10 Common Defects in Plastering: Causes and Remedies

In the construction industry, plastering plays a crucial role in providing a smooth and aesthetically pleasing finish to walls and ceilings. However, various defects can occur during the plastering process, compromising the quality and appearance of the surface. In this informative blog post, we will explore ten different types of defects in plastering, their causes, and effective remedies to address them.

Types of Defects in Plastering

1. Blistering of Plastered Surface

Causes: Blistering occurs when small patches swell beyond the plane of the plastered surface, primarily inside buildings.

Causes: Improper curing, the presence of moisture, or inadequate surface preparation can lead to blistering.

Remedies: To address blistering, carefully remove the affected plaster, allow the surface to dry thoroughly, and then reapply plaster with proper curing techniques.

2. Cracks in Plastering

Causes: Cracks in plastering can be hairline or wider and may result from thermal movements, structural defects, or faulty workmanship.

Causes: Inadequate control joints, excessive shrinkage, or poor bonding can contribute to cracking.

Remedies: Repair cracks by widening them slightly, cleaning the area, and then applying fresh plaster or filler material. Properly addressing the underlying causes is essential to prevent future cracks.

3. Efflorescence on Plastered Surface

Causes: Efflorescence occurs when soluble salts in plaster or building materials are brought to the surface during drying.

Causes: The presence of soluble salts in plaster materials, bricks, sand, or water used in construction can lead to efflorescence.

Remedies: Remove efflorescence by dry brushing and washing the surface. Ensure that materials with high salt content are not used in future plastering.

4. Flaking

Causes: Flaking is the formation of small, loose masses on the plastered surface due to bond failure between coats of plaster.

Causes: Insufficient bonding between successive plaster layers or inadequate curing can result in flaking.

Remedies: Remove loose plaster, improve bonding between layers, and ensure proper curing to prevent flaking.

5. Peeling

Causes: Peeling occurs when plaster detaches from a portion of the surface, creating a patch.

Causes: Poor bonding between plaster coats, inadequate surface preparation, or moisture infiltration can lead to peeling.

Remedies: Remove loose plaster, address bonding issues, and ensure thorough surface preparation to prevent peeling.

6. Popping

Causes: Popping is caused by the expansion of particles within the plaster mix, resulting in conical holes on the surface.

Causes: Inclusion of particles that expand upon setting can lead to popping.

Remedies: To remedy popping, remove the affected area, fill the hole, and reapply plaster.

7. Uneven Plaster Surface

Causes: Uneven surfaces are often the result of poor workmanship during the plastering process.

Causes: Inadequate leveling, improper application techniques, or lack of skill can lead to uneven plaster surfaces.

Remedies: Achieve a smooth and even surface by using skilled plasterers and proper leveling techniques.

8. Softness of the Plaster

Causes: Excessive dampness in certain areas of the plastered surface can make it soft.

Causes: Thin finishing coats, deliquescent salts, or excessive suction of undercoats can result in soft plaster.

Remedies: Improve the thickness of finishing coats, address salt issues, and ensure proper curing to eliminate softness.

9. Rust Stains on Plastered Surface

Causes: Rust stains can occur on plastered surfaces, especially when plaster is applied on metal lath.

Causes: Insufficient rust-proofing measures or corrosion of underlying metal can lead to rust stains.

Remedies: Prevent rust stains by using rust-resistant materials or protective coatings on metal surfaces.

10. Prevention and Quality Control

Explore strategies for preventing these defects in plastering through rigorous quality control measures, proper material selection, and skilled workmanship.


In the construction industry, addressing defects in plastering is essential to ensure the durability, aesthetics, and structural integrity of buildings. By understanding the causes and implementing effective remedies for these common plastering defects, construction professionals can deliver high-quality results and maintain customer satisfaction.

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