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Re: GSBN:mesh reinforcing for earth plasters
We have used fiberglass mesh (think dryvit) extensively in both
earthen and lime plasters, and it works great. The tricky part is
attaching it to the structure- it needs to be wrapped around a wooden
or other strip, and the strip nailed in place. If you just try to
staple or nail it, it pulls apart. It's also expensive, about $90
for a 37" by 150 foot roll. But we use it exclusively on exterior
transitions between bales and wooden members, because metal lath just
doesn't work well around here.
I have mostly used a brand called Fiberlath, but Sto and Dryvit make
similar products. The trick is finding a material with large enough
openings. The usual synthetic stucco meshes have holes of roughly
1/8"; not big enough. The mesh with larger holes- 3/8 or 1/2"- is
usually designated as a "heavy duty mesh." They use it for extra
reinforcing of areas that are expected to take unusual abuse, like
impacts. You should be able to find it by calling around to masonry
supply yards. It's a bit difficult to find out this way (synthetic
stucco, thankfully, is one form of uglification that has not caught
on in clapboard country) but I think it should not be difficult in CA.
Our usual technique is to spray or trowel on a coat of plaster, work
the mesh in, and then apply more to completely imbed it. We do both
of these coats at once, because if the mesh is simply troweled into
the surface of the first coat, its natural springiness can cause it
to jump back out. We also want to make sure that the mesh layer
doesn't become the weak point of connection between two coats.
Best of luck,
PO Box 107
463 Main St.
Ashfield, MA 01330 USA