Home Renovation Happenings
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Home Renovation Happenings

There is a lot to think about when you’re renovating a home. You need to make many decisions, starting with what contractor to use and how much money you want to spend. It helps if you have a clear vision for how you want your home to look when you’re done. If you’re not sure what it is that you want yet, take some time to look through my blog. I’ll discuss everything from home additions to flooring materials to appliances and fixtures. These articles will help you get a sense of the possibilities for your home renovation, and help you narrow down your options. Eventually, you’ll decide on the renovations that are right for you.

Home Renovation Happenings

DIY: Repairing Cracks In Your Plaster

Pamela Gonzales

There are plenty of things in and around your home that are quite difficult to fix. Luckily, repairing cracks in your plaster is not necessarily one of them. Although there is some time and effort involved with this task, it is ultimately a very easy thing that you can do on your own. Throughout the course of this brief guide, you will learn about the task of going about repairing cracks in your plaster.

Preparation

Leaks in your home are often the culprit of plaster cracks. Make sure that these leaks are fixed and that water is not leaking through your plaster during this period of time. Also, it is important to have your room set at a certain temperature during the time that you're spending fixing the crack. Make sure that the room in question isn't set at an extreme temperature, it should be set between 50 and 75 degrees, in order to ensure that everything sets properly and dries at a good rate.

Step 1

Using drywall is generally a cheaper alternative to using period-authentic forms of plaster, but it is recommended that you use the period form of plaster that matches the damaged plaster in question. This will make the plaster look more aesthetically pleasing and also ensure that the plaster itself will be a bit stronger in the long run of things. Take a look at the cracks and assess the damage. See what kind of cracks are present. Are they large, deep cracks or smaller, "spider-web cracks"? See if you can find out the definitive cause of the cracks, as well. Larger and deeper cracks might be a sign of further problems with your home and will take more time to repair, whereas spider-web cracks are usually do to common settling and will take a shorter time to repair. 

Step 2

Using a 5 way tool, you will need to clean out the areas in the cracks. Any excess plaster or debris in the cracks should be cleaned out using this tool and then swept away. Knock old plaster through the keys in the lath to make for a better binding course for the new plaster to adequately adhere to.

Step 3

Whenever you are repairing a large crack, you will often find that the plaster and lath have been pulled away from the wall; these can be repaired by re-securing them by using metal plaster washers and drywall screws. This will allow for plaster to be secured to the wood lath. Secure the screws and washers diagonally alongside of the crack.

Step 4

You will prepare a base coat for the plaster at this point. The base coat is the first of two coats that you will apply to the cracked area. The base coat allows for re-establishing key ways, the spaces between the slats and the wooden lath, for a binding coat. Purchase the binding plaster and mix it, giving it a sour cream--like consistency.

Step 5

Squeeze the base coat into cracks during this section of your task. Make sure that it sets at the right consistency, as allowing for it to dry too quickly can make for more cracking. After it has been applied, smooth it over with a slake. Allow the base coat to dry over the course of 48 hours and sand it for as you deem necessary, usually until it is flush with the rest of the wall.

Step 6

You will now want to apply the finish coat. Spread the finish coat over the base coat, noting that this layer can be far thinner than the base coat, as this one is mainly for aesthetic purposes only. The finishing coat can also be used to patch in smaller, spider-web cracks, as well, however.

Repairing cracks in your plaster is not a particularly difficult phenomenon. With just a bit of elbow grease and a bit of know how, you can do this project all on your own. Hopefully, you've learned a bit about the process of repairing a plaster wall. If this is just too much for you, contact a plaster repair technician. 


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