Plaster problem...

3 Jul 2004
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United Kingdom
Hi All,
I have just stripped the wallpaper from my dining room and have discovered some problems with the plasterwork. My house is a victorian house and the problem wall has a chimney breast and has also been damp proofed. The damp proofing area is fine (and not damp), the plaster is strong and smooth, but my problems are mostly with the chimney breast and the old plaster above the damp course.
The old plaster seems to be a browny colour (as opposed to the pink of the newer stuff over the damp course), and seems very soft and crumbly. When removing a couple of screws from the wall, big holes formed. I can tell that the plaster is not well attached and that if I pulled where the holes are I could easily remove more, though the finish on this crumbly plaster is actually OK.

So, what should I do? Fill the holes, and then skim the wall, or pull off all the loose plaster and replaster the wall? How much would I expect to pay a plasterer to patch this up and skim? The wall is about 4 metres by 2 metres (up to the picture rail which I'm not currently planning to remove - or would I need to remove this?).
Any advice very much appreciated.

Secondly, under the wallpaper on the outside wall was a thin layer of polystyrene. Would this have been attached to the wallpaper originally? What is it for? Insulation maybe, or is it related to the damp course?

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i know some one who put polystyrene up b4 wall paper, it was to insulate the room

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