Loft Boarding causing bowed ceilings

13 Jul 2005
Reaction score
United Kingdom

I don't know if I'm being paranoid, but I boarded out our loft last year, and I have some bowing in the ceilings upstairs that might have been there before. I have a timber framed house, and the joists upstairs look either 3 X 2 or 4 X 2. We removed the water tank when we did it as it was no longer need it, and currently use the loft for storage.

I'm panicing now as I think I should clear it out and remove some of the boarding. What do you guys think?

Also, how would you go about reparing bowed ceilings if damage has been done.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
Sponsored Links
Did you fix the board straight to the existing joists? (bad) or did you counterbatten first with new timbers atop the old?

I think I'd start by moving all loads up there to the edges, this will ease deflection slightly. I don't think it will be easy to remove any bowing with expensive ceiling repairs.
Straight on top of existing joists. Is that really bad? If I counter-battoned, would that mean running new joists in the opposite direction? What advantage does that give?

Another question is, if it was the new weight causing the bowing, would it not cause the plaster on the ceilings to crack? I've had the ceiling plastered flat upstairs before the loft was done.
Read this one, the last 2 posts (page 2) answer your first question. What sort of stuff are you storing up there anyway?

If it was bowing before you boarded out, what would've caused it?
Sponsored Links
ok, the opposite direction thing makes sense. I'm not storing anything too major up there, but a fair bit of stuff all round. A few crates and some bookes etc. Heaviest thing is probably a flat pack desk. The worst part of sagging though is in an area without anything major there. I just wonder if the weight of the boards themselves is too much?

I wonder if the best thing to do is get up there and remove the boarding and just leave a cat walk area in the middle. At the moment the sagging is only noticeable if you stand on a chair or something and get near the ceiling. Just think it may be better to nip it in the bud before it becomes anything too major. Just would have thought the plaster would crack if it was newly sagging
How old is the house, and is the roof cut timbers or trussed construction (triangulated)?
hi john....its an 80s house...and has a trussed roof..(triangle supports rest in two places on the ceiling joists)
Then I don't know... I was thinking that an old house might have sagged a bit but stopped by now; and I was thinking that atrussed roof would flex less. Obviously neither of these ideas applies.

There are tables of acceptable deflection; can you work out what percentage the droop is of the timber length? Someone will know if it is within tolerance.

p.s. I am a great believer in counterbattening, and placing weighty objects above intermediate walls.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

Sponsored Links