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Cathederal ceiling stains

glitzyc | Posted in General Questions on

We live in North Alabama. Our home was built in 1986. It is 2 story with attic The den extends out on west end and has a cathedral ceiling with wooden beam down center. We had a issues with our roof, so we put a new roof on on in 2015. The ceiling has developed stains from the peak of the room and runs down about half way.  There are 3 sections divided by beams.  The stains runs across all the 3 sections. We have had it painted several times with stain sealer applied, but it continues to be a problem. We have had numerous contractors out to check the roof, but they say it is fine. One suggested a ridge vent. But if there is no air low, a ridge vent would not help. Another said the round vent on the back side of the roof has NO air coming out of it, which would indicate there is no air flow. Some one said when it was built in 1986 they probably only used 6″ rafters instead of 8″, so there isn’t enough room for the air to flow.
We are trying to sell our home and we need to resolve this issue. Will we solve the problem, if we pull all the sheet rock down, add to the rafters and put up new sheet rock> Thanks. Carolyn

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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    This is more complicated than you may realize. If you don’t have a roof leak, then you almost certainly have a moisture problem. Cathedral ceilings, especially non-vented ones, are notorious for these kinds of problems.

    If you’re trying to do a quick and cheap fix prior to selling your home, you need to decide if it’s cheaper and easier to rip off the roof or take out the drywall inside. Remember that drywall work is pretty messy, so you’ll have cleanup to do after that work has been done. Drywall dust goes EVERYWHERE.

    Assuming you decide the indoor work is easier, and it sounds like you think you need to replace the drywall anyway to get rid of the stains, you can fur out the rafters by tacking 2x3s onto the edges. Use the new space to add a vent channel at the top, ideally something more than the code minimum 1”. Put in vent baffles, then batts, then new drywall. Install the new drywall with the airtight method (which mostly means using sealant around the perimeter, but there are some other details to think about so read the articles here on GBA). Hopefully you don’t have any recessed lights to deal with. Add ridge and soffit vents to complete the venting.

    You may find that you have mold issues to deal with once you start opening things up so be ready for that. In extreme cases you may have to replace some sheathing and even rafters. There is no way to know for sure until you open things up to look.


    1. glitzyc | | #2

      Bill....WOW....Thanks for the quick response...we really appreciate all your recommendations. We have a contractor coming Mon to review our situation. Hope fully we won't have to remove the roof...but time will tell. I'll let ya know what the out come is. Stay well and safe. GLITZY C AKA:Carolyn

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