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Ceiling Management for Dummies and Members of Congress

I don’t like to complain, but at times it can be kinda frustrating being in a humble vocation, where sometimes we’ve got the answers, but none of the fancy people would ever think about asking us for advice.

Take for instance ceilings. Not to brag, but does anyone really know more about ceilings than Fix St Louis? OK, maybe the fellow who painted that ceiling in Rome where God is reaching out to Adam with his finger. But for everyday ceilings like yours, we patch them, sand them, paint them, cut holes in them, and when we’re on the flip side, we’re real careful to walk only on the joists so that we don’t step on them and fall through to the floor below. We measure them accurately from the ground-up, so that when we bring-in a ladder to get face-to-face with them we don’t bang our heads. You’re not going to find us arguing or negotiating with a ceiling to get it to move up a couple of inches higher.

So we could have saved Congress a whole lot of aggravation last week by telling them that if you’re going to work on a debt ceiling you ought to measure first. For instance, count up the money you have, maybe also count the money you have been allowed to borrow, and leave it at that. To tell you the truth, you don’t even need to be a handyman to know that – all of our customers could’ve told them the same thing.

It makes me wonder whether Congress is applying this new concept I’m now hearing all about called “AI” or “Artificial Intelligence.” If that’s anything similar to what it sounds like, back in my day that would’ve been called “stupidity” — which we here at Fix St Louis try to use as little as possible.

On the contrary, we at Fix St Louis operate by our own, long-established principle, although I doubt we invented it. We call it “AR” or “Actual Reality.” We use it every day to solve YOUR ceiling problems, and it avoids a whole lot of unnecessary drama and turmoil:

Light Bulbs on Vaulted Ceilings
Perhaps the shrewdest and most successful salesman who ever lived was the first builder who convinced his customer to install can lights on their vaulted ceiling, 18’ up in the air. Probably the fastest salesman, too, as he must have run to the bank and cashed their check before the customer had a chance to utter the words “how am I going to replace the bulbs when they burn out?”

Yeah, you can buy those long extension rods with suction cups and baskets at the end to try to change bulbs yourself, but unless you have several years of experience as a circus clown who can spin plates at the end of long poles, it’s unlikely to work.

So now, for a job that was once considered so simple it became an iconic joke, you are left with only 3 good choices: 1) risking your life for the noble cause of changing a light bulb; 2) calling Fix St Louis to change that light bulb, and hopefully you’ll let us substitute a long-lasting LED bulb so that this doesn’t become a regular thing; or 3) calling Fix St Louis to solve your problem permanently by replacing that can light with a similar-looking fixture that requires no bulbs – that has built-in glowing wires. On the other hand, if you’d rather sit in the dark, you can call just about any other handyman company, who will probably not come out for a job this small.

Popcorn Ceilings
And speaking of circuses, you might be among the few who actually LIKE those roughly textured “popcorn ceilings” in your house, because they bring back fond childhood memories, like the smell of liquid butter and trips to the concession stand. But now that we’re in this post-Ringling-Brothers era, we find most homeowners want them gone. Converting a popcorn ceiling into a smooth surface is a big, messy job you would likely regret getting into if you tried it yourself. It’s probably best instead to call Fix St Louis, pull up a chair, grab a bag of popcorn, then watch us do it.

Nail Pops
And speaking of things that “pop,” some homeowners are bothered by the small dime-sized bulges that push out from the bottom of their ceilings, that are caused by loosening nails. This generally doesn’t happen in newer homes because, since the 1950’s, drywall screws have been used instead.

To fix nail pops, you’ve got a couple of choices: 1) We can tap those nails back in hard enough so that they won’t pop-out ever again, then patch and spot-paint those small popped areas; or 2) If you’ve got a lot of these nail pops, you might want to do more. You may be at risk of your ceiling collapsing, which starts with a loud ka-boom, after which your house may fill with several feet of bulky, fuzzy stuff, and the air (and your lungs) may fill with dust and microscopic glass particles. Fix St Louis can pre-empt that from happening by supplementing the nails in your ceiling with drywall screws.

Ceiling Cracks and Stains
It seems there are a lot of homeowners out there who try not to look up at their ceilings at all. Maybe at one point they caught a glance of something unusual on their ceiling that they didn’t understand, were afraid it might be expensive to fix, so now they just avoid looking up, hoping the problem will just go away.

Just to demystify this, ceiling problems typically fall into 2 areas that Fix St Louis can handle. 1) The most likely problem is when a crack forms at the seam between 2 sheets of drywall because of settling. It’s almost always an aesthetics issue, not a structural issue, which we can fix by “re-taping”, “re-mudding”, and spot-painting the affected area; and 2) If there are water stains on a ceiling, then you really have no choice but to act. If there’s a leak from an upstairs bathroom, we can fix the leak, then restore your ceiling. If it’s from the roof, we may be able to fix the leak, but you might need a roofer for that. But in any event, we can restore your ceiling after the leak is fixed.

You know, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I don’t think Members of Congress would make very good handymen. I suspect their parents were relieved when they found another way to make a living. The public seems to have figured this out, too. Have you noticed that when people tell you to contact your Congressman about your problem, they never say they’ll actually FIX your problem? For that, you’ll need to call Fix St Louis.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis