garage ceiling
(©Kirill Gorlov, Adobe Stock Photos)
  • [skipto time=1:54][1:54][/skipto] What to do about a falling garage ceiling
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  • [skipto time=26:54][26:54][/skipto] Simple Solution – Using a shop-vac to find and pick up small parts that fall on the floor
  • [skipto time=29:08][29:08][/skipto] Question of the Week: Is there a way to permanently fix stress cracks around a skylight?

What do you do if you walk into your garage, and the ceiling appears to be falling?

That’s the situation Deborah is facing in Michigan.

Deborah had a roof inspection done, and no damage was found on the roof. Now, she wants to know why her ceiling might be falling and how she can repair it.

First, it’s important to make sure there isn’t a leak. You can check for leaks by looking for discolored areas or stains on the ceiling. Leaks also tend to cause odors from mold or mildew.

Most likely, the cause of this issue is condensation and moisture build-up. Garage ceilings are typically not heated or cooled, which can take a toll on their durability. Being exposed to the elements can cause a lot of expansion and contraction.

Installing a fairly inexpensive exhaust fan, either in a window or a wall, will help protect against the issue of moisture build-up. These fans have a humidistat, which triggers the fan when the humidity reaches a certain level.

The exhaust fan blows air out and pulls air in around the cracks in the doors and windows. This movement of air will work to prevent damage caused by excessive moisture.

Just because your ceiling appears to be falling, doesn’t mean it actually is. Oftentimes, tape pulling away and paint peeling is caused by exposure to the elements. Luckily, this is an easy fix compared to repairing a falling ceiling.

To repair the peeling paint, simply scrape off the old paint, apply primer and repaint the area. Then, you can proceed to apply new tape to replace the old.

If the ceiling is actually falling and the issue goes beyond the breakdown of tape and paint, the easiest solution would be to install extra support. This process would be easier and less expensive than trying to repair the drywall or install new drywall.

Screw 1x3s or 1x4s as extra support for the garage ceiling, and space them four feet apart. Make sure to screw them directly into the underside of the joist, which will hold up the drywall.

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!

Simple Solutions 

4 uses for paper coffee filters:

  • Place a filter at bottom of a flowerpot to prevent soil from leaking out of the drainage hole.
  • Slip a coffee filter between dishes when storing or packing. 
  • Keep your microwave clean by covering dishes with coffee filters to prevent spatters. 
  • Coffee filters are lint-free; use them to clean windows, mirrors, appliances and more.

And, they cost just a penny apiece, which is cheaper than paper towels.

Watch: Other Uses for Coffee Filters Around the House

Wet-dry vac catcher — Use a rubber band to secure a piece of cheesecloth or nylon stocking to the end of the vacuum wand. Then, use it to vacuum up small parts, such as dropped nuts, washers, jewelry, etc. The item will get trapped in the cloth or nylon for easy retrieval.

Watch: Tip for Cleaning a Workshop with a Shop Vac 

Question of the Week

Q: We have a skylight in our master bathroom. At the bottom of the skylight shaft, where it meets the room ceiling, we have stress cracks in the drywall. We have patched them several times, using different methods, and they always come back.

It seems like the cracks come back as we change seasons, so I’m guessing the house is contracting/expanding as the weather changes. Any ideas on how to permanently fix these cracks?

A: The heat in the attic is going to eventually cause cracks to form when there aren’t enough nails and screws used during installation.

Although this won’t necessarily prevent the problem, you can minimize the expansion and contraction by adding more screws.

When installing a skylight, the structure and framing should be just as sturdy as the rest of the house.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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