plaster ceilings


Old 09-28-00, 08:12 AM
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Is there any way to "pull" up a sagging plaster ceiling. Our dining room ceiling has droped about 1/2 inch at the middle (around the chandelier) and has cracked all the way across the room. I can patch the crack, but if I don't fix the problem, it will happen again.
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Old 09-28-00, 10:03 PM
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If there is a Lee Valley store near you, ask to see stock # 67Z20.01, or at least that's the stock number in their Canadian Hardware Catalogue. It's a large stainless steel washer meant for fitting over a stainless steel screw (67Z01.02) to pull loose plaster back onto the lath.

However, I think it's more important to investigate why the ceiling is sagging. My hunch is that if it's an old house, and the ceiling isn't well insulated, and this is a kitchen, then you're getting condensation on the underside of that ceiling plaster. The condensation seeps into the plaster and gradually weakens it, causing it to pull off the nails holding it to the lath. I haven't seen your house, but does this make any sense from where you're standing?
Old 09-28-00, 10:06 PM
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If it does, then besides laying vapour barrier down in the attic FIRST, then following that with insulation, you may also want to paint the ceiling with an oil based paint to prevent condensation from wicking into the plaster.
Old 10-02-00, 07:54 AM
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Thanks very much. I haven't been able to find the specific washer & screw. Is it flat like a fender washer or does it have a contour? Also, about how close should I place the screws and washers. Finally, do they screw flush with the plaster so that finishing is minimal - or will I have to skin over the whole ceiling?

Thanks JB
Old 10-02-00, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northeastern NC On The Albemarle Sound
Posts: 10,952

A tip for after you stabilize your plaster ceiling on how to keep crack from re-appearing in plaster. A pro painter of more than 40 years experience developed this trick: Use 6"-8" wide strips of black plastic "screen" wire and mud it in just as you would sheetrock tape over the plaster cracks. Good Luck!

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