Talking About Crawlspace Repairs

Rat Holes In Your Laundry Room? Try These Plaster Repair Tips

by Clinton Stone

If you find small rat holes in the plaster walls inside your laundry room, you can repair them yourself. Although plaster is a strong material, rodents can damage it when they chew through the walls to enter your home. The damaged plaster can crack or pull away from the foundation beneath it, which leaves your home vulnerable to more rodents and other problems. Here's how you repair the rat holes in your laundry room with plaster.

Buy Patching Plaster and Other Supplies

You need to purchase a large container of patching plaster from your local home and garden store to save money. You can also store away what you don't use for future repairs. 

Also, purchase a spackling knife to apply the patching plaster. If you can't find a spackling knife, buy a trowel to do your repairs.

Finally, purchase a thin roll of hardware cloth to place over the rat holes. Hardware cloth is hard to chew through, which makes it the perfect rat barrier. You also need a strong adhesive to apply and secure your cloth over the holes.

Once you have everything you need, you can move to the next steps of the repairs.

Clean and Reinforce the Wall

The area surrounding the rat holes in your plaster walls should be free of debris, such as dirt, dust and rat feces. You need to put on a pair of vinyl gloves before cleaning the area. Rats can leave behind an oily residue that contains bacteria and other germs. 

Use a small knife or sharp tool to remove pieces of rough plaster from the walls. Your patching plaster won't adhere to the surfaces if their dirty or bumpy. 

Next, measure the width and length of the holes, then use utility scissors to cut what you need from the hardware cloth. Place adhesive to the edges of the metal cloth, then carefully cover the holes.

Use your fingertips to keep the cloth in place until the adhesive dries. Don't apply too much pressure on the walls because the plaster can damage even further. Placing a fan in the room helps the adhesive dry faster.

Now, it's time to plaster the holes.

Apply the Patching Plaster

Wet the edges of the holes with a thin layer of water, then use your spackling tool to apply one layer of plaster over the metal cloth. Your patching plaster is easier to work with on wet surfaces than it is on dry surfaces. Always keep the spackling knife or trowel wet throughout your repairs to make the job easier on you.

Smooth the material with the flat side or blade of the spackling knife. Try to squeeze or push the plastering material through the sides or edges of the cloth. You want to seal in the edges to create a tight seal.

Follow the drying time listed on the patching plaster's container before you apply a second layer. Drying times often vary from brand to brand, so it's important that you follow the recommendations on your product during the repairs. After the allotted drying time does pass, paint over the repaired holes to seal out dirt and other contaminants. 

If the holes in your plaster walls are very large to repair on your own, contact someone like Painting By Jerry Wind, for assistance.