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Ceilings are the finished top level of your rooms. Ceilings can be made of a variety of materials, including drywall and plaster, wooden planks or beadboard, ceiling tiles or even tin.
Inspecting a ceiling can tell a trained inspector a lot about what lies above it. Discolorations or loose and sagging plaster can be signs of a plumbing or roof leak -- some kind of water problems. Large cracks could indicate shifting or problems with the foundation. In the basement, where the ceiling may not be finished, an inspector can get a look at the condition of the floor joists. Other problems that an inspector could encounter include exposed drywall seams, nails and screws and evidence of mechanical problems with lighting fixtures.