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Ceiling tiles, do you lift them?


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Ceiling tiles, you're damned if you lift them and you're damned if you don't

Acoustical ceiling tiles will often be the material of choice in the basement. Relatively cheap and easy to install, the typical weekend warrior will chose to do it himself but will often hide or cause critical situations in the process.

Some might say it's not within their scope of practice and that if you lift one you have to lift them all. Others will say that they don't touch them unless there are visible clues such water stains.

Personally, I like to know what I'm dealing with so I'm in the camp that will lift one here and there to have a general idea of the structure above, rim joist insulation, wiring, plumbing etc. I will snap a few pictures and go on with the inspection.

How far do you go to have a look at what's going on above?

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Always, without fail; lift a few here & there.

I've found cash, guns, drugs, dirty magazines, plastic trays to catch leakage, thousands of rodent droppings, beer cans, you name it.

Not to mention open electrical junction boxes, mold, framing problems, yadda yadda yadda.

Uhmmm - why are you damned if you do lift them?

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Uhmmm - why are you damned if you do lift them?

Well, it's just a figure of speech. Some might argue that if you lift one here and there, you could still miss something and if you lifted one, you should've lifted all of them and by not doing so increases your liabilty.

I hear ya. Sounds like complete crap preached at a HI school. . .

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Uhmmm - why are you damned if you do lift them?

Well, it's just a figure of speech. Some might argue that if you lift one here and there, you could still miss something and if you lifted one, you should've lifted all of them and by not doing so increases your liabilty.

Buncha crap.

Missing problems increases your liability. If you lift them, you reduce the risk of missing problems.

Refusing to lift them falls under the heading of attempting to cover your butt at the expense of your client's butt. My first rule of home inspections is, "cover your client's butt and yours will be covered automatically." Lift the tiles. The only reason not to is laziness.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I do it and use the camera when possible. I had one ceiling where there was not enough room above the tiles to get my head up there but the camera caught a bad plumbing connection. I hate putting them back in place. They seldom such fall back into place and I spend too much time trying to reset them without breaking them.

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