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Don't crack up about plaster; Problem walls can drive tenement owners crackers.. here are some simple solutions to save your sanity.

Byline: DIY donny

My mailbag is full of questions about problems with internal tenement walls.

The most simple of tasks can lead to big problems, such as trying to hang a picture on to a lath and plaster wall. Before you know it, the plaster is falling off.

Or when removing skirting boards and the plaster wall above the skirting falls away, suddenly half the wall is stripped of plaster and there is dust everywhere.

DONNY'SLITTLE There are two types of wall in a tenement - the solid brick wall and the lath and plaster wall.

HELPERBlack and Auto Select the This allows DIYer to choose application driving Both have the same sand and lime plaster, which is mixed with horse hair to bind it together. Because the building is old, when you start disturbing the plaster, it can easily become boss and fall off. type of screw of torque drive RELEVANT PRODUCTGeotextile Plaster lath falls off a lot easier than plastered brick as the wooden lath strips tend to bounce between the timber studs and the vibrations loosen the plaster. material This is used the bearing soft or weak when you slabs it simply the soft The way lath and plaster works is that the sand and lime plaster is forced through the gaps in the lath and the plaster forms a grip behind the wooden lath, which looks like a mushroom from the back.

When the mushrooms fall away over time, due to vibrations usually from knocks, there's very little keeping the paster on the wall.

When you try to hang a picture the slightest knock will remove the plaster from the lath.

Decker System untrained the correct for the and amount to screw to improve capacity of ground laying fir ms The key to this problem is to stop and fill the plaster with Carlite bonding plaster at the first sight of a hole forming. This will tie the surrounding old sand and lime plaster to the modern carlite bonding plaster - but you must remember to PVA the hole before filling with plaster or the bonding plaster can't grip on to the dust.

For that matter, any plaster repair requires PVA to be brushed into the hole with a large paintbrush before filing.

If the hole becomes too large - especially when a kitchen or bathroom is being removed - then sometimes the best solution is to strip the wall completely of the old sand and lime plaster.

It's a very quick and easy job - just hit the surface with the side of a hammer and it will fall away. But be prepared for the amount of dust involved. You'll need to remove the furniture and wear a face amsk.

The easiest way to put the wall back together is to sheet over the wooden lath with plasterboard, using the existing timber studs which the lath is fixed to, then skim coat the plasterboard with multi-finish or board finish.

Brick walls are a bit more robust than lath walls but the plaster can still easily fall of if care is not taken.

As soon as the old plaster falls off, PVA and patch with carlite browning to tie in the old sand and lime plaster.

In the case where all the plaster falls off a brick wall, you have two options.

You can re-plaster the full wall with renovating plaster, which will require the skill of a time-served plasterer.

Or you can dot and dab plasterboard on to the old brick wall using drywall adhesive and then skim the plasterboard with a finish plaster. This can be achieved with a modest amount of DIY skill.

There's a rumble in the tumble QI have moved my tumble dryer into the garage and bored a hole for the extractor hose. I replaced the space left by the tumble dryer with a fridge. Now I get this hammering noise whenever it's windy. What could it be? AI think you have forgotten to block the old extractor vent and the noise is the flap inside the vent banging when it's windy. All you need to do is block the flap by sticking a piece of plywood over the opening on the inside wall.

Q How much of a gap should be left between decorative concrete paving slabs and how thick should my mortar bed be when laying the slabs? A Allow for a joint width of 8-10mm between each slab and the mortar bed should be 1:3 cement/sand mix. You can lay on to a full wet bed of mortar or on to five dabs of mortar. The mortar bed should be a minimum of 25-30mm thick.

QI live in Fife and want to use a red roofing tile on my garage but I am finding it difficult to find such a tile. Any idea where I could get them? A Contact Koramic roof tiles (0845 600 0051). They make roofing tiles that look the same as old tiles that you can longer get apart from at a reclamation yard.

Q How do I fill the joint between the skirting board and the wall after having to replace the skirting? A Use caulk or decorators filler. It looks just like a tube of silicon and is applied the same way but caulk is flexible to take movement and can be painted. Just run a bead along the top of the skirting and wipe with a damp cloth. Paint once it's set.

Q Can I paint my gray plastic WC waste pipes leading from my bathroom to the drain and what do you recommend if it's possible? A Yes, there are many products out there. You could use a primer then a top coat, or just an all-in-one paint. I recommend using black for a soil pipe.

QI am trying to strip the wallpaper from my living room. The paper is not budging at all. The paper has a plastic top layer and I can pick it away to expose a softer paper underneath. What am I doing wrong? A It sounds like you are trying to strip a vinyl wallpaper. Find the bottom corner and gently pull upwards. You should find that the paper pulls away in full strips. Soak the backing paper with water and leave for a couple of minutes. Use a scraper to remove what's left.

Storage box and seat:part two Last week, we built the basic box. Now it's a case of turning that basic box into a piece of furniture.

The idea is to add finishes such as wood 50mm strips to the lid and base then add ironmongery.

Decorative finishes can be of your own choice but try to use the same materials for the ironmongery. For example, if you are using brass screws and screw cups, make the hinges and handles of the same material.

If you prefer a more modern look, there is a choice of aluminium or stainless steel.

Remember plywood can also be painted to a colour of your choice, and emblems and stencils can also be used.

The finishes add depth and dimension to the box. If you feel creative, use a jigsaw to add curves and shape to the 50mm plywood strips - especially the bottom strips.

Plane or sand off any slight differences in the plywood. The top of the box needs to be completely flush so the lid sits flat. 1 Fit the lid to the box using two flush hinges as this removes the need to rebate the hinge and is much faster and easier to fix. 2 To give the box seat a decorative finish, rip and cut 50mm strips of 12mm plywood to fit around the top and bottom of the box. 3 Once cut, sand the edges to remove any frays in the wood and add wood glue to the back of the 50mm strips of plywood. 4 Evenly mark out the position of the screws and drive home the wood screws through a screw cup for a decorative finish. 5 To allow for the lid to have a firm closure, add two magnetic catches to the inside of the closing side of the box. 6 To allow the box to be moved easily and provide a decorative detail, add a handle at each end of the box. 7 Finally give the plywood box two or three full coats of varnish, remembering to sand between coats. 8 TOP TIP: If you use a water-based varnish, the drying time is shorter.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 1, 2010
Words:1416
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