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Horsehair plaster

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
OK Guys,
Spent all weekend then some to scrape several layes of wallpaper/paint of out horsehair walls getting ready fore the plasterer to skim coat. He did the living room and the dining roon and whata difference!!!!!
My wifr asked "where did horse hair plaster come from? besides the obvious of the horse hair, where did it originate and why did they use it?

(woosta boy)
post #2 of 17

The hair was probably added to keep the plaster from developing cracks and maybe for some additional strength. Be careful with old plaster, it's been known to contain asbestos. Always a good ideal to have a sample analyzed by a qualified lab before you start to rip into it.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Just pulling/scraping the paper to get it ready to skim coat.
Plaster said he would take sare of any real bad spots
post #4 of 17
horsehair plaster uses the hair kinda like re-bar is used in concrete. sheeted blueboard was not around so it was common place to plaster over lathe strips spaced about 1/4" apart. the plaster was laid on alot thicker which was more prone to cracks and what not. the plaster used today can be laid alot thinner due to blueboard applacations and bonding agents. i think a skimcoat is the only way to go when remodeling. im sure someone can give a name and date history but that is the jist of it.
post #5 of 17
oh yeah. as far as asbestos is concerned. any disruption to the surface of a suspected area containing asbestos WILL result in airborne particles BUT minimal exposure is no worse than smoking cigarettes. asbestos poisoning is most common in our older folk and who were not educated on the dangers and proper handling. for a homeowner remodeling the best bet is to seal off the area your working in(plastic over doors, some kind of ventilation etc). then go get those masks doctors wear and get the work done as quickly as possible. clean the area real good and your all set. if you worry yourself to much and call pro's< they are gonna rape your wallet.i've seen the cost's involved and have worked with asbestos. if you just take precautions you will be fine. THIS IS STRICLY SMALL, ROOM BY ROOM REMODELING ADVICE!KEEP SMALL CHILDREN AND ELDERLY AWAY DURING PROJECTS!(just like everything else they are more at risk)
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
I found with using the steamer or a spray bottle with hot water and DIF or hot water and vinegar that there was not alot of dust.
Alot of wet mess but not alot of dust.
post #7 of 17

If asbestos is a concern, do yourself a favor and get the material tested before it is disturbed. The reason most ederly people are the ones with asbestos related illnesses, as stated by ms5712, is because the period between exposure and illness is typically 15 to 30 years. Asbestos is a known carcinogen as can cause the following: asbestosis (similar to emphasema), lung cancer, and mesothelioma (cancer of the lining around the stomach and lungs). Of these only lung cancer maybe curable. Asbestosis and mesothelioma as always fatal. There is no known safe dose. There have been documented cases of people with asbestos related illnesses who have had limited known exposures.

Those doctor's or dust masks are not acceptable for people working with asbestos fibers. The fibers are small and can easily penetrate the filter material. Do yourself a favor and do the proper research on the mattter. Massachussetts licenses contractors and workers handling asbestos materials. Here's agood link for info on regulations concerning asbestos in MA.

[This message has been edited by John E (edited 01-21-2003).]
post #8 of 17
i agree w/ john e for the most part if you are realy concerned get a pro.there have been documented cases of limited exposure but for the elderly, most come from when they worked with the stuff, they took no precautions because they were not aware of the dangers. i guess you would probably be better off w/ a resperator and a tyvek suit. thats how we did it when i was in the navy and im sure they have all the safety factors as top priority.if you hire a crew to do it you may as well hire someone to de-lead because if you got asbestos there is a 99.9% chance that you also have lead paint. i personally dont think you have anything to worry about doing what your doing.thats good thinking keeping the dust down w/ moisture.

[This message has been edited by ms5712 (edited 01-21-2003).]
post #9 of 17
I've never heard of asbestos possibly being used in some plaster walls.
It would not surprise me.............but this is the first I've ever heard it mentioned.
Is this a fact?
post #10 of 17
as a guy who put himself through school restoring victorian houses and one who owns a victorian fixer upper now......I an intimately familar with horsehair plaster.......the reason was to keep cracks from developing. And it was prety damn good, well at least as good as the foundation. Walls crack from settlment and no amoutn of horse hair will keep those cracks form advice n old plaster WALL PAPER..or ceiling paper......I just redid my dining room and it was either pull down an old plater ceiling or get creative with ceiling paper....I got creative and it turned out great..........old houses and wall paper are like 2 peas in a pod

John M
post #11 of 17
did it right. skimcoat it! all problems buried
post #12 of 17
ms..old house and burioed problem are mutallu exclusive I love old houses....anythign form 1920 or before has charater and is great.......I love em...

John M
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
My house is 92 yo, natural crown moldings in all rooms but 2 bedrooms where they painted ( that will be a long term project to strip the rooms back to natural)
a wood pillar on each side of the large opening between the dining room and the living room, an enclosed front porch with three swing out windows with screens, reminds me of a house in dennisport my family rented and my dad should have bought.
Our plans for that porch is adirondac chairs and a small fridge for "beverages".
We are putting replacement windows and having the house vinyl sided. We just can not live with the rattling windows and wood shingles in sh**t brown color, too many need to be replaced.
The quality of the woodwork and hardwood florrs is SO much better than new construction. A freind just spent alot on a new colonial, nice clean house, but the walls, woodwork and hardwwod floors look like cheap crap.
Old is better!!!!

post #14 of 17
Horsehare to asbestos to figerglass aka tigr hair,all good to breathe in.
post #15 of 17
i agree with ya. old houses have charachter which alot of houses built today lack. to think of them doing that quality work mostly without power tools is amazing. worcboy, i,d recomend fixing your roof then do your windows leaving the siding for last. you will get a much better job
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