Plaster flaking and peeling from damp in walls

What to Do About Damp Plaster?

21 December 2021

Plaster is an important part of the construction of any interior wall. So, what should be done if you find that damp has wreaked havoc with your plaster, and has left it wet and ruined? Hopefully, this article goes some way into letting you know what should be done about your plaster if damp has found its way in.

Can Damp Plaster Be Saved?

Damage plaster on an interior wall

Damp plaster is, unfortunately, often beyond saving. This means that in the event your property has succumbed to a form of damp that has affected your plaster that more often than not, your plaster will need to be removed (otherwise known as ‘hacked off’) and reapplied.

The general process of having plaster removed and reapplied is quite simple and straightforward. The issue here is that it can be a pretty bitter pill to swallow in understanding that your walls will need to be stripped and replastered following damp proofing treatment.

The removal of plaster will also have to follow the installation of a damp treatment, no exceptions. Fresh plaster on a wall with damp problems is only going to suffer the same fate as the plaster that came before it, it’s almost literally papering over a problem.

It might not be ideal to find yourself in a situation where replastering and redecorating is not only advised, but necessary to restore your property, but we guarantee that this is the best and most effective way of dealing with plaster in a property afflicted with damp.

How Is Damp Plaster Treated?

Usually, when it comes to damp proofing, plaster is one of the first elements to be removed from the properties walls themselves. In order for a damp problem to be fully understood, it is fairly common practise for building materials to be stripped from the walls so technicians can access a full picture of what lies in your properties walls themselves.

The first step would be removing any decoration from the walls themselves so that they can remain unaffected as the plaster is being removed. In some cases, regarding damp, any decorations on the wall (such as wooden clocks, pictures and paintings) may well have already been affected by damp, so by removing them you will be given an opportunity to inspect them and see if any restorative work needs to be completed.

Once the wall is bare, the plaster itself can be removed from the wall. In cases where surveyors are removing plaster to inspect your wall, only a small section will be taken down, but if all of the wall is damaged, you may see all of the plaster removed.

This isn’t the most difficult process, and as long as you are careful and follow basic safety precautions the whole process can be completed by yourself. Remember to keep your chiselling at an angle, with your chisel never pointing directly at the wall itself to spare the wall from taking any major or significant damage.

Once the hacking off is complete, you can begin to wipe down the newly exposed brick wall with wire wool. This is a step to make sure that once your walls have been exposed, they are completely clear of any remaining afflicted plaster, so when you replaster you are starting from a completely blank slate.

Once the walls have been wiped down, you are all set – the damp plaster has been removed, and your walls will be ready to receive whatever damp proofing treatment that they need.

Replastering Your Walls

When it comes to replastering your walls, you want to make sure that you haven’t skipped undertaking any necessary damp proofing work on your property. If your plaster was ruined because of damp, any new plaster you apply to the walls will also be ruined by the same damp.

So, once the damp proofing measures have been put in place and are protecting your property against a resurgence, you will want to consider replastering your walls. If you want to avoid having your plaster once again become ruined thanks to damp, we recommend that you use a damp proof plaster.

Damp proof plaster is a plaster that is specifically designed to help protect against salt migration, preventing the efflorescent salts brought to the surface due to damp from appearing on the wall itself.

These salts are a big part of the reason that plaster can become ruined by damp, and by using damp proof plaster you are allowing yourself an extra layer of protection against rising dampness in the future should it ever return.

You will also find that with damp proof plaster being designed to be a more breathable and porous plaster, it will dry a lot quicker than other forms of plaster on walls.

This means that moist air will have a much harder time condensing onto damp proof plaster, significantly reducing the risk of condensation-based damp in your properties rooms where damp proof plaster is applied.

You should remember though that whilst damp proof plaster provides an added layer of protection against the damage wrought by rising damp, it does not stop damp from causing damage to your property or setting in.

So, if your property has proven to be at risk from rising damp or penetrating damp in the past then it could well be worth having damp proof plaster applied in your property. Just like normal plaster, damp proof plaster will have to be applied by a skilled technician who can ensure that the plaster has been applied evenly, thoroughly and to a degree that will make it effective and visually appealing.

We always recommend that if your property has been affected by rising damp that you should use damp proof plaster on your walls, especially if you have had to have a damp proof course installed.

If you are concerned that your property is suffering from damp and that your plaster may need to be treated, or if you are wondering whether damp proof plaster might be the right choice for your property, then get in touch with our team today to book a survey with one of our specialists.

Call 0800 288 8660 or get in touch online, and our technicians can help you keep your property protected and assist you in making the right choice.