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I have lath and plaster in my bathroom. The west wall in the bathroom keeps crumbling into a powdery substance. My dad has fixed it a number of times but it keeps reappearing. The powdery area is all around the window and up on the ceiling. I don't see any water or feel any moisture on the wall.

How do I stop this pattern?

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was it ever painted or is it bare plaster/spackle from previous repairs? – DA01 Apr 18 '12 at 3:20

I recommend replacing all or part of the wall with drywall. Specifically, greenboard. If you patch only part of the wall you may need to use furring strips or use a thicker greenboard to make it flush.

As a bonus, if you rip apart part of the wall you may find there is something else hidden back there that is causing this issue which you can address at that time.

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Greenboard is OK, but I'd suggest going with one of the newer paperless boards (such as DensArmor--which uses a fiberglass surface)) – DA01 Apr 18 '12 at 3:21

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