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What kind of walls are these?

I have a home in the northeast that was built around 1950. I am attempting to fix a crack on what I thought was a plaster wall. As I pealed back a previous repair to the crack I noticed that the material seems to be particle board with plaster on top. Behind the wall is a 4 inch space then cinder block. I had purchased plaster washers to shore up the crack and was planning on using a three foot roll of fibermesh and an application of joint compound to recover the wall. The plaster washers do not grip the material. I can get them to grip on two studs that I managed to find.

What material is the wall made from? And will the washers still work for whatever this material is?

Hank Bauer
Re: What kind of walls are these?

My guess is the wall substrate is a product called ROCK LATH it would be 3/8 inch thick with a 3/8 inch of plaster.
If you can see the back side the rock lath would be 16" X 48 " nailed to the studs.

Re: What kind of walls are these?

If the "particle board" is straw-colored, then you have celotex. If it's darker brown, it's beaverboard, which is worse. Celotex with three coats of plaster was used for walls and ceilings around the 30's in my area. It's somewhat satisfactory on the walls, but a real fiasco on ceilings, as it sags and sags. Never seen beaverboard w/three coat plaster on it, but it's another depression-era economizing move to find a cheaper wall material. Beaverboard was made from processed agricultural byproducts, not beavers ;-)

Re: What kind of walls are these?

a nickname for it around here is suicide board, if it catches fire theres little chance of putting it out

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