Sunday, January 17, 2010

In Perspective

Given what is going on in Haiti right now, my troubles following the earthquake here last week seem trivial, at best. I encourage everyone to donate to the relief in Haiti. Give what you can. There are a number of reputable agencies, but one place is The Clinton/Bush Haiti Fund. You can also text the word “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10.00 to the Red Cross.

I had planned not to do much this time of year. This is a good time of year to sit inside and watch football and that is really all I want to do. However, it pains me to see the damaged plaster in the dining room. I just finished that room {Sigh!}

I secured the edges of the big hole with plaster washers and then used the rotozip to grind the old plaster out of the dove-tail grooves. I also found additional damage above each head block on the door that leads to the foyer. And of course, everything is covered with plastic again {Sigh!!!}. I guess I’ll be spending my MLKJ Day troweling on plaster {Sigh!!!}.

Since I was making a mess anyway, I decided to go ahead and strip off the damaged plaster in the foyer, as well. That was going to be the next project anyway, so the earthquake just moved it up the schedule by a few months. I probably won’t do much else with this until March. Hopefully I can have the dining room back in one piece in 2 weeks.


Jayne said...

Thanks for posting the links to help the people of Haiti. Yes, your earthquake damage is far less than what Haiti is dealing with. Still, it has to be disheartening to see all your hard work on the floor instead of the walls.

Gayle A. Robison, DVM said...

Now I totally get why Casa Decrepit is getting drywall in place of their plaster.

Greg said...


I see that as a kind of a knee-jerk reaction. Instead of saying, "See, plaster fails", I see it has, "The plaster lasted just fine for 115 years through numerous earthquakes and then failed"

In the the last 15 years there were 2 other major quakes in the area, along with dozens of other earthquakes throughout the decades. The plaster held up fine through it all, and in fact, most of the walls did not fail in the earthquake a week ago.

So why now and why this wall. Well, that is the real question, and if you could answer that you could solve a lot of problems.

I'm not going to say that one system is inherently more stable in an earthquake, but it is wrong to say that plaster fails faster than sheetrock. Most of the plaster walls in my house are 115 years old and going strong.


Pandora said...

Now if you liked the beautiful decay of cracked walls with lath showing through (as I do), you could be lounging on the couch enjoying your football games! LOL I would have been loving all the new cracks and embracing the lovely decrepitude of it all :-)

Greg said...

I don't think I'm ready to go the "shabby sheik" route and have the exposed lath, but I do now consider plastic sheeting to be a viable material choice when decorating.



Hayduke said...


While I had %50,000 worth of damage to my house, not a single one of the wall and ceilings to which the fiberglass mesh treatment was applied suffered any damage at all. Not even a crack. I am now a true believer in this technique.

The worst damage was to a room that had been partially sheet rocked before we bought the house.

Hayduke said...

Just a follow-up. Based on my experience with this earthquake, there is no question in my mind lath and plaster holds up better than drywall in a shaker, and fiberglass mesh reinforced plaster holds up amazingly well. I was told that and now I have have had it demonstrated.

Now my chimney, well that is another matter.

Greg said...


I would agree with your assessment. Do you know which fiberglass treatment was applied? Was it Nu Wall?

Hayduke said...

This is the treatment I learned from Peter Santino when I took his Interior Finishes class at College of the Redwoods. You get the mesh at Hensels. It the same stuff you use to cover the joints in drywall, except you buy it in the full four foot roll. It is sticky backed and just rolls on over the base coat. Then you mud over it it. It really seems to work

I am going to be purchasing a roll to fix the damage in my house, and will have some extra. I can come over and show you how it works.

Greg said...

I'm familiar with Peter's work. That sounds like a home-made version of the NuWall product. I may try that when I get to the parlors. As you'll from today's post, I'm almost finished with the Dining Room.