Why use Synthetic Plaster for cracked plaster repairs?

Posted: March 1, 2015

The simple answer is because cement-based plaster is brittle, crumbly and does not flex at all.

Buildings move, and timber-framed houses move the most. The fact that cement-based plasters cannot flex means that cracks can and often will occur at critical joints in the cladding. Since the cladding is directly fixed to the timber framing, cracking generally occurs where the sheets have been joined. Gaps in the plaster at these junctions provide a direct path for moisture to reach the timber framing of your home.

The photos below are of a house I drove past the other day.

Synthetic Plaster

The cracks in the plaster have been ground out and repaired with a cement-based product. The owner will have spent thousands on scaffolding and the entire house will be repainted once these ‘repairs’ are completed.

Sadly, the reason the cracks are there in the first place is that the cement-based plaster originally used to fill the joints in the substrate could not withstand the normal movement of this timber-framed house.

These ‘repaired cracks’ will re-crack within months. Why would you replace a failed material with the same thing?

We are often repairing other company’s work where cement-based plasters or even worse, ’crack fillers’ have been used, and usually within a couple of years of the work being completed. This often means repainting entire walls again – obviously a complete waste of money for the owners.

Synthetic plasters are not new. They have been used around the world and New Zealand since the first monolithic cladding systems were introduced. They are more expensive though, so cement based plasters are often used instead. In 8 years of Homesmart repairing thousands of cracks on hundreds of homes, how many of them were on houses were synthetic plaster was used? Unfortunatly none.


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