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Old 01-13-2019, 09:09 AM   #1
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is there a science to removing plaster?


My house was built in 1915 and it is plaster and lathe in the front part. They added a kitchen on to the back of the house along with a kind of sun porch and that section appears to be drywall.



Actually removing the plaster is the easy part. The harder part is getting it all cleaned up and out of the house. I've been slowly working on the largest wall in my living room little by little. I take enough plaster off to fill my trash can and then I clean everything up and get rid of what I've taken off. Actually removing the plaster is easy, all I do is draw a line and then hit it a couple times with my hammer and that loosens it enough where I can just peel these big sheets off and then toss it in my trash can.


But I've been thinking about other aspects of this project before I get too far. One thing I'm wondering is, should I be taking plaster off little by little on both sides of this wall? I mean if I take all of the plaster off of one side of this wall and leave plaster on the other side of the wall isn't that side going to be extremely heavy compared to the other side? So should I do a little on one side and a little on the other and then repeat until both sides are free of all the plaster?


And I need to have the foundation looked at. I need to have certain sections that appear to have sank jacked up. For the most part my floor is level but there are just certain areas where you can tell it needs proactive jacking. And then I need the brick repointed inside and out. and I'm wondering if I have all that done before I take the plaster off will things shift after I take the plaster off and all that foundation work kind of the pointless? What I mean is should I take the plaster off first or at least the bulk of it and then have the foundation work done? I'm basically asking about order of operations I guess.


Thanks


I understand that plastic can be repaired and there are reasons to not take it off. But in my case I need to remove the plaster and lathe. My house is fairly small so this isn't a huge undertaking. And the plaster comes right off no problem. No excessive force needed like I said the biggest part is clean up. Thanks again


I'll try to keep Googling and researching but so far all I can find is how to remove plaster not the things to be cautious of when removing plaster.

Last edited by wagoner; 01-13-2019 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:21 AM   #2
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Re: is there a science to removing plaster?


Cracks before or after foundation repair don't matter - its coming out anyway. Your house prob has real 2x so no need to worry about weight on one side. Sounds like you're tired from the mess and questioning how to do it better. Overthinking it, just soldier on.

Post a new thread with pics if you want advice on the foundation repair.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:27 AM   #3
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Re: is there a science to removing plaster?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 3onthetree View Post
Cracks before or after foundation repair don't matter - its coming out anyway. Your house prob has real 2x so no need to worry about weight on one side. Sounds like you're tired from the mess and questioning how to do it better. Overthinking it, just soldier on.

Post a new thread with pics if you want advice on the foundation repair.
Nah, I don't want advice on foundation repair. I want advice on specifically what I asked about. I think I didn't word my question clearly.

I am asking if the order of operations matters when removing plaster.

Should I be removing a little on one side of the wall, then a little on the other. That way the weight changes evenly.


Should I remove a little, wait, then remove some more, etc.


I am asking if it makes sense to take plaster out before or after I have my foundation looked at. I'm more wondering if walls willl shift during this and if there are methods done to avoid that.

Cleanup is irrelevant and not an issue. it's all got to come out. There will be dust and plaster everywhere. That's not really relevant or a concern. I only mentioned it to convey it really isn't a concern.

I'm not sure what you mean by cracks? Cracks in my foundation? There are no cracks in my foundation. Do you mean the plaster? Cracks in the plaster don't matter because it's all coming out. I'm not sure why that would be a concern.

And are there things I should be checking as I go as I remove plaster?

Thanks.

Last edited by wagoner; 01-13-2019 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:22 AM   #4
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Re: is there a science to removing plaster?


Quote:
Originally Posted by wagoner View Post
I want advice on specifically what I asked about.
I thought I did, in a roundabout way

If the foundation settled a lot, fixing that could shift the wood and cause cracks in the plaster. Its coming out anyway, so remove it before or after, order doesn't matter.

No need to remove a little each side and wait in between. The wait would just let the dust settle, it does nothing structurally. To reassure you your wood framing is probably pretty thick so you can keep one room of plaster up while you remove the opposite side of the wall in another room, with no problem whatsoever.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:43 PM   #5
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Re: is there a science to removing plaster?


All your questions about which to do first can be answered by what ever you feel comfortable with because for what you are doing it really doesn't matter.
It does not sound like fun.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:42 PM   #6
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Re: is there a science to removing plaster?


Don't worry about weight issues - work on one side at a time. IMO

Been there, done that - and done this;

Make a poly barrier by cutting a few 2X3 poles the height of your ceiling and then shim at the top/bottom to make it stable. (They also sell zipwall that are spring loaded poles for this purpose... if you want to spend about $150.)

Place a shop vac outside and run the vacuum hose (you may need to buy some 3" ABS or flex drain pipe and duct tape to get the length you need) to the tent to keep it negatively pressurized which will help draw the dust outside, rather than allow it to float into the house.

Wear a decent mask, glasses and shower cap.

Place a strong canvas painter's tarp on the floor inside the "tent." The tarp will catch the bulk of plaster and lath that does not fall into the trash can (as described below)...

I use a short (4") demo blade on my reciprocating saw and cut down between each stud bay (look our for outlets on the other side of the wall - always poke and inspection hole to check before cutting). Then, I position my rectangular trash can under one stud. Using a flat bar, I start at the top and hammer down (with gravity) and pop the lathe AND plaster off at the same time. If it's impossible to get them both to release, I will do the plaster (hammer down with flat bar action) then do the lathe. The rectangular trash can butts up to the flat wall with less debris loss than a round trash can.

After doing the upper section of the wall, I'll move the ladder and trash can aside and continue to the floor letting the debris land on the tarp.

After a few sections, I"ll empty the trash can and roll/bundle the canvas tarp and tote the rest of the debris out.

When you have one side done, attach some poly to the cleaned studs and move your "tent" to the other side. This will keep the bulk of the debris well contained and limited to one room at a time so the house can remain usable.

Simple process, and seems to be the best way to reduce cleanup and get the job done efficiently.

Keep thinking about how great it will look where you're done!
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Last edited by Domo; 01-13-2019 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:53 PM   #7
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Re: is there a science to removing plaster?


Guys in 1915 was there a lot of nominal lumber sizes? And wagoner, if it's rough cut it's probably what ever species was close' easiest to mill, and get on the job. So its probably strong enough to withstand lathe and plaster removal. Removal will have 0 effect on your framing due to weight changes. If I were guessing, and being specific.





just sayin'
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:49 PM   #8
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Re: is there a science to removing plaster?


Thanks, everyone. @Nealtw , I'm having fun doing it.
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