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  • Is plaster bad for your health or the environment?
    Far from it! Most people don't realize that plaster is a safe, beautiful choice for today's homes! This recent article from Fobes highlights the wonderful, lesser known advantages plaster gives your home, mainly: Alternative to paint (No VOCs) Humidity and temperature regulator-EXCELLENT for bathrooms and kitchens Abundant material Durable and easy to clean Naturally mold and mildew resistant Repels dust Recylable Takes little energy to produce You can feel great about your choice to add or maintain the plaster in your home!
  • What does Plastering mean?
    Plastering (verb) is basically the application of a material (usually a lime, gypsum, or mortar mix) to a wall or ceiling substrate as to add strength to the surface. Traditional plastering is usually applied with a hawk and trowel. The plastering process usually consists of 1-3 coats and sometimes includes a texture coat.
  • What is the difference between plaster and drywall?
    A wall built of drywall is composed of a dried gypsum with a paper backing. When using drywall spackle to finish the drywall the spackle is designed to dry by evaporation. Once the spackle dries it is usually sanded and then coated again. Each coat needs to dry by evaporation and them sanded until it is acceptable for painting. A plaster wall can consist of one of three different substrates. Most of the time when people think of plaster walls they are thinking of the plaster on wood lath. There is also plaster applied to masonry walls and then plaster can be applied to gypsum lath or even drywall for a stronger and more appealing look and feel. The plaster material used sets up by a chemical reaction not evaporation.
  • Do you do drywall installation or drywall repair?
    The short answer is yes, but it depends on the project. There is actually quite a difference between plaster work and drywall spackling. If you are in need of just a couple drywall patches completed then I am probably not your guy. However if your project involves new walls integrated with existing plaster then yes, I can help you. I do have extensive experience in both types of repairs. Does your repair involve drywall only? Then maybe. Because the application of drywall spackle is a much more common way of finishing walls there seems to be an abundance of people advertising for drywall installation and repair. The skillset required is not the same for each type of repair. I am happy to provide a quote for drywall repairs but if there is no plaster repair within the scope of the work, I usually ask the potential customer send me some pictures. From there I can give you a general idea of pricing before I perform an onsite inspection.
  • Should I just remove the existing Plaster?
    Obviously, this will depend on the level of damage. But in my experience, 99% of the time the answer is NO! It's not uncommon today for people to remove perfectly good plaster and replace it with drywall. Why is this? Because people get talked into removing plaster by a contractor who only works with drywall. Removing the plaster is a huge undertaking all of itself, of course. It is dusty, dirty, dangerous- and is very heavy to get rid of! Not to mention that old framing is usually not able to accept new drywall without some leveling out. Consider also that once removed- all the old world charm of the home is gone forever!
  • Should I just cover over my existing plaster with a new layer of drywall?
    Obviously this depends on the level of damage to the existing plaster walls. I have seen this done many many times but when you add an additional layer to your walls then all the window, door, and floor trims need to be removed and then space trim added before reinstalling the trim. All electrical outlets need to be adjusted to the new level also. Most of the time plaster repairs can be done at less cost than adding drywall to the entire surface. Not to mention the fact that you lose the strength, look, and feel of the traditional plaster character. In some cases you can actually add more weight to an already dangerous situation.
  • Can I just use drywall spackle over the plaster damage?
    The short answer is not if you want the repair to last. If you are just trying to create a seemingly smooth area to cover with paint and not last long you can use spackle. I see people use spackle a lot for trying to repair damage to plaster because they lack the knowledge and experience with how real plaster works. And there can be many underlying reasons for the damage, it is hard to make a permanent repair if you don’t know what really caused it. Bottom line, don’t use premixed drywall spackle for repairing plaster.
  • How can I tell if my walls are plaster or drywall?
    By Strength: I am not advocating for damaging a wall, but basically if you try to push an ordinary thumb tack into a drywall surface, it will go into the wall with ease. If you try the same test on plaster, it will be too hard to push in. By Sound: When you knock on drywall it sounds hollow, when you knock on a plaster wall it sounds solid. By Feel: When you feel drywall it feels fuzzy, when you feel plaster it feels cool and usually smooth as glass.
  • Can I hire you to paint after the plaster repair is finished?
    Absolutely. We have extensive experience in what products to use where. It is important to understand what you are painting over. If you paint the surface with the wrong product you can create quit a mess. I can easily give you a separate estimate to paint the areas that I repair.
  • Is it more expensive to repair the plaster vs just cutting out a section of plaster and repairing it with drywall?
    Most of the time the cost of plaster repair is very close to what someone may charge to cut out a damaged plaster area and install drywall, come back three or more times, and then paint.
  • Will a wall or ceiling repair last as long with drywall vs repairing it with plaster?
    No, patching in drywall to plaster never lasts as long as patching areas with plaster. When a plaster wall is damaged there is a lot more to a long lasting repair than cutting out some plaster and screwing in a piece of drywall. An experienced plaster contractor will also know how much material needs to be removed to perform a strong repair. Most of the time a drywall piece used to repair plaster walls will crack around the piece no matter what you use to blend it into the existing plaster. I have seen multiple repairs done to the same area where someone kept trying to tie drywall into plaster. So when you consider how many times you might pay to have a cobbled repair redone several times, it is certainly less expensive to do it right the first time!
  • Why do most of the people I talk to about the repair say cut out the damage and install drywall?
    The bottom line is that plaster repair is a dying art. Contractors will usually recommend what they know. If they do not know how to repair the plaster they are going to tell you that replacing it with a drywall piece is just as good. It isn’t.
  • My walls or ceiling have a lot of cracks throughout, Is it better to just remove the plaster and install drywall then?"
    Even when your walls and ceiling have what appears to be a lot of cracks, the plaster can still usually be reinforced and skim coated. This will bring them back to its original charm at less expense and with less mess than replacing with drywall!
  • Are the cracks in my ceiling dangerous?
    Any cracks in the ceiling could be evidence of a potential pending ceiling collapse. Even if the plaster ceiling doesn’t show any cracks a plaster ceiling can collapse. (Sometimes people will have the cracks on ceilings covered over with somekind of repair not leaving behind the tell tale signs of a pending collapse.) If caught early, one can reinforce and restore the original ceiling to a perfectly safe condition.
  • What is lead safe contractor/renovator?
    From "EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP Rule) requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by EPA (or an EPA authorized state), use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices". Keep in mind that any contractor caught performing work on these age homes without being certified can be heavily fined. From a health and safety standpoint, you as the home owner should also be made aware of the presence of lead on any surfaces to be disturbed during renovations. I am a certified lead safe renovator, and can provide you a copy of my certificate upon request.
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