I'm repairing/replacing a lath & plaster external wall in a tenement flat. It has been very badly mould damaged by long term damp, the source of which has now been fixed. The plaster was in very poor condition and most of this has now been removed, however the laths are also rotten. I'm not sure yet if the studs are too.

I'm concerned that if I continue removing all the damaged material, that I might bring the cornicing down (which actually is also damaged) - would that affect how the ceiling is held up? Also the window frame- is that held in place by the material I'm removing?

If so I think I might have to get someone more qualified in.. but would be much better to continue doing it myself. As long as the window frame will hold in place, and the ceiling, then I can continue. Advice much appreciated..

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Some pictures would be useful here. Oct 29, 2016 at 11:34
  • Thanks Daniel, I can't add pics til Monday but will do so.
    – Purkle
    Oct 29, 2016 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


If the lath is rotted the supports are probably also damaged, I would add some temporary support inside by placing a board on the ceiling close to the wall and one on the floor held in by studs wedged in place (nothing nailed the top and bottom boards protect the ceiling and floor). It will take 2 people to do this and add enough supports to make sure if while removing the rotted material your wall will not sag, without support. I have repaired very old homes that the owner was trying to repair some dry rot and when he removed the external siding the roofline dropped almost 4 inches damaging the roof and the plaster inside. Once supports are in place the exterior can be safely removed and any rotten studs can be cut and replaced. When all the work is done the inside temporary studs can be knocked out and used on the next project.

  • Good advice, but pull off more plaster to find out the extent of the damage before you start shoring things up. You might be lucky and have intact studs.
    – User95050
    Oct 29, 2016 at 23:37

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