Lime plaster advice(6 Posts)
We're renovating a mid-terrace Victorian house that had been unoccupied for quite some time. Our current builder has taken off a lot of the original plaster and some of the laths. His plan was to remove all the plaster and laths then replace with plaster board and gypsum plaster. DP was concerned that this would exacerbate any damp problems - damp showed up on the survey, but the property has been unoccupied and un-aired for some years so this is to be expected - and has asked builder to down tools for the moment while we get some advice. We've had conflicting advice from two specialist plasterers who work with lime. One has said that it should all be lime plastered to allow the house to breathe and prevent damp problems, whereas the second said that only external-facing walls need to as it makes minimal difference for interior walls. Does anyone have any experience with this type of plaster in older houses?
sorry - I can't help but am interested to hear responses. we are about to start renovating an Edwardian house with original plaster and it is one of my concerns.
Well, we got similar conflicting advice. We have a Tudor house and when we moved in the place smelled slightly damp. We put that down to the previous owners having a rabid dislike of opening windows.
But we found they had used modern plaster to mend and repair some walls. The front room smelled particularly bad and a large patch of paint started to peel of in a big sheet... turns out they had mixed paint with PVA glue, an old decorator trick (we have used in a bathroom or two ourselves) to keep the paint on the wall. Well the back of the sheet of paint stank of damp. The wall itself didn't smell at all! But it came off anyway.
DH removed it all, took off the plasternoard, let it dry out and limed it over.. even now, after a wet winter and the current downpours that area no longer smells. But we have managed to identify a couple of other whiffy patches - now cleaned off and being left to dry.
We have decided to do the exterior walls and the stairs - there is one obviously new patch that is irritatingly different. But, as none of the walls that smelled damp have been inside walls our decision was easy.
We have a Tudor cottage and have done inside and outside walls in lime plaster wherever possible. We got lazy with bedroom ceilings and replaced lath and plaster with plasterboard - these are the rooms where we now have issues with condensation which we think is mainly down to the ceilings not letting the room "breathe" (we compensate by leaving windows open as much as possible). Of course, we have an extreme example. My view is that you might be able to get away with modern plaster on internal walls but you will need to let the room breathe in other ways such as wall vents, opening windows or an open fireplace.
to the extent that you can, I'd keep the lathe and lime plaster. it acts as a slight bit of wall insulation and as others have pointed out, it breathes which modern building materials may not. you will then get damp.
are you sure you have lime plaster? we thought we had lime but it turns out it was local clay. so we have a gypsum skim over the top but have retained all the lathe and plaster behind. Gypsum does actually breathe pretty well. we are following it up with edward bulmer paints which are 100% breathable and designed for old houses. dont use Farrow and Ball, it has acrylic in and will stop your walls breathing.
its a bit of a hybrid approach but that worked well for us.
Yes to the paint advice. We use Earthborn... lovely stuff
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