Excess condensation on the interior of the windows may only occur in the dead of winter, so this will be difficult to determine at this time of year. I regularly read your column for any tips you have on home ownership. There's an issue with some of the walls, and I want to know how bad it is and how difficult or expensive it will be to repair. (See below for a shopping list and tools. "With plaster, the water will just sit and cause the bubbling you are seeing in your wall," says Alex Ushyarov, a general contractor and the co-founder of home improvement website Click and Improve.com. The ceiling shown above was found in home built in the 1940's. 2/3 (1997), pp. Remedy: remove sagged board or fur ceiling using RC-1 Resilient Channels and apply another layer of board. We offer an alternative explanation may explain the plaster pillow bulge, at least on walls: a too-wet, too thick, too-slow-drying second or finish coat of plaster applied over the gypsum board lath may have caused both softening (the sagging theory) and swelling … Typical Causes of bulging or leaning masonry in old solid walled buildings. The ceilings have the same look as the pillow effect. US Gypsum in the Gypsum Construction Handbook (2d Ed. Start at one side of the wall and work your way across, keeping the straight edge level. - repair cracks by using a fiberglass-mesh tape over the crack, followed by using joint compound and a 12" or better, 18" wide drywall knife to cover the crack and reinforcing tape. Watch out: although the ceiling in Mr. Hankey's photo (above) may be soundly secured, other cases of bulged plaster are unsafe. p. 339, USG describes a cause of ceiling panel sagging but does not address the identical bulging in wall panels: a. The most common type of damage to plaster is cracking, progressing from the superficial and easily repaired to deeper and wider cracks that require multiple repair techniques. More serious repair problems include delamination, bulging walls, and key failure, where plaster has broken loose from its grip on the lath substructure. InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. It is most prevalent under the windows, which are original. We offer an alternative explanation may explain the plaster pillow bulge, at least on walls: a too-wet, too thick, too-slow-drying second or finish coat of plaster applied over the gypsum board lath may have caused both softening (the sagging theory) and swelling-buckling away from the nailed edges (swelling-buckling theory). As for any re-tiling, he says, Buckled gypsum board products, including modern drywall, are often observed to have deformed when wet along with their refusal to return to a flat position when dry. What is different in and out of the anomalous area? The three most typical sources of the water in your home are leakage due to rot in the window or trim, excess condensation and dripping on the interior of the window, and finally air leakage around the older window frame and sill. I told the builders and they arranged for a local Pest Controller to … Details about exterior stucco and metal lath are, Toni ASHI home inspector Roger Hankey has provided us with the image of regularly-bulged rectangular plaster ceiling panels shown at left in a home built in 1947. This problem could lead to bricks or stones falling and endanger your family as well as your home. Moisture damage to old plaster is most commonly found under and around windows, as is the situation in your home. Older houses have a tendency to settle on their foundations, which can cause formerly smooth plaster walls to pucker and bubble. An accurate understanding of the etiology of construction defects is important in forming a reliable opinion about their import as well as their cure or prevention. If we can understand completely all of the forces at work, individual building defects will no longer include an element of chance. Also check around the brick mould for gaps and caulk with a good quality exterior sealant if spaces are prevalent. This typically causes the bubbling paint and plaster that you have described. Screeding takes any excess plaster off the wall to give it a nice flat finish. "A plaster ceiling, on the other hand, will eventually give in … The rise of moisture through the wall is caused due to the absence of a damp-proof course or … (Sept 12, 2015) Kim said:The pillow ceiling is on purpose. If this is a new problem, you might be able to correct it by trying to screw the plaster back into the lath, then patching over the screw holes. We also considered exposure to subsequent wetting events as a possible explanation for plaster sagging. Yes you can apply a textured coating on a pillowed plaster board ceiling to try (probably without complete success) to hide the bulging effect. There are "wet" and "dry" methods of blowing in insulation. I speculate that if your home was built in North America in the 1960's it probably uses drywall not plaster. If the rot is only in the brick mould or sill, these may be easily replaced and painted to match the existing window. Bulges in drywall occur when shortcuts are taken or mistakes are made during the installation process. Apologies for the delay. More about using oblique light to find building conditions is. Hi, Our staircase is in the middle of our house so there is a wall going up both sides of the stairs. Click to Show or Hide Citations & References. If the plaster was incorrectly applied in the first place, this can make the problem even worse, since uneven bumps will be exaggerated. We must ask, why is this particular wall or ceiling bulged and not that one? Your inspector should look for moose falling plaster in evaluating the ceilings. Plaster walls are some of the most misunderstood parts of an old home. p. 339) provides a completely different definition of shadowing, quoting: Cause: Temperature differentials in outside walls or top-floor ceilings causes collection of airborne dust on colder spots of interior surface, resulting in photographing or shadowing over fasteners, furring, or framing. Try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly. As you have already alluded to, cracks and damage to older plaster walls is inevitable in older homes like yours. Because the home had experienced leaks in other areas and had other mold problems we investigated further. Homes are constantly settling as different construction materials expand and contract at different rates. Bowing, leaning or bulging in external walls are a result of decreasing wall stability, these defects are often a symptom of: Prolonged vibrations from heavy traffic or plant machinery; An increase in the floor loads (for example where additional floors have been added to an existing building) Once dry, this insulation can be cut flush with the plaster, the casing re-installed and caulked around the perimeter, and the problem may be solved. Can I just texture over the plaster board that has bulging and pillow in effects to fix the cosmetic look of it. 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