the surface; allow it to set until nearly dry but not hard; then complete the patch by applying a coat of finished plaster, strike off flush, and trowel smooth. If the edges of the old plaster and the wood lath are not thoroughly wetted, they serve as a wick to draw the water from the fresh plaster, causing it to dry out, remain chalky, and crack around the edges of the patch. In applying the patching plaster, you should give special attention to the edges of the patch to ensure a firm, solid bond between old and new plaster.
LOOSE PLASTER is indicated by building and cracking of large areas of the plaster surface. The extent of loosened plaster can be determined by lightly tapping the surface with a small hammer, with the resultant sounds indicating the extent of the loose area. Loose plaster may result from excessive moisture caused by leaks in the roof, seepage through an exterior wall, plumbing leaks, or heavy condensation. This excessive moisture causes the plaster to become soft, which destroys the bond to the base, causing the plaster to loosen. In some cases, the plaster may bulge or sag but continue to hang in this condition quite a long time before falling, being held together only by the hair or fiber in the base coat. Occasionally, moisture causes the fastenings holding the lath to the structural frame to corrode, permitting both the lath and plaster to bulge or sag. Another cause of bulging plaster is the use of incompletely hydrated lime in the plaster mix. In localities where high humidity is prevalent, moisture causes a continued hydration of the lime that weakens the plaster and destroys the bond between plaster and base. This condition usually occurs in the spring and summer months, starting from the first to third year after plastering and continuing indefinitely.
Before the damaged plaster is repaired, it is necessary to locate and eliminate any source of moisture. Temporary repair to prevent loose plaster from falling until permanent repair can be done may be made by securing the loose plaster with a section of wallboard nailed securely to the wall or ceiling over the area effected. Nails should be of sufficient length to penetrate through the plaster and obtain a firm bearing in the studs or joists. Repairs of a permanent nature should be made as soon as possible. Remove all loose plaster around the break, working well back in the surrounding area to a point where solid plaster (well keyed to the lath, which, in turn, is solidly secured to the structural frames) is obtained. Remove the defective lath and replace it with suitable plaster backing, such as metal lath or plasterboard, and securely refasten all lath that has become loosened.
Maintenance and repair of interior wallboard generally requires that nails, screws, and other fasteners be kept in a secure condition. Cracks in gypsum type of boards may be repaired similarly to cracks in plaster. Joints in drywall construction that fail must be re-cemented and taped. Broken sections of interior wallboard are generally best corrected by replacement of an entire panel. Wood paneling that develops cracks may be sealed with plastic wood or putty. Broken panels or siding usually are best repaired by replacement of a complete section, panel, or board. When repairs are completed, the repaired area should be finished to match the adjoining area. All fastening, such as nailing, screwing, or gluing, must be at least equal to the "as-built" construction. Nonload-bearing partitions should be inspected periodically for marks, dents, scratches, cracks, or other surface damage. Nonload-bearing partitions may be repaired or replaced without regard to the structural frame or ceiling and may be relocated to provide other interior arrangements of space.
Exterior doors are more subject to abuse and to weathering than interior doors. In general though, defects encountered in inspecting both exterior and interior doors are similar.
Doors should be inspected quarterly for defects, such as the following:
Deteriorated or damaged frames
Material damage, such as cracked or broken glass, split or cracked wood panels, warped or dented metal, and warped or broken screening
Broken or inoperative hardware, such as locks, hinges, and slides.
Check all doorstops, thresholds, and weather-stripping for cracks, looseness, and workability, where applicable.
WOOD DOORS. - Mechanical injury to mullions, headers, jambs, or hardware usually causes trouble with LARGE WOOD FRAMED and BRACED DOORS. Decay, resulting from exposure to weather or shrinkage of door members, also causes distortion or failure. Frequently, the free edge of the door sags and causes the door to bind at the bottomContinue Reading