I am trying to get some info about a building material that I have in my
home.Myhouse is 60+ years old and has plaster/lath walls. The house has
an attached garage and it is the material covering the walls that I have
a question about. I broke off a piece and the crossection looke like
this: Next the the wall studs is a paperlike material; next,there is a
3.8inch layer of white plaster,then another paper layer,then a 1/4 inch
layer that is brown and rough. This brown layer has one inch long brown
fibers embedded in it. this surface is the interior wall and has been
painted several times. I am wondering if this material contains asbestos
as I would like to removed it ,insulate between the studs and use the
space for a living area. Thank you for any information.
Years ago horsehair was used as a plaster reinforcement. IIRC, after
horses were phased out in favor of the automobile, the practice was no
longer possible. So if your house is indeed only 60 years old, the
fiber might be sisal, hemp, or similar. See if you can ignite a small
piece. If so, it is organic, not asbestos. And if it has an acrid
smell you know it is horsehair. Whatever, if non-asbestos, go ahead
and remodel to any extent you wish. HTH
I've read about the old horsehair trick, too, but never any other kind
of fiber. Curiosity got me, so did a google search on "plaster fiber
reinforcement" and found lots of hits. One use of fiber was for
retrofitting older structures to withstand earthquakes and mentioned a
fiber addition to plaster on wallboard.
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