remove artex or just plaster over
Would you recommend removing artex and then plaster or just plaster over it. I saw one of your posts regarding plastering over artex so should be able to gleen some info from that, but the question is which is better practice.
Also some of the artex is peeling. Does that change the answer?
Yes, you're right that does change the answer. It is standard practice to just skim over the artex. If the artex is pre mid 1980's there is a chance it may contain asbestos, albeit in very small amounts and not the really bad variety.
If the artex does not contain asbestos then you have no worries and can do whatever you like with it but generally the easiest option is to still just skim over.
However if the artex is peeling in some areas then skimming over can cause problems due to the increased likelihood of more peeling off when subjected to continued moisture presence from fresh plaster for a couple of hours. I've had it happen - as I have run my trowel across to finish the plaster on a nice flat ceiling - it all starts to peel off. It is then quite a tricky job to scrape off, apply PVA and patch areas in. This sometimes happens due to the artex not bonding properly to the surface or due to it being applied to lime wash, which is fine when dry but under damp conditions the lime becomes soft and the artex can peel away.
If no asbestos is present in the artex the loose artex needs to be removed and other areas soaked to ensure they remain bonded. Then you can apply a couple of coats of PVA and skim over.
However if the artex does contain asbestos I would not like to give specific advice about it's removal but there is a fact sheet produced by the HSE that explains further. There are gels that you can buy to help safely remove the artex.
Another option for consideration is to fix new plasterboard over.
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