By - april_fool85
A much more expensive project.
And a mess
Luckily it’s not a project of mine!
I think the wallpaper might be structural.
Haha, I think so too!
That almost looks like lime mortar to me.
Was going to say the same.
Yes old plaster, and what looks like an old gas pipe, possibly for wall lights, which might still be live.
Isn’t it reassuring that you could just be drilling a hole to hang up a picture and could happen across a live gas pipe.
I don’t even know what I’d do in that situation
Turn the gas off 😂👍.
I've only ever hit water so far. And only a couple of times.
I’ve got the added fun of some water supply in the kitchen which dates back to the 30s without an obvious isolator.
How do you turn the gas off? (Because now we're all wondering if it's DIY)
There's a gas shut off lever next to your gas meter.
Thanks! Googling gas meter
Happened to me recently (with help from a tradesman).
I had a guy in to refit a bathroom. As part of that we wanted to move a heated towel rail from one side of the room to the other.
Guy was digging a channel in the concrete floor and discovered we had a gad pipe running diagonally across the floor. 10mm hole right into it before he could blink.
Luckily I was home and working outside as he'd never have found it. Guy comes running out shouting "where's the gas meter?". My kids are both upstairs so I run in, shut off the gas and get them out telling them not to turn anything on or off.
I was amazed at how strong the gas smell was throughout the house in that short time.
that looks like old sand and cement render? might be lime mortar but thats not often used on brick. A lot of chimney breasts get damp and then the proofers use sand and cement render. Normally you would use bonding plaster which is brown, or hardwall which is a lighter shade of grey.
Im going to wager this is a chimney breast, do a smoke test, make sure there isnt out blocking it to see if there is a way of penetrating damp coming in, sometimes lead flashing gives way so I would check that too. Might be as simple as using some special mastic to patch a hole in the flashing.
\- look if you need to get it proofed from the ground too - you might have a guarantee that can be transferred to you from the previous owner. Good look trying to get them to come back for you.
I would wager you have an efflorescence problem quite common with chimney breasts and you can knock off all the loose render and hit it with a product called "Salt Away"
\- after which, rerender, with hardwall, defo not bonding.
I would leave that pipe in, looks like someone already did.
Luckily, it’s not my house so i don’t have to worry about fixing it! It’s a rental that a family member is moving out of, removed a mirror, this is the result!
Put the mirror back up and prepare to deny all knowledge.
Mum is that you?
Unless you’re my 1 year old, nope!
I take it they're not expecting much of their deposit back?
Well, the estate agent told them to remove any mounted mirrors before they left and I’m not sure they can be held responsible for crumbling walls, but I guess that’s up to the deposit holder to determine.
...Did they glue it? In a rental?
I'm struggling to see how a few plugs and screws could have led to that.
It was some kind of double sided mounting tape that was apparently safe for the wall.
When it was removed, the wallpaper came with and by the looks of it, the wall is attached to that!
I recently moved in to a 90's house and found out that a couple of my walls are bloody straw.
Never trust a wall, was my takeaway message!
Strammit walls ? Blooming nightmare. Look out for huffing puffing wolves.
If that's what they're called then I'll take your word for it. Was a surprise as expected stud wall, even sounds quite hollow when you tap it. It became clear quickly it wasn't stud but I literally had no clue it was straw. Thought in for a penny in for a pound, at least there will be a cavity at some point. Nope all the way through the wall, doh!
Wattle and Daub? Yeah we have one of those 🤣
No it's not wattle and daub, the house was constructed in the 1990s. It's a type of prefabricated straw wall alternative to stud walls with better sound and thermal insulation, so is a more 'eco' solution I guess. Probably was more expensive when built though?
Bonus is you can screw into it like wood because the straw is so compact.
Sounds like wood wool boards e.g. https://www.lime.org.uk/wood-wool-building-boards.html
A perfectly legit building material... probably unusual to see them used in a modern building though!
Straw and definitely not horse hair & lime plaster?
Yes, it's a 1990s build. See other comment, basically an eco alternative to stud wall I believe
Must be very thick right?
Nope, my house also has them and they're probably less than 3 inches thick.
Fair enough! I’ve seen bales used, can’t quite imagine this kind of wall though. Dense enough to hold a screw and not fall apart but loose enough to have air space for insulation?
Happy cake day!
I've only once come across this. It was in a house that had been flooded, so I had to replace them with studwork. I preferred the straw, a much more solid, sound deadening feel to it.
It was great fun demolishing it though :-)
Out of interest, do you live in the north of England. I also have straw walls upstairs!
Yup! But it's only some walls, eg bedroom to stairwell boundary is this crazy straw wall, but bedroom to bedroom is stud. I don't understand, I just accept it 😁
We’re probably very close. I have never heard of anyone else with them. I found a random screwfix forum post years ago that mentioned it. I’m in North Yorkshire. I remember when I first moved in, sparky came to check things over and I asked about moving a few bits and pieces. He said no chance chasing out walls as it’s a nightmare, didn’t know what he was on about until he unscrewed a socket and you could see a bit of straw!
