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I am living in a house that was built in the early sixties by my wifes grandad. It is really well built, but it does have plaster walls and the ceiling has wires run through if for electric heat. We don't use the heat since their is a gas furnace now, but are there any special care that I need to take for the walls? Also, in the bathroom down stairs, around the shower, the moisture is chipping away at the plaser. The ahower is tiled.

Thanks.
 

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When you say wires through the ceiling for electric heat, do you mean wires (cable) to supply current to electric baseboard heaters? If this is the case, there should be breakers at the main or sub panel you can remove and plug. Thus killing the wires. You have the option of removing them or leaving them there.

Unless you are saying the shower tile is set over plaster, try this first. If the damage is minimal, set a dehumidifier in the bathroom for a week to dry the walls out. Chip a little more away to see if the plaster is mushy. If not, patch the damage with patching plaster. Apply a coat of Zinnser primer to the entire walls. If the walls are textured, you'll have to try to match it with texture in a spray can for small areas or mix texture sand with paint. Paint the walls with two coats of a good quality semi gloss latex enamel.

If the platster around the shower is mushy throughout, you may need to remove the plaster entirely and recover the wall with moisture resistant drywall (green rock). Texture if necessary, prime, and paint like I mention above. You may want to prime new sheetrock with PVA primer before texturing.

If you are saying the tile was set over plaster, you really should remove the tiles and plaster. Cover the walls with cement board tile backer and re-tile. This is not a difficult job but requires special tools such as a tile saw and skills.
 

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thats "radiant" heat - the wires...very efficient way of heating...if its never gonna be used again cut it out (if in the walls also) if it might be used again in the future it should be kept in plaster, and even though the wires have some insulation, its very minimal and care should be taken that power is off (220)... also - if repairing a wall or ceiling with radiant wires don't let any cross each other if it might be put back into use, it causes a "hot-spot".
 
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