I have just moved into a Victorian terrace and surveyor said there is possible asbestos in the artex ceilings. I want to get rid of the artex as I don't like the appearance of it. Would you a) just pay a plaster to plaster over it. B) Get the artex checked to see if asbestos is in it. If there is asbestos would you plaster over anyway or get it taken off? It's on the living room and dining room ceilings.
Might cost you a couple of hundred per room, is better value if you have several done at the same time, but unless the house is empty, it's difficult to clear the rooms enough for the plasterers to work.
I'd agree you should send some samples off to be tested, then you will know if the suspicions are accurate.
If the house is more than about 60 years old the original plaster may be loose and cracked and might benefit from overboarding or even pulling down (very dirty job). Artex was often applied to conceal defects. Old L&P ceilings are often in a poor condition, and it's awful when they fall down.
if you have the original medallions, have a look at the upper surface of the ceiling from upstairs, and describe what you see. An experienced old plasterer will be able to tell you what he thinks of the condition. Some people don't like pulling down old ceilings because it's dirty work.
if you skim onto a loose ceiling, the extra weight can sometimes pull it down.
One remedy is to overboard it (from underneath) with plasterboard, using lots of nails. Preferably all the broken material should be picked and vacuumed off the top of the ceiling first or it may prevent it being pushed back up.
It is also possible to restore an old ceiling with new lathing and a wet plaster pour from above. This is labour intensive.
there some causes: - in towns and cities that were bombed in WWII, there is a lot of movement damage and cracked plaster. The nibs that hold it to the laths may have broken off. - the iron nails holding the laths to the joists will have rusted if they have been damp
Old ceilings sometimes stay up just out of habit, until they decide not to.
An experienced local plasterer should look at the ceiling and advise what it needs. Preferably one who has been recommended to you by people who know, with equally old houses that s/he has worked on with good results. If there are cracks and sags in large pieces, I wouldn't trust it.
Very useful advice. I've found a local company that work with lath and plaster ceilings so will ask them to come have a look. I would rather skim it as I'm on a tight budget. But not if the ceiling may fall down!