The Building Is Your Client
This post is part 1 of a 3-part series.
Whenever you approach a plaster repair project, there are three crucial issues to keep in mind:
- The Building
- Beauty and Durability
Today we'll address issue #1: The Building.
It's easy to get caught up in all the details that surround home improvement projects. Budget woes, scheduling conflicts, interruption of your in-home routine... these are all valid concerns when tackling a plaster wall or plaster ceiling repair project.
But, it's important to remember that the building is your client. Just like any client, you want to make sure it is happy and satisfied with a job well done.
When most people look at plaster all they can see is the finished surface. Knowing the age of the building, where it is located geographically, and the changes it went through will allow you to determine the composition of the existing plaster system.
If you know your building's history and plaster makeup, you'll make wise decisions about materials and methods (read more about plaster makeup and history).
Most damage occurs as a result of the building moving or shifting on its foundation. When the movement is more than the plaster can physically accommodate, cracks result. The wood lath that is attached to the building's structural system bears the brunt of any movement, which in turn weakens the plaster and separates it from the lath.
Renewing the bond between the backside of the plaster and the wood lath is the best way to restore the plaster's original structural integrity. This is why we developed Big Wally's adhesive - to restore that bond.
Of course, in any home repair project, the budget (or lack thereof) often takes precedence. Quality materials and workmanship are sacrificed to save money. It makes sense in the short term, but we urge you to think about the long-term.
Short-cut methods of repairing plaster will almost always cost you more in the long run. And think about your client, the building -- would it be happy with you if your plaster repair cracked again in a few years? Would it be happy if the inferior adhesive you purchased to save money failed, resulting in another round of repairs?
Plaster is meant to last. That's why it's been around for thousands of years, all over the world. Treat it right and it will return the favor.
Check back next week when we'll address issue #2: Beauty and Durability.