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Securing lath & plaster ceiling from above?

Postby Gypsy07 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:55 am

Can anyone please advise me on how best to secure a slightly loose lath & plaster ceiling from above?

It's a two storey flat (top & attic) in an 1890's building and due to extensive renovations the upstairs is in a fairly shell-like state. I've lifted all the floors, so have great access to the other side of the downstairs ceilings, some of which are badly cracked and slightly loose. None of them are anywhere near collapsing but in places they HAVE separated from the lath strips and it's making me nervous thinnking what a disaster it would be if they were to get any worse...

What's the best way to make them slightly more secure while I've got the chance and the open access from above?

I was thinking maybe a 50/50 PVA & water mix - sprayed on as any kind of actual contact no matter how gentle seems to dislodge more bits and pieces. And then expanding foam to secure the plaster back to the lath strips.

Any comments/suggestions/cries of OMG DON'T DO THAT would be welcome.

Cheers :-)
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Postby 30yearsinthegame » Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:03 pm

hi

there is only 1 answer , take it down and replace with new lath and plaster or plasterboard.

why would you want to repair a mess? you could just cut out the area which needs it and replace with board.

hope this helps
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Postby Gypsy07 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:07 am

30yearsinthegame wrote:hi

there is only 1 answer , take it down and replace with new lath and plaster or plasterboard.

why would you want to repair a mess? you could just cut out the area which needs it and replace with board.

hope this helps


Um, thanks for the opinion, but there's no way I'm taking any of it down till it actually starts to fall down in chunks, which like I said is nowhere near happening yet. Firstly, the ceilings look fine from the rooms below. So it isn't a mess, it's just become unsecured in places. Secondly, there's a lot of fancy cornicing, plaster mouldings and a huge ceiling rose in each room, all of which is original. Unless it becomes absolutely neccessary, I'm not removing any of it.

I'm just looking for ideas for securing it from above. This must be a common problem in older buildings, so surely there are a few standard techniques for dealing with it...
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Postby 30yearsinthegame » Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:21 pm

The only way to secure it temp is to put battons over the ceiling screwing it into the joists. Your right this is a common thing , most people replace the ceiling or over board, but hey whaty do I know!

Replace your ceiling , how can any one advise different. Or just keep it like it is!
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Postby welsh brickie » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:31 am

I would have to agree with 30yearsinthegame,but If you dont want to do that try using pva on the loose areas and mix drywall adhesive to hold the ceiling in place.It bonds well to virtually anything.
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Postby jillofalltrades » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:44 pm

If your ceilings or walls (plaster) are cracked or loose from the lathe (if u can't tell visually - prees on either side of the crack - if it noticeably moves) the keys ( globs of plaster which once secured your plaster to the lathe) are broken ... I use plaster washers (not the plastic ones ) little thin metal humped washers that flatten out when you drill them into the surrounding plaster (but you have to catch lathe if not they will spin around or not flatten out) ... if you have to sometimes it is necessary to make a circular etched out area, for the washer so that it is slightly below it's surrounding plaster , so that when you skim coat with 20 or 45 Easy Sand there is no slight bump ... I get mine locally ... but there is a place I used to get them (on the east coast " St. -Something - will try to find the name and post it again later ... there is also a new product - "Big Wally's plaster magic " that is excellent ... but pricey ... but great for first timers .... later when or if you become proficient at this you can use OSI glue and plastic washers to do the same thing ... hope this helps ...
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Postby deighton.r@gmail.com » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:23 pm

Hi. I'm renovating an old victorian house. Since one ceiling fell down suddenly and unexpectedly which could have caused a serious injury as being nearly an inch thick is very heavy I've been researching and trying out various solutions. The ceiling that fell down was replaced under insurance but to do the same throughout the house would cost thousands. Lath and plaster relies on plaster mixed with horse hair pushed through the gaps in the lathe and bulging out on the other side forming 'keys', to stay attached. If the plaster has cracked due to movement or age, sometimes only the horse hair is keeping the plaster up or the plaster has actually completely separated from the lath and is staying up onlt because other areas remain attached. This is of course potentially dangerous. There are a number of approaches to address this problem. It's important to firstly determine how severe the problem is. If the damage is severe and the plaster integrity is compromised,
these are cases where it would be prudent to replace the ceiling however this is messy, expendive and can risk damaging coving features. The plaster can also be over laid with plaster board which will address the problem, is cheaper than replacement but changes the appearances of coving by adding thickness. If the damage is minor then a repair might be possible. Larger damaged areas can be cut out and repaired with a plaster board insert. Smaller area can be refined usung stabiliser and glue injected into holes drilled into the plaster effectively reattaching the broken keys and refixing the loose plaster to the lathes.plaster washers can be used to hold and redistribute the weight of the plaster reducing the risk of collapse. While not a guaranteed solution as a new ceiling this can be a good solution for cracks and mild separation. However such repairs should be made at your own risk since it is impossible to guarantee how long the repair will last and repairs should be monitored for further decay. Having said that repairs I've made of this type are still good after 3 years. Hope this helps.
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