Plaster is one of the most versatile construction materials in use. It can be used for everything from patching holes to creating decorative architectural features. Its uses and benefits are numerous, but the one thing that can make it tricky to work with is its drying time.
Depending on what type of plaster you’re using and the plastering supplies you have on hand, the drying time can vary significantly. Here, we look at the factors influencing plaster drying time.
One of the most critical factors affecting plaster drying time is the environment’s humidity level. Plaster needs moisture to cure and reach its full strength.
If the air is too dry, the plaster will dry too quickly and not reach its optimal strength. In contrast, the plaster will take too long to dry if the air is too humid. Ideally, you want the environment’s relative humidity to be around 60% to achieve the best results.
Just like humidity, the environment’s temperature can affect the drying time of plaster. The drying process will be slowed down when the temperature is too low. Likewise, the plaster will dry faster if the temperature is too high. Generally, you want to aim for temperatures between 18°C and 22°C to achieve the best possible drying times.
3. Air Circulation
The air circulation in the room can also impact the drying time of the plaster. Good air circulation encourages evaporation and helps to prevent damp spots from appearing on the surface. Plaster exposed to stagnant air will take much longer to dry and may end up cracking or shrinking due to inadequate drying.
4. Thickness of Application
The thickness of the plaster will also affect drying time. Thicker applications of plaster take longer to dry as the water has further to evaporate through. It is essential to use your plastering supplies to apply the plaster in thin layers to ensure that the drying process is even. Otherwise, it may crack or shrink due to inadequate drying.
5. Type of Plaster Used
Not all types of plaster are made equally, and certain types of plaster have different drying times. For instance, lime plaster will usually dry faster than cement plaster. However, cement plaster is more durable and resistant to damage, so if you want a plaster that will last, you may have to wait a bit longer for it to dry.
How to Tell When Plaster Has Dried
The first way to tell when the plaster has dried is to look for changes in its colour. As it dries, the plaster will change from a wet, creamy colour to a solid grey or off-white. If the plaster looks the same colour as when it was first applied, it’s likely still wet.
Another way to tell when the plaster has dried is to touch it. When it is still wet, it will feel cool to the touch. As it dries, the plaster will start to feel warm.
Finally, you can use your plastering supplies, such as a moisture meter, to determine when the plaster has dried. Moisture meters measure the amount of moisture in the plaster and tell you when it has dried. These meters are especially useful for large plaster projects, such as walls or ceilings.
Drying times are an essential factor to consider when using plaster, as they can impact the quality of the finished product. There are several factors that can affect the drying time of plaster, including the humidity and temperature of the environment, the thickness of the application, the type of plaster used, and the air circulation.
By understanding these factors and taking the necessary steps to control them, you can ensure that your plaster dries optimally.
For expert tips on plastering, work with our team at We Plaster & Recruit. We offer top-notch plastering services that meet your needs and expectations every time. Get in touch with us today to learn more.