Plaster was used in homes for many years up until drywall took over the market. Most of the reason that drywall is so much more common than plaster these days is that it is easier to work with. A couple of workers with drills can hang a sheet of drywall in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, workers have to first hang lath on the studs of a home and then smear plaster over them. Even though drywall is more convenient than plaster, if you have an older home with damaged plaster, plaster still offers good value, so you should repair your plaster rather than having it replaced.
The Real Cause of Cracked Plaster
As your house shifts and settles over time, the changes in the frame of the house can cause plaster to crack and separate from the lath structure behind it. If you simply fill cracks with a joint compound, you do nothing to prevent the plaster from slipping more, so you will end up with cracks if you don't do something to reattach the plaster to the lath work behind it.
The Disadvantages of Screws
If you try to reattach your plaster with screws, you spread the weight of the sagging plaster over a relatively small area. Even if you use plaster washers to spread the force applied by the screwed over a greater area, your plaster is not as secure as it could be. You need a system that will help the whole plaster adhere to the screws, and for this you need a plaster adhesive.
How to Use a Plaster Adhesive
A plaster adhesive will come in a two-part system. The first part of the system requires you to apply a conditioner to prepare the lath and the plaster for the glue. The second part of the system is the glue itself. The real trick to using the system is to get both the conditioner and the glue behind the plaster. To accomplish this, you will need to drill a serious of holes through your plaster all along your crack. You can then apply the conditioner and the glue. The next key is to use plaster washers and drywall screws to pull the plaster up against the lath so that you get a good bond. You can remove the screws and washers once the glue has had time to set.
Because plaster adhesive spreads the weight of the plaster over a greater area, you should get more permanent repairs than you would get by using screws. Plaster adhesive will help you to permanently secure your plaster so that you don't have to keep repairing the same crack over and over again. For assistance, talk to a professional like Painting By Jerry Wind.