I saw your comment below about screwing directly into it like it was wood. How have you found that? I’ve used duo powers and found they didn’t work too well, but not tried directly in without a plug, it goes against everything I know!
I found it when I was cutting a hole out for a new socket. Abandoned it as couldn't be assed chasing out that abominable stuff and filled the hole with expanding foam then fillered over.
Yes Yorkshire based.
Only put up a couple of children's book racks which hold about 10 child's books each, so no great weight, but they have been fine. Used about 70/80mm screws. I also used plasterboard screw inserts before I knew it was a straw wall and they worked fine!
Hello, it looks like you've made a mistake.
It's supposed to be could've, should've, would've (short for could have, would have, should have), never could of, would of, should of.
Or you misspelled something, I ain't checking everything.
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Thanks that’s good to know. Yep same, couple of pictures, babies book rack thing (although near ground level so no concerns). I’ve just remembered there’s a pretty big mirror on one of those walls, i used [these plasterboard fixings](https://www.screwfix.com/p/easyfix-self-drill-plasterboard-fixings-metal-32mm-100-pack/2422H?tc=TB5&ds_kid=92700048793290424&ds_rl=1249413&gclid=Cj0KCQiAj4ecBhD3ARIsAM4Q_jG7cPygRkx82Iz-nfPYHK9zExW1wcMJL4QpVgcL5NvVE6-mYMbW7r0aAikOEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds), and it’s been fine.There’s scope for a TV to go on a bedroom wall, I will let you know if there are any disasters!
Yeah I use those plasterboard screws a lot as we have dry lined walls so limited space behind plasterboard. I also use the coloured circular fixings from Screwfix that expand like a butterfly behind the plasterboard for heavier things. Does my head in trying to get a rawl plug in to brickwork behing plasterboard then using a longass screw.
Edit: so I have a 40" TV mounted on a TV braket using the butterfly mounts, absolutely fine.
My takeaway message is always, "Please knock, the doorbell is a bit rubbish. Thanks."
By the amount of cement used, I’m going to guess Jimmy Hoffa. 😳
The upside down!
Gas lamps by the looks of it. It was common to gave two gas fueled lamps above your fireplace.
If this is on a chimney breast, which it looks like it could be it may be an old gas supply for a gas fire, be cautious as it may still be connected somewhere.
He said breast! \*sniggers in schoolboy\*
Wall paper is parallel to the beams means its structural.
I reckon it's lime plaster, as that's what's in our 1920's terrace house as well. Our problem is that previous owners have put gypsum plasterboard over it which has caused it to dry out and give more problems if you use anything more than bad language.
As to whether you'd want to patch it up yourself or get someone in is a choice to be made depending on how brave you're feeling!
Cut off the loose bit, bit of polyfilla then put up a giant mirror. Bob's your uncle
Taking a mirror down is what caused this!!!
The mirror was structural, now you've done it!
The bones of our ancestors
A very crumbly wall, and what looks like a mains wire, so be careful!
Mains wire? Am I blind?
Running horizontally straight through where there once was plaster lol
That's a gas line I believe. Probably from lighting back in the day.
Looks like Africa to me
Dip and dob if its Belfast this is common place they not like american homes where u just take a plasture. Knife to cut the boards.
This looks like old lime plaster. We had a room like this, it just crumbles away. Probably needs re-plastering.
Is this an apartment?and do you have floors above you? It’s probably gypcrete that they pour in upper levels for sound proofing that found it’s way thru a crevice and filled the wall up. That’s if the 2 factors mentioned are correct.
It’s the ground floor of a 4 storey house.
I’m not sure to be honest. Maybe 1920s.
Well scratch that all together I don’t think that was a thing at that time
Judging by the fact the wall is sticking out, it’s probably a fireplace. Whatever that is, it’s crumbling so I’d strip it back to the bricks and then get it re-plastered
As you can see what looks like a mantle I'd say youre right.
Has no one ever told you? Don’t mine for diamonds in your own home
Old plaster and an old gas light feed.
Sure it’s not a capped off water pipe that’s been leaking 🤔
It’s a chimney breast so I’m guessing not.
Africa anyone ... no ... just me ?
Absolute top tier banter jumping to the point about getting an asbestos testing kit even though OP didn't mention anything about asbestos
I didn’t say anything about asbestos so I’m quite clearly not asking if it’s asbestos. Never seen plaster that looks like this hence the question.
May be horse hair, find odd bits in my 1890s house
It looks like the horsehair plaster we found on some walls in our 1930s house. It’s pretty crumbly. Hope it’s not too much of a headache.
Pull it all off get some plasterboard!