Historc plaster ceilings are particularly liable to damage and deterioration, so it is important you can rely on a complete service to survey and restore your plasterwork from any professionial.
LATH & LIME PLASTERWORK
A traditional plasterwork technique, lath and lime plasterwork requires maintenance over time to ensure that its natural appearance is maintained. As lath and lime plasterwork was installed as two separate elements, walls and ceilings made in this style require a thorough survey of all layers and it si necessary to the integrity of both the visible lime plasterwork and the supporting wooden laths, identifying any areas that require restoration or securing. When surveying a lime plaster ceiling, this will involve checking for degradation both above and below the ceiling and for checking the securing mechanisms for the laths as most laths were secured using iron nails, and not stainless steel nails, which means that the nails rust over time and are a potential point of failure.
Parget (pronounced ParJet), pargetting, parging, pargework
Pargetting is the art, brought in from Italy, of highly decorative plasterwork, mostly seen on ceilings and sometimes on the outside of buildings as comb-work and used to create interesting effects from sunlight or even decoratively.
Sometimes the most spectacular pargetting is also seen on buildings as external decoartive friezes. (In some cases, idiot energy-saving salesmen have also recommended external insulation cladding be added on top of these decorative masterpieces).
After WW2, the urgent need for new and refurbished houses led to the widesprerad aadoptoni of external cement render and the rapid loss of the abiliity to parget. Unfortunately many people do not recognise old parget and ornamental plasterwork for the valuable antique that it is and whiilst hundreds of pounds will be spent to restore a 300 year old table, unfortunately many fine examples of parget are simply removed and skipped. The fiine examples are the Georgian houses with their symmetrical flat surfaces ……until you pass a meedieval building with old parget dates back to a time well before the genteel Georgian houses, when youu will stand there and marvel that anyone has the skill to do this and that people wanted spectacuular plaster and not the current flat boring plaster that we use today.