My house lost about 400 usable square feet today.
I got my wife a new chandelier for Christmas, and today I was finally going to install it. The last part of the old chandelier was a little bracket. I noticed the ceiling sagged about an inch or two as this small piece came out.
Feeling around, I found an amazing 3″ gap between the bottom of the outlet box and the top of the ceiling drywall. Yikes!
As I pondered my next step, I heard nails pop as the ceiling sagged a little further.
I tried pushing up, but after about 1″ of travel, I heard awful sounds.
I went across the street and asked a neighbor what he thought. As we were talking, my wife ran out the front door and exclaimed that a huge crack formed above her head. Indeed, a five-plus foot crack formed near our ceiling fan and ran crookedly towards the dining room area.
At that point, the neighbor was sure the ceiling was a lost cause. His advice confirmed my suspicion: replacement will happen, get your stuff out now!
My wife and I immediately scurried around the room to remove as many exposed items as possible
10 minutes of scurrying later, as I was putting our TV in the hallway, CRACK CRACK BANG! Most of the main room’s ceiling fell to the floor. Nobody was hit, fortunately.
Here’s a picture taken about 10 minutes after the crash:
All the speckles are airborne Rockwool insulation particles.
Similar shot without the flash:
Looking to the front windows:
Our buffet table:
Looking in from the garage:
Jennifer was standing right inside the door at this point and quickly ducked outside when she heard the collapsing. I had to clear this out later so that we could shut that door.
This is where our TV goes:
Good thing I got it out!
Most of the ceiling is gone, but the fan amazingly appears undamaged:
This is the ceiling box that held the fixture I removed:
The light fixture was the keystone holding up the entire ceiling! This ceiling was a disaster waiting to happen!
Since it’s exposed now, I am going to replace that outlet box with a modern fan support box.
The ceiling fan may have stopped the ceiling collapse. Our Ikea bookshelves are undamaged:
Right after the crash, I sent Alec and Jennifer to Home Depot to get heavy duty plastic sheeting that’s opaque (so I don’t have to look at it) and painter’s tape. Our floor plan allows us to seal off that room and still have a functional house:
Just minus about 400 square feet:
I have guys coming in tomorrow to give repair estimates, and I have already filed a claim with our insurance. Hopefully this won’t hurt our pocketbooks too badly!