Suddenly you notice the blades of your ceiling fan don’t point to the side but down at an angle. What caused this sag and is it possible to fix sagging ceiling fan blades? Here’s what you want to know.
The blades of a ceiling fan can sag because the blades of some fans are made out of pressed board or composite which gets weakened by excess moisture and heat. Another cause is that the screws that connect the blades to the motor are loose.
If you want to know more about why this happens, if you can fix it and how to prevent this, keep reading.
What Causes Ceiling Fan Blades To Sag
There are two main reasons the blades of a ceiling fan can droop:
- The blades or blade arms are loose
- The blades themselves are compromised
Most ceiling fans have screws holding the blades to the blade arm and the blade arm to the motor assembly. Over time these screws could loosen up, especially if your fan is already a little unbalanced. If the blades themselves appear to be straight but they’re sagging, these screws could be the culprit. On some fans these can be tightened but not on all.
The second reason is the blades themselves are actually deformed. This is pretty easy to check. Just get something you know is straight like a longer ruler or piece of wood and hold it next to the blade. You’ll be able to see if the blades are bent pretty easily.
Many cheaper ceiling fans have blades made of composite wood, MDF or pressed board. Or in less fancy terms; cardboard. These can be made from sawdust and byproducts of woodworking and glued together into sheets. These materials are then covered with some sealant and given a finish. If this sealant isn’t completely moisture proof, over time moisture can get into the blades and weaken them. The sagging you see is the effect of the material loosing its structural integrity.
If you live in a humid climate and your ceiling fan isn’t the highest quality, this can be the cause of your sag. Extreme heat does accelerate this process. In case the ceiling fan is mounted outdoors or on a covered patio, it can be that water gets onto the blades. Indoor ceiling fans are not built to handle this but luckily there are outdoor types available.
Also, some sag from base to tip is normal, especially on large fans. This should correct itself when the fan is spinning.
Can You Fix Sagging Fan Blades
In some cases it’s possible to fix droopy ceiling fan blades but it does depend on what the cause is.
Blades that are deformed and bent can not be fixed. Sure you could screw some metal strips on the blades to get them straight but this doesn’t look good but can also be damaging to the ceiling fan because you add a lot of extra weight to it. You’ll also screw up the aerodynamics of the blade so the air flow is not as good. If the blades are bent too far you might not even be able to bend them back without damaging them.
In case the blades are really sagging from weakness in the blade material, it’s best to get a new ceiling fan.
If the screws holding the blades to the motor are loose, that should be fixable in most situations. Just see which tool you need and tighten them up. Having two people helps here. One holding the blade in the correct position, the other tightening the screws. Also check the connection from the blade arm to the motor. If you want to work on this part of your ceiling fan, make sure to cut the power first.
In case the screws coming loose is a recurring problem or you just want to make sure it never happens again, take the screws out completely, add a little drop of LocTite and put them back in. The low strength LocTite should be good enough. This LocTite on Amazon works for this situation.
Can You Prevent Fan Blades Sagging?
Maybe your ceiling fan is just ready to be replaced. But you don’t want to run into the same problem again. What can you do to prevent or at least reduce the chances of your next ceiling fan having sagging blades again.
The best solution is to get a higher quality fan. Higher quality fans will use better materials and components so they just work well for longer. They often use less electricity on top of that.
Going for a fan with metal or solid wood blades is the best but it’ll cost a little more.
Keeping an eye on the humidity in the room is also a good idea. The higher the humidity, the more moisture there is to damage not only your fan but also other furniture. Running an A/C works to keep humidity under control but a separate dehumidifier also works well and is usually cheaper to buy and run. However, a high quality ceiling fan shouldn’t have any problems unless you live under water.
In case your environment is extremely humid and there isn’t much you can do about it, consider an outdoor ceiling fan. Outdoor fans are built to deal with quite a bit of water. There are damp and wet rated fans. Get the best you can afford/fits in your budget.
Are Sagging Ceiling Fan Blades a Problem?
If your fan blades are sagging, can you just keep using it or is there a problem with doing so?
It depends how bad the sagging is and what the reason is. In case the screws holding the blades to the motor are loose, you want to fix that as quickly as possible. You don’t know when the screws are going to be so loose they don’t hold onto the blade at all anymore.
If the blades themselves are bent, it’s a little different. Safety wise, it’s not a huge deal as long as all the blades are sagging a similar amount. Many ceiling fans will have blades that sag a little bit and they go back to normal when the fan is spinning.
As long as the sag is limited and all the blades are sagging the same amount so the fan is still balanced, you can still use it but it’s time to start looking for a new one.
Of course if the tips are pointing to the floor, it’s going to be a problem. That’s because the fan blades are clearly loose or compromised enough where them coming loose is a potential danger. The fan will also be less efficient than with normal shaped blades. Also, if the blade tips are pointing down too far, you could be hit by one which is not a fun time. If you have low ceilings this is a real possibility.