Damage Contractors: What You Need to Know

For many years, I had no idea what a damage contractor even was. However, all that changed when a pan of hot oil caught fire in my kitchen and set fire to my house. Half of the property was completely destroyed by the fire but thankfully, my family made it out OK. Once the fire service had finished doing what they needed to do, I called in a team of damage contractors who helped to clean up the property and to demolish the parts which could not be saved. I have since rebuilt the house on the same plot of land.

Should You Attempt to Plaster a Wall Yourself?


If you're trying to renovate your home to create a more functional space, you may need to knock down certain walls and build others elsewhere. You may be creating an open-plan living area or converting an existing bedroom into a suite, but either way, you will need to make sure that the job is done well and finished correctly. When it comes to finishing, this may well involve plastering. If you're not familiar with this skill, is it something you can do yourself?

What You Need

To plaster a wall correctly, you will need a number of tools, specific products and a degree of expertise.

Initial Preparation

To begin with, the wall itself needs to be clean and in good condition. You must get rid of any dirt or dust and may need to apply PVA primer before you go any further. The PVA itself needs to be applied properly as well, and you must mix it carefully with the right amount of water. You may have to apply two different coats and should let this dry overnight before you continue.

As soon as you get up the next day, you should get to work to skim the wall as, ideally, the PVA will still be sticky but not wet. You will find it a lot easier to plaster the wall if this is the case and could run into trouble if the PVA is too dry.

Getting Ready

Mix the plaster carefully with the right amount of water in a flexible bucket. Use a specially adapted drill, but start slowly and gradually increase the speed while moving the mixer up and down in the bucket to agitate everything correctly. Eventually, all of the lumps will have gone and the mixture will be smooth, but you must be particularly careful to ensure that there are no lumps left in the mixture, as otherwise, these will migrate to the wall.

Skilled Technique

This is where you will need specialist tools. One is a trowel and the other one is called a hawk. Apply the plaster to the wall with the trowel. As you push the trowel along the bottom of the hawk and pick up the plaster, you should tilt the hawk upwards. When the trowel gets to the end of the hawk, you will need to flick your wrist backwards to load up the trowel correctly.

Place the trowel at 45° to the wall and then run it along the wall while applying some pressure. Keep working to cover the entire wall, and don't forget that the plaster will start to set from the moment it is mixed.

Round Two

Your work is not done now as you need to apply a second coat as soon as possible. Once again, mix the plaster and use the same technique to apply it to the surface of the wall, but the second coat needs to be a lot thinner than the first. This will enable you to achieve a smooth finish.

Expert Approach

As you can see, this may take a lot of practice and an amount of skill, and truth be told, it's why a plasterer takes so long to perfect their craft. Given this, it may be better for you to bring in a professional plasterer instead so that they can help you to achieve your desired result.


1 July 2019