What Causes A Sagging Drywall Ceiling?

A sagging drywall ceiling can be a frustrating issue. You might not be able to notice it in the beginning but with time it will become more obvious. This means that you will need to put up with some repairs and replacements. But before you start roof repair, you need to identify the cause of the problem. So, we are going to look at some common potential causes and how to fix them.

Building Foundation Shifting

Building foundation shifting is a common phenomenon that can take place in both old and new homes for a variety of reasons. For instance, a new home may experience building foundation shifting as part of its ‘setting in’ period. As a result, the foundation may move and settle itself over the next 12 months once the construction is complete.

On the other hand, an old home might have an extensive foundation shifting duration, which can last from several years to decades. This constant shifting can disturb and exert new forces leading to ceiling distortion or warping of the drywall commonly known as ‘sagging’.

It can not only affect the ceiling but also the floors and walls. So, you should be diligent and keep an eye out for visual distortions or unusual signs and symptoms in your house. If you observe that the doors have suddenly become sticky. It means the door frame has warped too.

If you are sure that your building foundation is shifting, you will need to consult an expert as soon as possible.

Incorrect Drywall Installation

When it comes to a sagging drywall ceiling, the problem doesn’t need to be always caused by building foundation shifting. Sometimes, the issue might be as simple as incorrect drywall installation. While constructing or installing the drywall, the expert might unintentionally or intentionally follow the wrong practices to cause a sagging ceiling.

For instance, drywall ceilings use 4″ screws with a 12″ spacing between them. However, to save some screws and labor time, the installer might place the screws a bit further apart. As a result, the drywall begins to sag as it does not have the appropriate support.

In addition to that, sagging drywall ceiling can also be caused due to only using 1/2-inch-thick drywall. As compared to its 5/8-inch counterpart, it is both cheaper and lighter but lacks rigidity, which causes sagging.

Depending on the situation, 1/2″ might work fine. However, if the support beams tend to have extra-large gaps between them, they won’t be rigid enough and will cause sagging. The only solution in this case is to replace it with a more rigid and thicker drywall.

Moreover, sagging can also be caused due to panels being cut to the incorrect size. If the panels are cut a few mm too large, it will result in pressure between the panels that will cause them to bow down and appear sagging.

Water Damage And Leaking

Water damage and leaking is the worst-case scenario that everyone dreads. The reason is that water leakages can take place due to a variety of reasons and fixing them can both be extensive and expensive. In most cases, it is a leaking pipe, damaged roof, or exceptionally high humidity that impacts the drywall ceiling.

The problem with water leakage is that sometimes it will collect on top of the drywall. Eventually, it will cause the drywall to ripple, sage, and bulge. If the situation goes unnoticed and ignored, the water might enter the house by creating a hole.

This is a serious situation that requires immediate action. The reason is simple: a leaking drywall presents a safety issue. Additionally, if the water makes its way onto the ceiling, it can easily enter and impact the structure of the house, which can add to the existing problems.

Water leakage can be spotted by touching the drywall and checking if it is moist or damp. Or, you can also observe any visual signs such as a rippling effect and discoloration of the drywall.

Termites And Pests

Termites and pests can also contribute to a sagging drywall ceiling. Depending on your location, there might be a termite or pest issue in your area. Bees can also cause significant damage. In such cases, termites will eat up the material from the supporting ceiling joint that will weaken the structure causing more stress on the drywall below leading to sagging.

Sometimes, a termite infestation may not be easy to spot or will go completely unnoticed unless you observe your furniture suddenly damaged. To prevent further issues, you should immediately contact an expert.

Excessive Vibrations And Disturbances

This is a less common cause but depending on your environment, you may have to make certain accommodations. If there are long-term vibrations and other disturbances, it can cause the drywall ceiling to distort and sag. For instance, if you have a roller garage door or you live near a train station, regular vibrations can impact the ceiling’s strength.

Unfortunately, you cannot do anything about the train station but can replace the garage door with something that causes less vibration. If even that is not possible, you will need to consult an expert from roofing companies Twinsburg to come up with the best possible solution.


In the end, it comes down to age. If nothing else, time will cause wear and tear and your drywall ceiling will start sagging. In such cases, there will be no underlying causes and you will have no option but to replace the entire ceiling.

However, if there are minor cracks or damages, you can simply get it repaired. However, keep in mind that the ceiling should threaten your safety. If you think that spending money on fixing leakages etc. won’t help, you should hire an expert and replace the ceiling.

How To Fix A Sagging Ceiling?

Depending on the situation, you might be able to fix the issue by simply replacing or repairing the damaged area. However, as mentioned in the beginning, determining the root cause of the problem is necessary. This is to make sure the same problem does not pop up in the future.

To fix a saggy ceiling, you will first need to check the foundational shifts. If the saggy ceiling is due to the foundational shifts, you will have to determine if it is something natural or needs to be addressed. Although, there are some tell-tale signs hiring an expert will be a wise decision.

Furthermore, if there are water leakages or damage, you will need to address the issue depending on the location of the leak and intensity. Sometimes, it could simply be a damaged pipe that needs replacement or repair. It is not necessary for the ceiling to be damaged.

Regardless of the situation, your ceiling should be regularly inspected and maintained. This will help identify issues that otherwise go unnoticed and save you from trouble down the road.


A big cause of a sagging drywall ceiling is moisture and leaks. So, be careful about that. Always be on the lookout for unusual signs & symptoms and hire a roofing contractor Akron to fix them as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might be comprising the structure of the house.