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Question DetailsAsked on 9/4/2013

does anyone have a real fix for truss lift?

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2 Answers


What exactly are the problems being encountered?

If it is just nail pops along the wall the best bet is to pull the nail, patch the hole and paint. If it is normal truss lift it is a seasonal problem and probably will continue due to seasonal shrinkage and expansion of the wood involved. Drywall manufacturers recommend not nailing any closer than 16 inches from the walls and letting the ceiling rest on the wall sheetrock. If it is happening on crown mouldings applied to kitchen cabinets your best bet is to remove them and attach to only to the ceilings if you can add blocking in the attic above. Crown mouldings applied in the same way can be installed in other rooms to avoid having patch the ceiling joint, but must be nailed only to the ceiling. Doing it this way the crown or cove moulding can slide up with the changes.

Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


A bit of explanation for those who do not know what truss lift is.

This is primarily a dry season occurrence, normally in winter for most parts of the country. It happens because the cross-bracing in the roof trusses dries out in the dry season (usually summer heat) so they shrink - typically 1 to 3/8 inch but up to 1/2 inch in extreme cases, which because of the design of the trusses, lifts the bottom chord up toward the rafters, with the greatest amount of lift at the center of the house, and essentially zero at the outer walls. This lifts the drywall ceiling up, opening up a crack between the wall and the ceiling at interior walls. Sealing this with a rigid material does not help, as it closes and opens annually.

You can also get a lesser cracking problem with rafter and joist houses, where the attic "floor" joists are partly embedded in insulation and partly exposed in the attic, so the top of the joist shortens in the dry season and lengthens in the damp, causing bowing of the joist, which can open cracks either at the interior walls or in the center of the opne ceilings across the drywall sheet, in extreme cases.

As Contractor Don said, the easiest fix is to fasten crown modling to the ceiling so it lifts with it and does not leave a gap, and to rest the last 2 feet or so of the edge of the ceiling onthe top of the wall drywall, so it bows a bit as the truss bottom chord lifts, without leaving a visible gap.

For minor cases, what I have found works well is to fill the gap with paintable caulk - takes 2 years of filling, but in my case all but 1 gap did not return in the third year (in a house now 31 years old).

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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