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Councilman Fred L. Pollack's Public Service Announcement Regarding Plaster Ceilings

Town of north Hempstead


Fred l. Pollack








Councilman Fred L. Pollack would like to make residents aware of a potentially dangerous situation existing in some Port Washington homes.


According to the Town's Building Department, many of the houses built in the Port Washington area during the 1920s and 1930s, have plaster ceilings.  The usage of this construction material was a common practice at that time.


After researching the lifespan of plaster through the questioning of Building Officials, Engineers and Contractors in the area, the consensus is that plaster has roughly a 75 year lifespan.  This statement holds true for plaster without any visible spider cracks and has not been periodically compromised with penetrations.  Plaster ceilings have held up for longer durations, however, this is a rule of thumb used in the trade.


The danger that exists, especially in ceiling applications, is that plaster may fall apart due to the natural aging process creating a danger to residents. The Town has been made aware of one such incident where a ceiling collapsed in a bedroom of two young sisters. Neither of the girls was seriously injured, but the family alerted the Town to this incident in the hope of making others aware of this situation.


Councilman Pollack and the Building Department urge homeowners living in homes between 70 and 80 years old to have them inspected by an engineer or a contractor.

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