How Much To Repair Water Damaged Lath Ceiling: Finance Guide

Perhaps you’re here because you currently need answers on how much to repair water damaged lath ceiling, or you’re just entertaining your curiosities regarding this topic; whatever your reasons are, leave it to this article to fulfill your queries and interests.

Explore the steps below, and slowly understand all the basics that you need to know regarding lath and plaster ceilings. 

how much to repair water damaged lath ceiling


Understanding What Is Lath Ceiling

Lath ceilings are narrow strips of wood covered with plaster. This kind of ceiling had been present since the 17th century but only became popular around the 18th century.

Typically, a lath and plaster ceiling is created by horizontally placing the narrow strips of wood on ceiling joists; then, plaster is applied and forced into the gaps between the lath. You’ll need three coats of plaster; after drying the last coating, you can begin with the application of primer and paint.

Here is a list of lath and plaster ceiling features that you should take note of when deciding to get one:

  1. It is susceptible to vibration, settlement, and water. Those factors might lead to plaster cracking or wooden laths breaking.
  2. Modern lath and plaster are feasible yet costly.
  3. It would need routine inspections and maintenance to ensure that it isn’t sagging or cracking.
  4. A well-maintained lath and plaster can last longer. There were even a few cases where this endured for centuries.
  5. It provides good insulation.
  6. It helps prevent fire from spreading.
  7. It has good sound-proofing quality.
  8. You can use it for places that have unusually shaped walls and ceilings.


Assessment Of Lath And Plaster Ceiling Damage

When a lath and plaster ceiling is damaged, you’ll have to watch out for these signs to prevent further damages or casualties from happening:

  1. When plaster starts to separate from the lath, gets into contact with water, or becomes exposed to excessive vibrations, cracks might appear. The appearance might be like fine lines that are hard to identify or spider web-like cracks.
  2. Look out for visible spots of moisture on the plaster ceiling.
  3. The bubbling of paint might indicate high moisture content on the plaster. Water might have pooled, causing the paint to expand.
  4. The sagging might be due to long-time usage without maintenance or plaster coming off the lath.
  5. Uneven bumps or ridges might also appear, so look out for that.

If you want to evaluate your lath and plaster ceiling conditions, you’ll need to get a good view of it. For this, you’ll need a ladder tall enough that your head can reach the ceiling.

Stand on the ladder, look through the ceiling slowly, and check for the signs mentioned earlier that might indicate damage. Repeat this to other corners of the room and ensure that you’ll not miss any cues.

Pressure tests like pushing on the presumed sagging areas of the plaster are actions only recommended to a professional. Casually doing it might trigger your ceiling to fall into pieces and endanger you. 

To further understand water damage through similar circumstances, visit this article about how to conceal water damaged plywood on ceiling or this concerning how to fix bubbled water damaged ceiling paint.


Should it be replaced or repaired?

The best way to know if it is repairable or in need of replacement is by assessing the degree and area of damage. If the damage is extensive and affects most of the plaster on your ceiling, thoroughly replacing it would be a good choice. 

Quick fixes would do if the plaster is still firm and only some part was damaged. A professional can assist you when you don’t know how to assess the degree and area of damage.


How much would it cost to repair a water damaged lath ceiling?

For preparation purposes, it is best to know how much would be the cost for repairing or replacing lath and plaster ceiling damages.

According to HomeGuide, lath and plaster ceiling repairing cost starts at $200 up to $3,000 depending on the damage. The patching of small holes or cracks ranges from $200 to $500, and a whole replacement ranges from $750 to $3,000. 

Some might charge you based on the area of damage. The estimated price per square foot ranges from $5 to $125.

Expect the cost of severe damages to increase. You can consider choosing cheaper alternatives; you can ask for a professional’s opinion on this.

If you’re interested to know more, you can see this regarding how much does lath and plaster costs to replace.


Can You Fix It By Yourself?

Most suggest leaving repairing, replacing, or adding lath and plasters on the ceiling to the professionals. Attempting the task by yourself without prior experience and knowledge might cause more damage, casualties, or an unseemly-looking top.

Spare your effort and time to a task that you’re more familiar with, and call a professional for assistance on these laborious tasks.



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