In our bedroom retrofit, getting rid of the plaster felt like a real drag. But we new it was for the best.
So having cleared the space – fitted wardrobe removed and stacked carefully and covered as much as possible against the vast amount of dust that was on its way – we set about the dreaded task.
Always get rid of the old plaster
It’s tempting to leave the original plaster – after all it’s perfectly suited to the house ie: be breathable and it’s done a good job so far. Plus it’s going to be horribly messy!
Sadly the answer is always to take it off. Two reasons:
- It is very old – in our case 120 years and could break down very soon
- It may already have started to come away from the wall in which case your new insulation will be at risk – it all might fall during the work and always when you least expect it.
- Why waste the 10 – 15mm of space on something that’s not thermal. In an old house it’s good to have every bit of insulation you can muster.
It’s a dirty job
It truly is a dirty job – the dust will take a few weeks to finally settle. Vacuuming on a regular basis is the way to go, so you keep the level down. Although if you can’t, it becomes one of those very satisfying cleans where you can see real progress very quickly. (I know, I’m a bit sad about that. My favourite vac of the year is when the Christmas tree needles fall off – the family all know to save that one for me!)
However it can also be done in a cleaner way if you or the builder take a bit more care. My husband, John, is always thinking of ways to improve how we do things, so see his version of this in the time lapse below. Simply by holding the dustpan against the wall under the falling plaster, the dust is reduced. It’s that fall from wall to floor that releases so much mess, so any attempt to reduce the movement is helpful.
Remember to cover your eyes
My grandson soon realised that he needed his sunglasses on to stop the dust going in his eyes. Never mind that we told him from the outset!