Removing the ceiling was lots of work. A school bus ceiling is not necessary designed to be easily removed. A Thomas Built school bus is a little friendlier to this task since it uses screws alongside the occasional rivets. However, a good number of these screws were stripped out, rusted or painted into place, demanding the use of the angle grinder, hammer and chisel for their begrudging removal.
Spending the extra time and effort taking out the ceiling is a good idea for a few reasons. First it allows you to check for rust and mold. If the roof had a leak at any point, the fiberglass insulation has soaked up that moisture and probably started to grow mold. Ours was in good shape, but I have seen pictures of others that look really bad. Point is, you do not know what you’re dealing with in the ceiling unless you take it down.
The other reason to take it down is to add better insulation. The fiberglass insulation is okay, but there are better options available that provide better R value, and moister/ barrier control. I think we will probably go the spray foam route. It is a bit costlier, but will provide lots of benefits.
Lastly, removing the ceiling allows easy access to the wiring that is tapped under the insulation. With the wires exposed you can rearrange the lighting, add speakers wire or anything else you want to customize.
So lots of extra work, but I think a good idea in the long run.
Justin McCormick grew up in the Yukon Territories in a cabin on Nisutlin Bay. Being surrounded by the majestic and harsh wilderness of the north, he developed a passion for canoeing, hiking, mountain climbing and skiing. He currently resides in Texas and is trying to impart his passion for the outdoors to his four children.