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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

My home is a circa 1850 brick house. In one bedroom, and in the stairway there is an odd material on the walls. It appears to be a fiberboard of some sort, maybe 1/8"-3/16" thick. It appears to be bubbling or delaminating from the wall behind it. Both of these walls would be exterior walls. The one wall seems to have a protrusion, maybe from a brick that is not flush wit the rest? It causes the wall to bulge out in the form of a knob about an inch.

The original walls in the house are horsehair plaster. I am assuming that underneath these "fiberboards" is either plaster and lath or just plaster laid directly over the brick. I am thinking maybe this base material was in pooor shape, and instead of repairing it and dealing with the wall irregularities they nailed/glued this flexible fiberboard material overtop. My questions are:

1.) What is this fiberboard material?
2.) If I tear it down, what would be the best way to repair the walls?
3.) If there is an uneven brick jutting out or some other sort of irregularity, how would I handle it?
 

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You figure you have wooden studs behind there ?

Not sure what that fiberboard is. Some people put all sorts of strange stuff on their houses. "seemed like a good idea at the time "

Easiest replacement is drywall.
 

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An 1850 home with brick exterior & plaster interior would have
(1) plaster applied direct to the brick or (2) wood furring strips with wood lath nailed to furring than plaster.
You will need to cut out a test section to determine the make up of the wall materials.
Than decide what materials would be needed for repairs.
Some of the problem may be due to moisture.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

There are no studs behind the fiberboard. The fiberboard does appear to be nailed in spots, so I am leaning towards plaster with lath/ferring strips behind there. Worst case scenario it would just be straight plaster over the bricks. Both of these walls are on the east side of the house, but one on the north and and one on the south end.

I hope it's not a moisture issue. I was hoping that whatever was put up on there was done some time ago and the adhesive used between the nails is beginning to wear out. The material from google searching looks similar to "Beaverboard" or "Celotex"

If it was just straight plaster over brick, but the wall was uneven how would I approach drywalling that?
 

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The board sounds like something from the fifties, so it has been fine for 70 years.

The grill above it may have changed the weather near that section of the wall.

No one can give you good advice before seeing what you have and that piece is bad so it would be a good place to have a look.
 

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What is the vent grill in the ceiling return air ?
That vent maybe causing the problem by drawing moisture thru the effected area. As for drywalling over the plaster you will need to know if the plaster is direct to brick or was furring used.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The grill shown in the picture above is a return for the central air/heat HVAC system that was installed.

Once I have some time I will take a small section off and investigate as to what is actually behind it.
 
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