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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    Default radiant ceiling heat

    HI; I have a small home built on a slab in approx. 1950's the heat is radiant coils in the ceilings. The existing paint (popcorn/textured) in the living room and kitchen is cracked badly and the hall is just paint peeling off. This weekend my son and I stripped the textured/popcorn off the living ceiling - in areas the joint taped was so dry in came off with the paint and other places deeper paint or maybe plaster came off in large pieces. We were not being rough where the cracks were is the deeper damage. It appears as though there is horse hair plaster and there are coils exposed.
    My question: what do I do now?
    Thanks; Vinetta

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: radiant ceiling heat

    Sounds like someone repaired the existing ceiling using the wrong materials.
    First drywall mud or joint compound should not be used over a plaster base it will fail and heat will cause it to fail at a faster rate.
    For repairs you should NOT use any plaster containing Vermiculite or perlite these plaster products will offer a greater resistance to the flow of heat.
    repairs should be made using a sand based plaster or a Woof Fiber plaster.
    Match the existing base plaster for repairs as close as possible.
    Also check to see if at some point the heating system was upgraded make sure the temp of the heating coils do not exceed 115 deg.as plaster will start to fail at about 125 deg.
    Also the popcorn texture was not a good choice as this also is not a good conductor of heat.
    Use a smooth white finish.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago

    Default Re: radiant ceiling heat

    It is not clear whether this is hot water or electric coils in the ceiling, either way, I have never understood the logic of putting heat sources in the ceiling? I want my feet warm and my head cool! Further, it seems that you are asking for trouble when you embed coils/piping in a ridged material and then rapidly heat and cool it. Just seems like it begs for cracking. Same problem can occur if the paint is not well bonded to the plaster, it begs for peeling. Add to this that it is a crap shoot whenever you want to mount something to the ceiling or have to breach the ceiling for whatever reason. Back in the 50's, air-conditioning was extremely rare in homes, so the lack of ducting was not a concern.

    Anyway, Clarence has once again has shared his wealth of knowledge. Such knowledge is rare now a days. A good plasterer is hard to find, or even a bad one!

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