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Old 12-09-2013, 03:50 PM   #1
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Plaster/Paint Wall Moisture Bubbling


Need some advice. My house is 100 years old and is load bearing brick on a stone foundation. It is all plaster construction with the interior of the outside walls having the plaster directly on the brick. The interior of one of the outside walls is bubbling and peeling. The wall is along a set of stairs to the second floor. At the top of the steps is an old leaky window and across from the window is a full bath (no fan). The peeling is around the window and continues intermittently two thirds of the way down the stairs where it stops. The wall is cold to the touch during the winter. I've primed and painted but it just bubbled again. How can I prevent the peeling? Will a new window and a bathroom fan fix the problem? Attached is a crude drawing of the area. Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:11 PM   #2
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Plaster/Paint Wall Moisture Bubbling


And I'd also guess no, or little insulation.
Nothing going to work until you address all the outside issues.
If this has been going on for a while I'd bet there's going to be mold and rotted studs in the walls.

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Old 12-09-2013, 04:50 PM   #3
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Plaster/Paint Wall Moisture Bubbling


I agree with Joe or maybe a leak around the old window and that is all the farther down the steps it has gone. But until you find the problem it will continue to happen. It seems like if it was the insulation though it would be all the way down the stairs. Will probably need to open it to see what is really happening.

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Old 12-09-2013, 05:19 PM   #4
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Plaster/Paint Wall Moisture Bubbling


A 100 year old house is going to be balloon framed and that leaking water could by now have effected the studs all the way down to the bottom beam acting as the bottom plate.
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:38 PM   #5
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Plaster/Paint Wall Moisture Bubbling


[QUOTE=" It is all plaster construction with the interior of the outside walls having the plaster directly on the brick. The interior of one of the outside walls is bubbling and peeling. [/QUOTE]


I'm wondering if we are understanding the situation here. Taking this quote literally, there would be no framing in the wall in question. Or am I missing something?

The bubbling makes me think moisture is coming in from behind the paint. Maybe water is making its way behind the plaster from the leaky window, or seeping in from outside somehow.
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:55 PM   #6
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Plaster/Paint Wall Moisture Bubbling


Thanks for the replies. It is not a balloon frame, I believe its called a joisted masonry frame. In other words the wooden floor joists are directly supported by the exterior brick walls and are not supported by vertical framing. This means the walls do not have studs or insulation, thus the plaster is applied directly to the brick.
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Old 12-10-2013, 06:53 AM   #7
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Plaster/Paint Wall Moisture Bubbling


You got a picture of the exterior and interior you can post up.

It is a moisture issue as indicated above, just a question of where it is coming from.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:42 PM   #8
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Plaster/Paint Wall Moisture Bubbling


It's quite a common problem with solid brick walls. Moisture can find it's way in through defective pointing, especially if you have leaking gutters, or could be the window, as well as other ways.

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