Traditional plastering has been proven to be extraordinarily tough and flexible. If you have seen old houses or often called period homes, you will be amazed at how these plasters are still intact even after decades or even centuries of use. It’s a testament to the plasters’ toughness and the quality of work done by these magnificent builders.
Original plasters have always been one of the highlights of these old buildings, which add to their charm and nostalgia. Old plasters made of lime and clay are soft, flexible, and has a unique look and character. But of course, through years of use and exposure to elements, this plasters age eventually and may need to be fixed and restored.
Fixing old plasters can be relatively easy, but sometimes it gets complicated due to the unfamiliarity of contractors with the materials. These contractors will most often use the wrong techniques and materials, causing damage to the old plasters. Old plastering needs to be fixed properly, but some contractors seal the old plaster’s moisture, resulting in decay and may lead to them eventually falling off. So homeowners should look for contractors familiar with this type of applications to repair and restore them properly.
When do you know it’s time to replace or repair plasters?
Traditional plastering is very sturdy and will last for a long time, but it may need some form of repair or renovations over the years to make it last longer. The first sign is cracking; it may start with hairline cracks and eventually grow broader and more extended. It is essential to have it fixed while still small to not progress to a more significant gap that would longer resolve. Another initial sign is staining, you will notice a slight patch of discolouration, and then it becomes darker and more prominent as it progresses.
When the initial signs are not fixed right away, more damage appears. The plasters will start crumbling and flaking; you will notice pieces of plaster on the floor. At this stage, it’s essential to call contractors who specialize in traditional plastering to assess the damage and immediately make repairs.
Soon after, you will see large areas of the plasters falling off. Visible mechanical damage becomes very apparent. It is essential that the plastering does not reach this point, so early intervention is critical. Waiting will make matters worse and may become more expensive to fix.
Make sure the contractors are familiar with traditional plastering. If possible, the same materials should be used for the repairs. But in cases where the materials are no longer available, viable alternatives should be used. These materials should have similar characteristics to the original plaster. The use of plasterboards should be avoided because it will ruin the plasters’ look and make it out of place. For traditional plastering, it is always advisable to use a lime plaster.
Apparent signs of plaster damage like cracks or falling plasters are easy to spot. But, You should also watch for other signs of wear in the plaster finish. Try to tap on the walls for hollow sounds that may signal internal damage to the plastering. An obvious sign of damage is the sagging of ceilings, especially if there are signs of water stains. It could be a sign of a water leak, which can rapidly damage the area.
Some problems with plastering is often a result of underlying structural issues, water pipe leakages, and roof leaks and should also be addressed so that the problems do not come back. But for many issues with the plastering, whether it’s minor or significant, it’s better to consult professional contractors. Do it yourself would also be an option. But if the cracks or damage appear again, it might be a sign that there are other underlying reasons. At this point, it’s best to call experts to find out the source of the problem.