How to Choose the Best Plaster Mesh for Strengthening our Wall
Plaster mesh is essential for internal and external use to stop the plaster from cracking and to increase its strength. Reinforcing mesh is like a skeleton for your wall, significantly extending the life of your plaster, particularly around areas of weakness like doors and windows. Plaster reinforcing mesh is also useful for stabilising surfaces that may be unstable and to prevent cracking.
Choosing the Right Mesh Type for the Job
There are several types of reinforcing mesh available, with different qualities depending on the type of application.
Fibre-glass mesh is characterised by its light weight and strength. Suitable for interior and exterior use, fibre-glass reinforcing mesh will not rust or decompose over time and is extremely hard-wearing and resistant to tearing. Fibreglass mesh such as that available from https://www.plasterers1stopshop.co.uk/plastering-amp-rendering-supplies-c-267/reinforcing-mesh-c-340 is safe and easy to handle with no sharp edges. It’s easy to cut with a knife or scissors, and there’s very little waste. Fibre-glass mesh is particularly suitable for use with ceilings where there is insufficient rigidity, and for corners where its flexibility ensures a neat finish. Fibre-glass mesh is also resistant to alkaline thanks to a latex-based coating that ensures the mesh has a lifespan as long as the plaster.
If the plaster layer is intended to be thicker than 3cm, then you’ll need to use a metal reinforcing mesh for extra strength. Chicken-wire mesh is a durable twisted woven mesh that is lightweight and won’t cause injury, although welded wire mesh or light expanded metal mesh may offer greater strength but will need an anti-corrosion coating for exterior use.
Installing Reinforcing Mesh
Fibre-glass mesh must be stapled to the wall before applying a thin coat of plaster to hold it in place. Once the plaster has gone off, you can apply another layer, ensuring the reinforcing mesh is well anchored to the wall.
When using a metal mesh, you’ll need to attach it securely to the wall with nails. First, cut the reinforcing mesh sheet to the correct size and put a nail in at one corner. Now tension the sheet by applying slight pressure and tack at the other corner and then in the middle. Keep nails at an equal distance from each other, and use 55-65mm nails so that you can hammer them in for three-quarters of the length and bend over the remaining quarter to securely trap the mesh.
Applications for Plaster Reinforcing Mesh
Reinforcing mesh can be used wherever you would use plaster, rendering or other finishing materials. It is also widely used as an anti-cracking solution for floor foundations and for straw bale constructions that are finished with a render coating.
The diverse range of reinforcing mesh materials, weights and weaves ensures that there’s a mesh to match any application or construction requirement. And by preventing cracks you’ll provide long-term consolidation of plaster, render and other finishing materials, whether you use anti-corrosive metal mesh or fibre-glass that has stability, elasticity and tear-resistance.