can anyone Help?
Our living room ceiling began to sag very bad after having our roof re shingled. ceiling is cracking in multiple places. The ceiling is plaster but heating wirer is embedded in between it. who knows what is above that. No contractor seems to know how to fix it , nor have they ever seen anything like it before. 3 of the wires have broke. Can any one help
It's called Ceilheat and it is without a doubt the totally worst kind of heat ever installed in a house. You may not think it now but if this roof/ceiling sag is what has caused the Ceilheat wires to break then this is a blessing in disguise.
Ceilheat is a grid of wires set about 4" apart and imbedded between two layers of drywall and/or plaster. It is direct resistance heat controlled by individual thermostats in most rooms. One of the problems is that is just doesn't work very well. As the room gets cold, the thermostat kicks on and the wires heat up. But, the most heat is up at the ceiling where it is not needed. Heat rises, so it takes a long time for the heat near the ceiling to migrate downwards.
But it gets worse:
After a long time and lots of kilowatts burned, the warm air in the room moves down about 4' below the ceiling - which is where the thermostat is located. Eventually, the T-stat gets enough warm air around it so that it turns off the heat. Only problem is that the lower 4' of the room, including the floor is freezing. This cycle continues with the net result being a cold and uncomfortable house and a very high electric bill.
Adding a ceiling fan would really help the heat distribution, but you can't do that because you cannot cut into the ceiling to install the fan as you will cut the Ceilheat wires.
As far as I know, there is no safe way to repair a damaged ceilheat wire. I could be wrong there but the fact is that any repair is really a waste of time and money - even if it could be safe. The economics of Ceilheat are so bad that you can make the investment into a heatpump forced air system and recoup your investment in just a couple of years. And with a new system you'll also get a comfortable house to live in.
If money is tight, check with your local power supplier - many offer low or no interest loans for upgrades in H/A systems - especially if you are running such an inefficient system as Ceilheat.
I agree 100%, Ceiling heat was one of the worst ideas ever came up with.
That and partical board subfloors rank right up there.
Masonite siding is probably a close #3.
My plaster of paris and newspaper has held up longer then the Masonite siding.
How would anyone think ground up cardboard would be a good idea for siding.
My guess is they have never tryed to pick up a card board box that's been sitting on a concrete floor before.
I never have run into Ceilheat on a job. Hope never to do as well. Sounds like just a big pain to deal with.
"Why isn't everyday Earth Day ?"
sounds like a really special way to heat the attic. it's worth the cost to keep the squirrels and bats happy, right?
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
I helped my father redo their den into a dedicated TV room last year. Although pros did the majority of the demo and all of the AC electrical, flooring, wall board, etc., we pulled all of the low-voltage theater wiring ourselves. That meant doing a partial demo of the ceiling and some walls to first figure out where new cable had to go, and then to actually get it there.
Most of the house has in-ceiling resistive heat (abandoned). It is similar to what is described in this thread, but the ceiling was one layer of gypsum board and the heating wires were fastened below that. Then a hard popcorn finish was sprayed over the wires to conceal them.
Normally it takes 10 minutes max to rip en entire ceiling down if one desires. We were trying to maintain a usable room in the partial demo process, so I had to cut through each heating wire as I demoed a 9-inch-wide channel through the ceiling across the room. It was a ***** to cut through the spray texture with a drywall saw, and then every time I'd come to a wire I'd have to snip it. All while on a step ladder with my neck craned upwards. Yuck.
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