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  • Plaster cracks always come back, right?"
    Not always. Regarding walls, if the framing and foundation are stable, the lath is secure to the framing and the plaster is secure to the lath, plaster cracks generally WON'T come back IF those cracks are repaired correctly. Correct repair takes several more steps and more time than the average 'repair' person is aware of or willing to invest. Estate Plaster employs a minimum of two preventative steps and depending on the situation, sometimes three to reinforce the repair and ensure new material bonds solidly to old. There are many variables that can cause a plaster problem, but our mission is to determine the root cause and correct (if possible) or address it properly for a long-lasting repair. Ceilings, unlike most wall cracks, are affected more directly by gravity and often suffer from a failing attachment issues. In house built in the 1950's inherent fault can lead to a catastrophic collapse, often proceeded by long, straight cracks and sagging, which may or may not be noticed dealt with until its too late. This may sound drastic, but we have a unique tried and true solution for these ceilings that does NOT involve tearing them out! Our process does NOT involve adding more weight (a drywall-over approach which most contractors offer) that may compromise your ceiling even more! Estate Plaster will perform (and demonstrate to you, the homeowner) an on-site analysis to determine probability of a potential ceiling collapse. If that is a concern, we offer a 'No Crack/No Collapse Guarantee' on when we use our 'Bullet-Proof" procedure. In 3 to 5 days, your ceiling will look brand new without the mess of tearing it out or adding depth and losing crown molding detail.
  • Will insurance cover my plaster repair?
    Maybe... if your damage was caused by a burst pipe, tree damaged roof or any other 'act of God' not considered a deferred maintenance issue it SHOULD be covered. However, if you let your roof deteriorate and you have had a long term slow leak, insurance generally considers that a maintenance issue and is not bound to cover that repair. Adjusters are generally guided by the clauses in your Homeowner's policy which spell out what they are and are not obligated to cover. That being said, either through ignorance of the policy or the disposition of their own hearts, they may deny a legitimate claim* or cover a claim they were not obligated to, so it isn't always by the book. You should know that the insurance company is obligated to replace like kind with like kind, so do not settle for drywall if you had plaster torn out. Generally the adjuster asks you to get three estimates. Out of the three, YOU decide which one you want to go with, even it is the most expensive. This is because if the repair fails, it is YOUR fault and they are not obligated to come back and fix it again as YOU were the one to choose the contractor. * When dealing with an adjuster, they use a program called Exact-a-mate, which often creates a low-ball estimate, especially when it comes to plaster repair, as it depends on assumptions of market rate. You can contest that amount if insurance company's adjuster allows an inadequate amount for a repair. On big claims, you may decide to employ a "public adjuster". This public adjuster will work FOR you to get the insurance company to pay out what is needed to have the proper repair. He or she is paid out of the proceedings of the insurance claim. You will not have to pay out of pocket for his services.
  • Should I cover over my ceiling with drywall or have the plaster repaired?
    Covering a plaster ceiling with drywall is a solution that is regularly offered by general contractors. When the only tool you have is a hammer....everything is a nail! Covering an ugly plaster ceiling with drywall might be cheap and may seem to take care of the problem, but done incorrectly, the drywall can detach or worse; the added weight of the drywall can pull the plaster ceiling down! Even done properly, the discriminating eye will pick up on the obvious flatness of drywall. Additionally, the often visible taped joints take away from the original character of the house. Furthermore, if you have plaster crown molding, you will lose some of the detail or 'reveal' of the molding. If its wood, it will have to be removed and replaced. Here at Estate Plaster, plaster ceilings can be permanently repaired without adding the extra weight of drywall, but that requires uncommon knowledge, skill and some labor. We specialize in repairing plaster ceilings and offer a guarantee that it won't crack, peel or collapse, if that is something you want. That being said, if you don't mind the uncharacteristic flatness of drywall, it can be safely used to cover a plaster ceiling....if the contractor or drywall installer knows what they are doing....and care to do it properly. That involves using screws (not nails) and furring strips, ensuring that the furring strips are secured to the framing. The biggest no-no is the installer simply shooting screws willy-nilly into the ceiling without regard to whether they are going into the framing. If you love the hand-crafted nature of plaster and want to maintain your home's unique nature, our "Bullet-Proof" permanent solution might be right for you. And you don't have to worry about a future failure caused by inadequate installation or a collapse due to the added weight of drywall. So there you have the end, you have to decide which is best for your home.
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