Cambridge Roofing: Article About Causes Of Problems With Historic Plaster

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It's difficult to replicate the appearance of plaster with something like drywall, so many homeowners in the middle of a historic restoration will do whatever they can to preserve their home's plasterwork. Many problems with plaster are repairable, and the homeowner's trusted Cambridge roofing company can make quick repair work of most common plaster dilemmas.

Moisture is the most common problem, especially in older homes that haven't updated their plumbing systems or roofs. Water damage most commonly comes from a leaking roof or pipes, but these moisture sources can come from elsewhere, too. Clogged gutters will cause water to back up under the roof's shingles, seep into the attic and travel down the home's walls. Brick homes will experience moisture seeping from the foundation up the walls, causing the plaster to bubble or effloresce at the surface. Other homes have splashback that occurs when a paved area next to a masonry building splashes water back onto the home, which creeps through the stone and into the plaster walls.

Poor workmanship is also frequently responsible for damaged plaster. If the materials weren't portioned properly, it results in plaster weakness. Most plasterers mixed the materials on site, so it wasn't an exact science. Other plasterers improperly applied the surface coat, leading to something called chip cracking, which looks like alligator skin and affects the entire surface of the plaster.

The expert roofers at Capital Construction of Cambridge can assist you with any questions regarding siding or windows and doors.

This means the finish coat was applied over a dry base coat or it wasn't troweled enough. It can take years for workmanship problems to arise, so the original homeowners probably had no idea that their plaster was applied poorly.

Lime plaster takes almost a year to dry, so it's possible that old plaster wasn't given enough time to cure properly. It was difficult to maintain a temperature between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit in a home in the 19th century, so a lot of plaster wasn't able to cure in its ideal conditions. If the home became too hot, the plaster would revert to its unmixed state, requiring the workers to spray the walls with alum water and completely retrowel it. If it reached below freezing in the home, the plaster would have to be removed and done over again.

Plaster problems can range from minor to disastrous, depending on the origin of the issue. Before plaster is ripped out, a good contractor can inform a homeowner whether it can be fixed or replaced, and this is incredibly important for homeowners who are set on a good restoration job.

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