Removing a dropped ceiling--commercial building

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dandcsnyder

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My hubby and I just purchased a small commercial property and will be moving our existing shop there in a few months. The building needs a lot of work, mostly due to a roof that's been leaking for several years.
It's a two-story building at the front, and a single story on the back half. I would really love to tear down the existing dropped/suspended ceiling on the front half--partly because I prefer the look of an exposed ceiling and partly to save the cost of replacing the stained ceiling tiles.
We will of course take a look at what is now hidden before beginning to pull everything out, but we are wondering about heat loss and whether removing the current ceiling will negatively impact the heat bill (we're located in Ohio). Any thoughts on this? I've been searching online and really can't find any discussion/information about this.
Thanks!
 

bud16415

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The question is how much space is up there. And what type of tiles you would use and will you add insulation above the tiles. Also is the second story area heated.

Ceiling tiles are not great at insulation but they do act as an air blocker and hot air goes up. So in that regard you might have to add some fans to bring the hot air back down once you take the ceiling down.


And welcome to the forum.
 

slownsteady

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more open space=more energy costs. But beside that - and despite your preference; consider your customers in your design. This may have to do with whatever your business is, and what is exposed when you remove the ceiling. :2cents:
 

dandcsnyder

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Thanks for the quick responses everyone. A few more details for you:
The roof is getting torn off and replaced, but I'm trying to do what I can from the inside to try to speed things along.
The second story could be heated but is controlled by a separate furnace. The people before us didn't use that furnace at all. It will be a storage/work area for us so most likely not heated except for what comes up from below.
I had planned to paint the exposed ceiling. We are a resale store so have some flexibility as far as style goes. I'm guessing the space between the suspended ceiling and the wood above is about 2 feet. This is a building constructed around 1901.
Fans to circulate the air are an interesting idea, will run that one by the hubby.
Thanks again for the thoughts!
 

joecaption

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Simple enough to remove, prime with a stain blocking prime and repaint the old tiles.
Remove one and look up there, often times a suspended ceiling is added to cover up a failing old ceiling to avoid having to fix it.
 

bud16415

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I don’t think 2 foot of space is going to change your heating bill much. I work in an office in a old building that the ceilings are close to 20’ up there and they dropped them to 10 and added insulation above and in that case it made a huge difference.

The old house we just restored had dropped ceilings and I couldn’t wait to rip them out. The original ceilings were 9’6” and they had them dropped to 7’. The effect of getting them down was amazing but above they used the space when rewiring the house to run wires willy nilly everyplace. So I redid all that but then all the ceilings needed new layer of drywall. In the end it was totally worth it, but most of the time when they hang a dropped ceiling it’s to cover something up. You can paint the tiles but with the time and materials to do it they are not that expensive to replace. The tracks I have painted if they have yellowed.

Once you take the tiles out you will know what you want to do. Be careful in a building that old with paint and insulation you don’t know what’s in it and wear good quality masks at minimum.
 

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