Ceiling collapsed, what to do?

So after I got home today I noticed a crack in my ceiling. I walked to the other room and heard a crash. Probably 330 sf of drywall came down.

The maintenance people said they’d get it cleaned up tomorrow and then talk about what to do next. What should “next” be? Just clean up and repair? Compensation? Nothing?

what caused the collapse? 330 ft^2 of drywall doesn’t just fall down because it feels like it.

Since the OP is looking for advice, let’s move this to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

What room is it? I’d consider converting it to a courtyard area and putting a water feature in there. (A lot of Spanish/Mediterranean inspired homes have this) which will incidentally bounce your home value up substantially (I’m thinking a rough estimate of 15-25% increase in home value).

No idea. It’s not wet.

Did anything under the ceiling get damaged and/or is now in need of cleaning?

If you rent you could see what your rights as a tenant is .

Just an increase in the moisture content can greatly weaken drywall without it appearing wet. My bet would be water is coming from somewhere. Very high humidity in the attic for some reason.

I’m with everyone else. Dry wall doesn’t just make a break for freedom. Something is wrong. Have a contractor take a look and try to diagnose the problem before you do anything else.

Scrape away any remaining drywall from the joists and get a pic of the fasteners used to hold up the rock.
Either the rock (sheetrock/drywall) increased in weight or the original fasteners were not properly installed.
If you are renting, this job will fall to the manager. If you own, you will have your own fight with the installers.

Find the cat.

As a tenant the issue as to why is their problem and hopefully they figure it out.

Was anything of yours damaged?

If nothing of yours was damaged and they handle repair and clean up in a timely manner I think asking for compensation would be a bit much.

If things were damaged or lose use of a room for an extended period you can talk compensation.

If it’s a rented house, claim damages for emotional trauma claiming that you are frightened to go into that room ever again. Also that you are frightened about the rest of the house and claim for all your removal costs.

If it’s your property, claim off your insurance and demand all the ceilings be replaced. Let the insurers chase the claim with the builder.

I suspect the ceiling was nailed to the joists as opposed to being screwed. Whoever hung the ceiling may has used nails of insufficient length allowing it to slowly pull away over time, crack and fall. Consider yourself fortunate you were not under it at the time because plaster/drywall by volume weigh about the same as concrete.

If you sustained damage to your property, review your lease to see if it addresses liability issues of this nature. Basically, in the absence of the lease having language to the contrary or local statute, to recover for damages you would have to show negligence on the part of the landlord. In other words, what did the landlord do or fail to do that contributed to or caused the ceiling to fall.

Lower the floor?

“clean up and repair” obviously.

“Compensation” From whom?

Another possibility besides water is change in loading or removal/relocation of structural support (or inadequate design) causing the ceiling to flex or bow, perhaps repeatedly with shifting loads on the home (walking, bathtub filling, wind / perhaps a deck installed with sagging supports tugging, shearing, twisting or pushing on the building wall, insect damage to structural supports).

Overall I would like to get the cause as it could indicate a collapse hazard.

There is some property damage. Not sure how much until all the debris is cleared.

Looks like the drywall was secured with nails.

So is this a rental or do you own the place?


The office sounds like they just want to move me to another unit because it’s easier for them.

A picture: http://postimg.org/image/rnnrn0x4l/