On a recent job completed by my family’s company, Great Lakes Builders, we were called out to look at an unusual condition: The ceiling drywall had buckled along random panel seams near the middle of an open living area (see photo, above). Similar failures were found in other areas on the first floor, which we also corrected, but in this article I will focus on the repairs in the main living room.

The homeowner told us that the building, which is situated a few blocks from Lake Michigan, had originally been a modest ranch house. A large dormer had been added to open up a second floor and capture a lake view, and interior walls had been removed to open up the first floor. The first signs of trouble the homeowner reported were cracks in the ceiling drywall. She called the drywallers back to repair the cracks, and everyone chocked it up to the framing drying. That is, until the repaired ceiling buckled along joints between panels. The drywallers had never seen anything like this and recommended the owner call a structural engineer.

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