How to Repair Ceilings and Plaster Walls

Plaster when applied to walls and wood joints are initially held in place by “keys” – squishes that build themselves through the lath and act as a joint. However, with time, these “keys” disintegrate and thereby give rise to cracks. Gone unattended, these cracks can finally lead to the plaster coming off and crumbling down, thus exposing the gaps and joints in the wall. If your house is on an earthquake sensitive zone, the damages will be more and done faster.

There are several reasons for the plaster coming of the ceilings and walls. The first obvious reason is the quality of it. Poor quality plaster makes your home more vulnerable. Further, the damage is more intense if the lath comes in contact with water or is somehow damped over time. Water damage in this case is mostly seen with ceiling plastering. 

Plumbing leakages and ceiling seepage leaches off the salts and minerals off to the surface and moulds give way to disintegration. Other reasons from plasters crumbling down can be from stress (heavy wall hangings), deep holes for hooks, furniture scratches or shocks of any kind. To save the structural integrity of your home, it is necessary that these problems are dealt at the roots. Well, here are some things you can do:  

Widen smaller cracks to remove loose plastering

Whenever you see a crack in the plaster, it does more damage than to cover it with a superficial work. It is necessary that all the loose plaster around is scratched down and replaced with a stronger surfacing.

1. Widen the crack using screw drivers or other smaller tools
2. Blow out the dust and powder residue
3. Use short pieces of adhesive fiber glasses to cover the groove
4. Dampen the area using wet sponge
5. Use a putty knife to fill the gap with joint compounds
6. Apply a surface coat of joint compound
7. Use a high quality latex primer for polishing

Repairing the larger cracks

If a crack has been initiated over a longer period o time, things might seem more vulnerable. However, they can also be fixed easily.

1. Widen the crack using screw drivers or other smaller tools
2. Fill the gap/crack half with a high quality patching plaster
3. Dampen the mix
4. Apply the surface coat of joint compound
5. Use a high quality latex primer for polishing

Repairing holes

Dealing with holes in plasters is easier done, given that the lath grip is still strong. I the backing is intact, it will only take a few coats of mix compounds like Plaster of Paris to smoothen out the hole.

1. Brush away dust and loose plaster
2. Put the Plaster of Paris mixture into the lath for a strong bond
3. Let the coat dry
4. Apply a finishing coat

However, if the hole is not backed enough by the lath, you will need to widen the hole to find a good grip around the surface. You will need to use a screw driver or similar tool to do so and follow the same procedures as you would have done with minor cracks.

Repairing sagging plaster

The moment the plaster in your walls or ceiling starts to “belly out”; there is a need for concern. Plaster being heavy, needs a strong backup support, especially with ceiling.

It is best if you call in a specialist in this case for a stronger work.
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