I’ve noticed homeowners are especially intimidated when it comes to mobile home ceilings. If you know your way around a toolbox and have had a few construction projects under your belt you should be able to replace your mobile home ceiling with drywall as long as you have some help and/or the right tools.
Replacing mobile home ceilings is a difficult topic to try to cover because there are so many variables but we’ve pulled together a few good tips that should help you replace your mobile home ceilings with drywall.
Adding Sheetrock Over Your Original Ceiling Panels
In many cases, you could and should place the new ceiling over the original gypsum ceiling panels (assuming they are healthy).
If you are leaving the original ceiling on you will need to use Furring Strips.
Furring strips are usually 1″x3″ or 1″x4″ boards that are attached to the ceiling perpendicular to the trusses so new ceiling material can be screwed, stapled, and glued to it. Furring strips simply adds more points of contact for the drywall or ceiling panel.
This illustration shows new drywall installed over the old ceiling using 1×3″ furring strips. (Source: The Family Handyman)
Shims are used to get the furring strips level and even.
Removing the Gypsom Ceiling Panels in a Mobile Home
To remove an original ceiling panel from a mobile home you will first want to protect everything under the ceiling. If there is a possibility of mold or mildew you want to wear gloves, safety glasses, and mask.
Step 1: Remove Light Fixtures, Trim, Battens, and False Beams
Of course, you’ll need to remove all the additions to the ceiling such as the light fixture, trim, battens or strips that cover the seams, and the the fake beams.
If you have beams you’ll need to remove them before you get to the gypsum paneling. Those beams are usually just 3-sided “boxes” screwed directly into a truss sitting above it. Unscrewing and pulling it down with a pry bar is the easiest way.
Once you have the trim, battens, and false beams removed you’ll want to start taking the rosettes out of the panels as you go from one panel to the next.
Removing Glued Splines
If you have a ceiling with the glued splines you’ll have to pull each of the splines off and then pull out all the staples. Fair warning, there are usually a ton of staples.
Step 2: Cut Ceiling Panels around Perimeter
Next, you cut the ceiling panels around the perimeter of the walls. Ceiling panels get attached to trusses first and then hoisted onto the home so the panel is sandwiched between the top of the wall and the bottom of the roof truss. If you can dig the old ceiling out go ahead and do it so you can use that small space as a ledge for the new ceiling. However, it’s not necessary.
Step 3: Loosening the Panels
At this point, you should be able to remove the ceiling in sections. Using a crowbar to push up between the trusses and then gently pulling down on the panel should get the job done quickly. What you are trying to do is loosen the adhesive that is used to glue the ceiling panels to the roof truss. Be easy, you don’t want to damage the insulation or trusses.
The following images are from Frugal Farm Wife of their mobile home remodeling project.
Experts Recommend Homeowners Add New Insulation in the Roof Cavity When Replacing Mobile Home Ceilings
If you are replacing a mobile home ceiling you’ll want to consider replacing the insulation in the attic. It’s a must-do, to be honest. There’s really no better time and new insulation can absolutely save money on heating and cooling. It’s not often you have access to your mobile home’s attic space so take advantage of it.
Insulation professionals can drill out a plug between every truss in the original ceiling and blow the new insulation and then replug the hole. It’s aptly called the drill and plug process and it’s worth every penny, especially in mobile homes that are over 30 years old.
Blowing insulation into the roof cavity is the most effective and economical method for adding insulation to the manufactured home’s roof assembly.John Krigger, Your Mobile Home