Plaster ceiling finish - cracking

Old 07-07-16, 01:09 PM
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Plaster ceiling finish - cracking

Hi All,

I bought an old house in Denver, CO about a year ago and have been experiencing some of the plaster finish on the ceilings on the main level developing cracks and even portions falling off over the past year. The house is approximately 1800 ft[SUP]2[/SUP] and has a main level and a basement. We are only experiencing the cracking on the main level. One area (see pictures) is fairly significant and started about last September; we ended up pulling off the cracked pieces to prevent them from dropping. The other areas are in the bathroom and near the kitchen light fixtures and these cracks have been developing more recently and much slower.

I have done some digging online and found some similar issues with the diagnosis being that the plaster finish was incorrectly applied. I am really just trying to see if anyone would have an idea of why this is happening and what can be done to prevent/repair it. We don't have any water spots or stains in any of the areas, so I would not guess that it is a roof leak. The house was flipped right before we bought it, and they did a pretty poor job on a lot of their repairs, so I am nervous there may be some larger issue that needs addressing.

Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 07-07-16, 01:24 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

I'm not convinced that is plaster that is peeling but rather a skim coat or texture that was applied over the plaster. I assume there was some type of contaminant that was skimmed or textured over. If it was applied when it was too cold in the house that could be another possibility. Not sure there is a fix other than removing what is loose, proper prep and then re skimming it
Old 07-07-16, 02:16 PM
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That would make more sense. The people who flipped it applied this spray finish to all interior wall and ceiling surfaces in the house that has the textured finish shown in the photos. I am hoping they just applied it during a cold period which didn't allow it to properly bond to the plaster underneath. In the larger section that had cracked and we removed, there is some light surface cracking in the plaster layer beneath, and I was initially concerned that there may be some type of structural issue. I will try and get a better picture of that this evening.

Thanks for the help!
Old 07-07-16, 05:10 PM
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The cause might make a difference in the fix. How old is the house? How long was the house vacant? Did it sit unheated through a winter? It is possible that an unethical flipper might have covered up some pre existing damage long enough to sell he house. But it might be possible that a long period of vacancy aggravated some issues.
We await those other picture you mentioned.

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