We're doing work on a small home with 1 main floor and a basement below that, and during some work (maintenance on plumbing, HVAC ducts, and wiring) we've removed a bunch of the drop ceiling from part of our basement. As we consider removing all of the drop ceiling, I wonder if that changes the rules for all the wiring and whatnot hung up there. The basement is in three parts:
- Utility room, which is unfinished and has a bare concrete floor and exposed joists and subflooring as a ceiling;
- 'Basement', which is partially finished with painted concrete floor, painted drywall, and a suspension frame drop ceiling;
- Garage, which is unfinished like the utility room and has a door to the backyard. In parts of the garage, plywood boards and 2x4s have been thrown up to the joists/subflooring in various places to serve as a drop ceiling.
We're considering complete removal of the suspension frame drop ceiling from the basement area, mainly for aesthetic purposes. We like a rustic, functional look, and at over 100yrs strong, it's nice to be able to easily see the joists and subflooring to admire its health or identify problems earlier. The drop ceiling does have other benefits (some insulation, perhaps?) so we're not sure we'll remove it yet .
I ask this question in considering what needs to be done to properly uninstall the drop ceiling. Right now just bits and pieces are removed for maintenance accessibility. I certainly need to clean out a lot of cob webs, but are there changes in how wiring, plumbing pipes, or HVAC ducts need to be routed with vs. without a drop ceiling?
Also, I suspect the wiring there is currently not up to code. Does removal of the drop-ceiling require that we fix all of that any more or less than if we left the drop ceiling as is? For example, there are many segments of disconnected NM, K&T, and coax cables running parallel and at angles across the joists, above the drop ceiling. There are some connected cables which run perpendicular to the joists, stapled or hanging on an angled nail at intersections with joists and dangling between the drop ceiling and the subflooring in between joists.