxonMobil
    Midland, TX


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