I got out of the shower and five minutes later, the ceiling in the
bathroom fell down in our 108 year old piece of crap house that we
moved into a few years back. The ceiling is--uh, was-- plaster and not
modern drywall. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can patch up
the holes in ancient plaster-- preferably so no more of it will
Pull it all down and replace with drywall. About 25 years ago a freind
had a similar problem. She didnt want the demolition mess so she
spackled the holes and covered the ceiling with drywall. She did all
the work herself except for the drywall finish work.
Hmmm... that could be problematic. HD is the only place even remotely
"close by" that has dry wall, and I don't have a truck or access to a
truck. The last time I even thought about having something delivered,
the delivery price was so obscene I almost fainted. I miss those days
when Builders Square would haul out something for only ten bucks or
a larger issue is WHY did it come down after so long?
Roof leak? structural;issue?
Sewer or other line above leaking?
Better to take it down and find out why, while your at it insulation
is always a good idea:)
EXACTLY!! My house is nearly twice as old as the OP's, and it's been my
experience that plaster only "comes down" if there's water involved. Find
the leak, fix it, and replace the ceiling with drywall. Trying to patch
plaster is a waste of time because it will never look like new. If it's a
fancy molded ceiling in the livingroom it might be worth a try, but
certainly not worth the hassle for a bathroom.
Yes, I agree. Take it all down, find out why it failed, make sure
everything is sound and replace. If you're not experienced with
drywall, a ceiling is probably not the best place to start. You may
be better off contracting it out. HD does rent trucks very cheap. I
think it might be like $18 for the first 90 mins or so.
Also, now is a good time to check for proper venting. If you don't
have a fan, now would be a good time to take care of it. Excessive
moisture can lead to failure like this.
The lath is fine. Vibration (we live on the edge of a freeway and a
few eartquakes didn't help either) and steam has caused the plaster to
fall, but not in small holes-- first one piece, then another, then
We had that too. In fact, twice. Caused by an imperfect bathtub install
that left a crak between the tub top and the tile. It was all fixed.
However, I will not easily forget the experience of hearing tiny sounds
like grit falling, seeing the ceiling slowly come loose and just before
getting the drop cloth down to get the ceiling, seeing a piece of plaster
of about ~3x5 ft come down in the living room while still standing in the
kitchen. That's when I learned that after a new bathroom installation
you should keep the tub filled with water for a few days before tiling
the walls around the tub, so as to make the floor settle properly (or
something like that. The tile guy was going on vacation, hence the rush
by the contractor).
Eathquakes? Bay area or SoCal?
Depends on your desired end result...repair, replacement or antique
The fact that you refer to your house as a "108 year old piece of crap
house" gives me the impression that you're not a old house "fan".
Owning a very old house requires some (preferably all) of the
a varied & experienced based skill set
the ability / desire to learn to skills & processes
the ability to find & use good subs
love of old houses
a deep pocket or good cash flow
the ability to live with imperfection
All that said......
old plaster sagging can be restored. esp if oyu have attic access or
by using plaster washers from below
the fact that some is failing, points to water damage; active leak at
some time or just moisture from bathroom use.
tear down & replace is the fastest / easiest way
you can leave in place & cover with drywall as well
a pro drywaller could knock this this out in a flash for not a huge
patching w/o addressing loose areas will only be a band aid
patching with drywall compound without addressing moisture issues will
only be a band aid
Is the texture smooth or bumpy / stucco like?
hard to give a specfic suggested path with eye balling it
Fill the bathtub with gasoline. Toss in a lit match and get out of
the house. While the house burns, use your cellphone to call home
builders in your area. They'll be happy to build you a new home,
complete with a fall-proof new bathroom ceiling.
Praise the Lord !!!!
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