Fixing skirting, help needed

14 Nov 2017
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United Kingdom

1st time poster, so I'll try and give as complete information as I can, all help appreciated.

I've just moved into a house and at one part of the living room, the mdf was so bevelled away from that wall that there was no way it could be filled in the normal way.
Looking closely at it, the skirting had been glued on without the use of any nails, and over time the kink in the skirting had pulled itself off of the wall.
There was no way I could push the skirting back to anywhere good enough to fill.
The problem gets worse as the plasterboard was dot and dabbed onto the breezeblock inner wall, so there isn't even a wood baton to try and screw the skirting onto.
Also, the plasterboard under the skirting had also broken due to the skirting twisting.
So, I've removed the section of the skirting and now have to work out a method to get it back on.
The floor is concrete, so I either need to leave a gap in any replacement plaster I put behind it, or use something that is impervious to moisture.
My current thinking is to use some expanding foam on the bottom (effectively creating a gap), patch up to the plasterboard above, and then re-glue a replacement piece in.
If I can't get a decent match on the skirting, I will saw slots down the back of the removed piece to try and relieve the bowing.
Does my method sound viable, or is there a better way or better product to use?
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Hello Steven,

You're raising a lot of points in one post.

1) Don't understand what MDF you are talking about, is that the skirting, or something else?
2) Skirting can be glued or nailed, I've done both doesn't really matter how you do it, stick it on with expanding foam if it stays there, it's personal preference.
3) Not a problem to stick skirting in under tension a good many of the ones in my house went in like that and no probs two years later. I tended to use sticks like sh*t and some props or other bits of timber across the room. I may have put in some nails to hold things together as well. For stud walls I tended to put an extra stud (two one above the other) so there was something to nail/screw into if needs be, but I think I stuck those as well in the end.
4) About the concrete, if there's a requirement that plaster doesn't touch a screed floor that's the first I've heard of it. I suppose if you have no DPM then maybe you need to think like that, I know plaster transmits moisture faster/further than bricks. I didn't bother about that with my screed floor, but then it has a DPM, 10cm celotex and then another DPM over. Maybe that's different to yours.
5) If you are worried about damp, I'd avoid the foam, and just go with a batten fixed to the wall, if it makes you happy, put if above ground level. Foam is going to tend to trap moisture in.
6) I've heard about cutting slots in skirting, but that is generally for going round a gradual bend rather than making up for ****ty skirting. It didn't work very well for me. I ended up cutting sections with mitres instead and I decided that looked fine (I think I did four for a 45 deg bend). Not sure why you'd want to do this on a straight wall, if the skirting was that far warped I'd be inclined to replace the lot, or (if the damp did it) it seems you have bigger problems that should be looked at.

But seriously, either way I don't think your house is falling down if you get this wrong, so do whatever works ;).
Thanks for the reply, I appreciate you taking the time to write so much.

The mdf I refer to is the skirting board. I appears to have got bevelled as it was cut a bit longer than it should have been then just jammed in.
I suppose the glue held for a while, then started to let go....the house is 14 years old, so who knows when it happened.

The plaster not touching the concrete floor is from advice given to others on other threads I looked at. They suggest that the DPM is usually an inch or two higher than the concrete floor level. Though I have seen this contradicted elsewhere..!

The slotting I did just makes it easier to get the skirting to sit flat, it takes less pressure than previously. My hope is that when I glue it back on it will be less inclined to peel itself off again.

I've bought some plaster, so I think now that I will put a spacer on the floor that is impervious to moisture, and then fill up to the plasterboard with plaster. I should then have a solid and even surface to reattach the skirting. But I will keep your advice in mind as I work my way round the house.

After looking around at loads of websites, I can't find an exact match for the skirting (thickness, height and profile are all a bit different), so I will try and use what I have and fill and sand the joins. They'll be hidden behind furniture once we are finished anyway, so hopefully it'll be all right.

Thanks again.
If the damage is to MDF skirting then you can cut it slightly shorter and refit with adhesive and a long screw drilled and plugged to the centre will take out the bow and pull it tight to wall.
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I guess you mean DPC not DPM? DPC - Bit between the bricks on outside walls, DPM - the bit under the concrete floor. It will ideally sit about 10cm below the surface of the concrete floor and come up at the edges to meet the DPC, but who knows what corners were cut if you have damp problems in a 14-year old house?

Not sure what you mean by 'plaster'. Do you mean bonding? Or filler? I would never bother to put plaster or filler behind where a skirting will go. The plaster is there to make things look nice, once the skirting is over it, there's no point. It would be quicker and easier IMHO, to just find some timber offcuts (ply might not be a bad choice depending on the gap) and use them as spacers to get the skirting to the right angle against the wall. Yes, if there is plaster hanging below the height of the skirting by all means use it to fix, but I don't think it needs to be there, and I don't think I'd put it there if it was missing. You may need to wedge some filler in at the top if there is too much of a gap.

One last (minor) thing: I would never fill and sand joins in skirting. The filler is for the screw/nail holes. Between the boards just use caulk, or you could use silicon. You can expect them to move, and most wood fillers I've used don't like movement.

BTW: There is a 'thanks' button you can hit if you find anything I've said useful :).
I did mean DPC, I can see the edge of it just above the concrete floor.
I'm actually using an under plaster, the plasterboard broke in line with the top edge of the skirting when it twisted and I thought I'd need an edge to align it at the top.
And yes, I'll use caulk for covering the gaps between the skirting, hopefully I can get it to look okay.
Anyway, sounds like I have gone a bit overboard, and labour heavy, just as well I have some time.....
I would just glue the skirting on with expanding foam, then make good the top edge with filler. Simples.
I did think of that, Gerrydelasel, but on another forum the advice was that the foam filler wouldn't be strong enough. I've nearly finished now, just need to gripfill the board back on now. Cheers.
Foam adhesive (not filler) is very effective.certainly prefer it to gripfill.

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