Plastering is a crucial step in the construction and renovation of any building. It helps to create smooth surfaces on walls, ceilings, and floors, providing an ideal base for painting or wallpapering. However, one of the most critical aspects of plastering is allowing enough time to dry properly. The drying time can vary depending on various factors such as temperature, humidity levels, the thickness of the plaster coat, and the type of plaster used.
At Northampton Plastering Pros, we understand the importance of proper plaster drying times. Rushing the drying time can lead to cracking and other issues in the finished product. We always leave enough time for each coat of plaster to dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step. Our experienced team knows how to properly assess these factors to ensure top-quality results for our clients. We prioritise customer satisfaction through every process step, including proper plaster drying times.
Factors affecting drying times
The drying time of plaster is dependent on various factors. The thickness of the plaster layer, humidity levels, temperature, and ventilation can all affect how quickly or slowly the application dries. A thicker layer of plaster will take longer to dry than a thinner one. It’s important to note that over-thick layers may also lead to cracking or shrinkage during drying.
Humidity levels play a significant role in determining the drying time of plaster. High humidity levels will slow the drying process, while low levels result in faster drying times. Similarly, temperature affects how quickly or slowly moisture evaporates from wet surfaces like freshly applied plaster.
Good ventilation is critical for the quick and even drying of freshly applied plaster. Adequate airflow helps remove moisture from the surface and prevents dampness from accumulating around it, which may cause it to take longer to dry thoroughly.
Different types of plaster and their drying times
There are three main types of plaster commonly used for interior walls, each with unique properties and drying times. Firstly, gypsum plaster is the most common type made from a mix of powder and water. It sets quickly but can take up to a week to fully dry before it’s safe to paint or decorate over it. Secondly, lime plaster takes much longer to dry than gypsum but is more breathable, making it ideal for older buildings with damp problems.
Finally, cement-based plaster is the most durable and slowest-drying option, requiring time to cure properly. This plaster can take up to 28 days to completely dry before decorating can begin. It’s essential to take your time with the drying process, as this could cause cracks or other damage in the long term.
How to speed up the drying process
If you’ve just finished plastering a wall or ceiling, you’ll be eager to complete the job as soon as possible. Unfortunately, one of the most time-consuming stages is waiting for the plaster to dry. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to speed up the process and cut down on drying times.
Firstly, ensure good ventilation in the room. Open windows and doors, use a fan or dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air. Also, avoid over-troweling during application since this can result in a denser surface that takes much longer to dry.
Secondly, consider using heat sources such as heaters or heat lamps but don’t place them too close to avoid damage. You could also point fans at walls that need drying, which helps evaporate water molecules.
Lastly, check with your local hardware store for chemical additives that help speed up drying times without compromising quality or durability. These relatively easy-to-use products will decrease waiting time by about 30 per cent.
The risks of rushing the drying process
Rushing the drying process of plaster can lead to many problems, including cracking, crumbling and, ultimately, damage to the surface. One of the most common reasons for these issues is applying too many layers in a short amount of time. While this may speed up the process, it often has the opposite effect, as each layer needs sufficient time to dry before another one is added. Therefore, taking shortcuts when it comes to plastering drying times is not worth risking long-term damage and costly repairs down the line.
In the construction world, patience is a virtue that can bring about quality results. It is particularly true regarding plastering and the associated drying times. While rushing through things to finish the job quickly may be tempting, taking the time to allow proper drying can make all the difference in the finished product.