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Reinforcing ceiling joists


 

Sometimes ceiling joists, particularly in up stairs bedrooms in old houses, are undersized. As a result they can sag and cause cracks in the ceiling plaster or drywall. One good way to stiffen up these ceiling joists is to install a framing member called a strong back. This is constructed of two boards; one is a 2x4 that is screwed to the top of the joists. The other is a 2x6 that is glued and screwed to the edge of the 2x4. Once the strong back is installed, the joists canít sag without bending the 2x4-and-2x6 assembly.


Step 1. Lift a sagging ceiling joist by pushing a 2x4 wedge under the joist. Use a scrap block of wood to protect the drywall or plaster (inset). Then go into the attic, and snap a chalk line down the center of the joists to establish the location of the strong back.

 

Step 2. Fasten a 2x4 to the top of the joists by driving two 3-in, screws into the top of each joist. Donít remove the brace underneath until the 2x4 is screwed to all the joists.

 

Step 3. Spread construction adhesive along the side of the 2x4 using a caulk gun. Smooth the adhesive using a putty knife to make sure the entire surface is covered.

Step 4. Place the 2x6 on top of the joists and next to the 2x4. Then screw the 2x6 to the 2x4 every 8 in. Finish up by driving screws down through the 2x6 into the joists.

 

 

 

 

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