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My plaster ceiling is cracking and the advice I’ve gotten is to cover it with dry wall. The issue I’m having is how to locate the joists in the ceiling. Is there an easy way to do this to make sure the drywall is safely secured?

  • Adding additional weight is not advisable if the plaster is already cracking. Do you know WHY it’s cracking? – Lee Sam May 22 at 23:40
  • I think it is just the age of the plaster. I’ve been in the house for two years with no noticeable changes in the ceiling. – Jonah Hassenfeld May 23 at 0:26
  • Strip it with one by fours carefully ascertain where joist are by drilling and measuring. Attaching furring to joists with screws long enough to penetrate 1 “. This is much easier than trying to screw a sheet of drywall to the joists. Once it’s all furred yiu can switch back to standard drywall screws and methods attaching to furring diy.stackexchange.com/questions/39288/… – Kris May 23 at 3:15
  • Plaster doesn’t crack because of “age”. It cracks because of movement. If you know the “why?”, then you can address the repair. If you don’t know the “why”, you can over-build and hope for the best. Has there been anything added to the attic? any extra heavy snow load last winter? Anything added outside that could “move/vibrate” the house? Any new work in the street or at your neighbors? – Lee Sam May 23 at 3:37
  • The plaster ceiling is over 100 years old. My understanding was that overtime horsehair plaster breaks down. Is that incorrect Lee? As I said, in the time we’ve been in the house (two years) there’s been no change in the cracks in the ceiling. The room is on the first floor of a two story house so I also doubt that it has to do with snow on the roof or anything in the attic. – Jonah Hassenfeld May 23 at 7:10

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