A: If the plaster has not yet fallen off, it can be restored.
You gain a lot by saving the original plaster, because it varies greatly in thickness to allow for flat surfaces over framing that is often irregular. If you simply sheetrock over the existing framing you may have some very wavy, crooked walls. Joint compound goes on too thin to straighten and flatten the surfaces.
If you were to remove the old lathe and plaster, you would have to correct the framing by either sistering the framing members with all new pieces, or strap and shim the existing framing. Either solution is costly.
Also some homes built between 1880 and 1940 may have asbestos fibers in the base coat plaster.
For more information, see resurfacing and repair process.
The most common reasons for plaster failure in walls or ceilings are a finish coat that loosens, deterioration of brown or finish coats, or loosening of lath, brown and finish coats. Most plaster failures are due to moisture problems like a roof that leaks over a long period of time, or to faulty workmanship. In the past, too much sand was used in scratch and brown coats to save money, because sand is relatively inexpensive relative to plaster. This leads to failure.
Every job is different. To estimate cost, we need to come out to the job site to evaluate your specific situation and needs. We will prepare a written cost estimate for you at no charge.
A: Plaster can be applied to almost any thickness. As a result, it is flatter and more straight. It is also more durable, and abrasion resistant. It won't come apart when wallpaper is removed.
A: Not usually. It will be more cost effective for you to do it yourself, or to hire a sheetrocker. We can recommend a contractor, or you can check the yellow pages for contractors near you. We can tell you what to look for (e.g., avoid seams over doors and windows as they are prone to cracking.)
A: Have the room sheet rocked with blue board (not to be confused with green board.) The sheets should be fastened with 1&1/4" coarse thread drywall screws. Do not mud the board and do not install any corner beads - we handle all that.
A: Skim-coat involves one to three coats. We usually do a minimum of two coats. The plaster goes on top of sheetrock or blueboard (sheetrock covered with special paper.) Read more about veneer plaster in Fine Home Buildingmagazine.
Conventional plaster goes over wood or wire lath. It is typically a three coat process. It may be used for curved surfaces, or for older institutional buildings.
A: Just a source of clean, fresh water, electricity and access. For plaster work, ideal interior temperatures are 55 - 70°F both day and night. Ventilation to properly set the plaster during and after application is also important - we use large fans. Keeping windows slightly open helps moisture-bearing air move out, and ensures a hard finish.
A: We can work fastest if the room is clear of furniture. If we are doing a ceiling, it is helpful to remove light fixtures and tuck wires into the box. We will take care of protecting your floors, walls and woodwork.
A: We emphasize good work practices. We put down drop clothes of roofing paper to protect floors. Wallpaper, walls where plastering is not being done, and doorways are covered with plastic to protect them from dust. Cabinets can be covered with a styrofoam.
A: It depends on the work that is being done. Small repairs can take as little as two hours. The minimum amount of time for any plaster finish resurfacing job is two days, to allow for site preparation, overnight curing, and clean-up. We make it a priority to finish jobs before the weekend.
A: In the winter months, it is good to keep the humidity is up in the first 48 hours of plaster curing. Overly rapid drying could cause some cracks. It is also important to prevent the plaster from freezing during that period of time. Try to keep temperatures from 55 - 70°F both day and night.
5 Cranberry Dr.
Uncasville, CT 06382-2006
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