Ceiling collapse update

More updates on the ceiling collapse.


The ceiling collapse culprit may be more complicated than the short nails.

The house’s attic gable vents are above the den and the master bedroom. Coincidentally, the den’s ceiling collapsed, and the master bedroom has a slight ceiling sag. The insurance estimator theorized that some wind-driven high attic pressure plus the weight of the insulation plus improper nails may have caused the collapse. [EDIT: This is also the working theory behind a ceiling failure in a separate room in 2019!]

The insurance estimator noticed a master bedroom ceiling sag, so he recommended that the insurance fix this by driving drywall screws into it and scraping and retexturing.


Today is the 7th day we’ve had no den and dining room. We are lucky since our house is still livable and functional.

The biggest inconvenience is losing 400 square feet.

The second biggest inconvenience is my skittishness about the plastic sheeting closing off the disaster area.

The closed room has three vents. Even though I shut them off, enough air leaks through to increase pressure in that room, causing the plastic sheeting to balloon out when the heater runs.

I have the sheeting held in place by 3″-4″ of that blue paint-safe tape, but I’m constantly afraid it will stop adhering and open up. If the heat turns on while it opens up, it will blow the insulation-laden air into the rest of the house.

In an abundance of caution, I turn the heat off when we leave and at night. My wife just loves those freezing cold mornings! :-)

The nice thing is if I open a window while the heater runs, the pressure differential sucks fresh air into the house. That’s a nice way to inject fresh air into this place!

No TV!

Our TV is sitting in the hallway–the ceiling collapsed while I rescued it–but the only cable connectors are in the den. (Shortly after moving in, I removed the cable connections from the other bedrooms–I feel very strongly against having TVs in bedrooms). Therefore, we’ve had no TV for a whole week. I love it! Can we have no TV forever? Please?

Some day I’ll write why I hate many TV programs.


I hope to hear some kind of dollar amount from the adjuster early this week. The estimator made a mistake–ordered different resurfacing treatments for different parts of the wood floor of the closed off room–so that plus some other issues have been holding up the adjuster’s offer.

New Furniture

The inspector said our couch, love seat, dining room table set, and some less significant items are total losses. Apparently, it’s impossible to get the fine Rockwool particles out of the couches, and the cost of resurfacing the dining room table and its chairs exceeds the cost of a new set.

I am so glad I opted for the personal property replacement value coverage. The insurance company will cut me a check for these items’ depreciated values (i.e., garage sale values). Because of this extended coverage, we can buy new equivalents of these items and get reimbursed for the difference.


Since the entire ceiling is out, I’m seriously thinking of installing recessed lighting in the den. I’ll probably do it myself and ask the contractor to wait a day between demolition/cleanup and nailing up the new drywall.

The question is what kind of lighting to do? I only have 9′ ceilings in that main room, so I’m afraid traditional 6″ recessed lighting may look huge. Plus I don’t like how hot incandescents run; that room is already too warm in the summer.

I like the look of halogen recessed lighting, but some sites say these may be best for directional lighting. I may also look into dimmable compact fluorescent-based lights.

Mean Kitty

My younger cat Olivia, nicknamed “Mean Kitty” by my son, recently discovered how to shred furniture. Furniture shredding is unacceptable with new furniture, so I have a hard decision: get her declawed or give her away.

Even though anti-declaw arguments are exaggerated and full of holes (link), I am still uncomfortable with the procedure.

But even if I do it, I will have spent money on a kitty with a terribly defective personality. She is already reclusive, skittish, and dislikes my wife and son. She comes out only for me and only when I am in seated or lying down, and only when nobody else is around.

When she was a kitten, she was nice to everybody, and she wanted to sleep on me at night. I don’t know why she changed so dramatically!

Would she do better in a one person, no child household?

I hate giving up a pet, but I have a cat with a terribly defective personality occupying one of my two cat “slots.”

I don’t know what to do. If it has to come down to risking her being put down, I’ll probably keep her. But I may investigate placing her somewhere else.

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