I have a small room where the original plaster and lathe ceiling is damaged by a hole about 50cm square. On attempting to repair I have found that the old plaster and lathe has bowed away from the ceiling beams and is loose over a large percentage of the ceiling. I'm a little nervous about pulling the ceiling down as 100 years of accumulated debris is going to come with it - including a large quantity of what looks like old chimney soot which I suspect it's not a good idea to breathe in.
I'm not sure whether the simplest (and cheapest) solution is to:
a. pull down the old ceiling and fix plaster board to the beams
b. Fix a false ceiling below the remaining plaster and lathe.
Opinion on the best solution would be appreciated and any health & safety advice on pollutants that might be present.
We certainly would not be comfortable putting a false ceiling up to cover an unstable existing one Natasha. A visit to your local tool hire centre will avail you of all the necessary equipment (mask, goggles, hat, Industrial hoover etc) to remove the existing ceiling and start again.
No, as said a false ceiling will not help only hide the problem and when the lath and plaster ceiling finally comes down it may bring the false ceiling down too , one method we do use though is to locate all your joists by making holes in the ceiling then , by using long screws you can tack plasterboard over the existing ceiling , so when you screw into the joist it will pull the existing ceiling up tight , but make sure your screws are long enough to go through the new plasterboard the existing lath and plaster ceiling and up into the joists
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