View Full Version : Need Advice on pillowed ceiling.

Raymond Fries
12-01-2014, 9:51 PM
The ceiling in my attached garage has pillowed. My research says that the builder used 1/2" drywall instead of 5/8" drywall. The joists are on 24" centers and I do have 1/2" drywall. It is only sagging between the trusses and I do not see nails of screws coming loose. Does this need fixed because it is becoming dangerous?

Is it possible that this was a cost savings shortcut? I am trying to find out what the minimum drywall thickness for a garage ceiling in a home built in the late 1980's and not having much luck. Anyone know where I can find this? If this was installed out of code, is it possible that I can the Lancia to fix it?

Any help is much appreciated.

George Bokros
12-01-2014, 9:57 PM
I believe the only place 5/8" drywall is required is if there is living space on the other side of the wall or ceiling.

Raymond Fries
12-01-2014, 10:55 PM

That is interesting. Spanning the other side of the garage wall is the kitchen, utility room (the door to enter the garage is here), and the bathroom off of the master bedroom.

Mel Miller
12-01-2014, 11:17 PM
The ceiling in my former garage/now family room was the same. Builder used 1/2" sheetrock on 24" span instead of 5/8" I put a layer of 5/8" over it which pushed the "pillows" up flat. Figured that was a lot easier than pulling the 1/2" down and dealing with the insulation above it. Plus, it gave another layer of insulation.

Brian Elfert
12-02-2014, 3:15 AM
Typically, only the wall that is attached to living space is required to be covered with drywall. The builder may also choose to cover the garage ceiling if they don't want to run drywall all the way to the roof line to create a complete firewall. Now, if there is living space above the garage in today's world the entire interior of the garage needs to be covered with drywall. I don't know if that code has changed since the 1980s or not.

The builder was probably trying to save a few bucks by using 1/2" drywall instead of 5/8". Now you know why 5/8" drywall is typically used for 24" spans. There is a special high strength 1/2" drywall available now for 24" spans, but I don't know that it was available in the 1980s. Whoever built my house went the opposite way of your house and apparently used 5/8" drywall on some of the interior walls. I found this out when patching some holes and having to use a lot of mud to even things out.

Jim Matthews
12-02-2014, 7:09 AM
The solution I recall involves a series of furring strips over the joists
and an additional layer of drywall for a "show" face.

I doubt it's likely to come down, if you can't see any cracks.