When working with straw bale buildings, some people wonder whether mesh is necessary or not. I personally think it offers so many advantages that I don’t consider not using it anymore. So with that bias in front of me, I want to share a really important detail about mesh application.
You need to firmly attach mesh to protect your plaster. If it is left loose, then the plaster will hang on the mesh and may separate from the wall as a result causing cracking and potential failure. The best scenario is for the plaster to hang on the bales and for the mesh to be embedded in the plaster. This provides the best strength for the plaster.
Be sure to staple your mesh well at all wood intersections and tie any loose areas through to the other side of the building. Landscape pins are not a great solution. They work well in certain areas, like attaching blood lath around niche, but for holding loose mesh, nothing is better than staples to wood and sewing mid-bale areas.
Take the time to firmly attach mesh to protect your plaster. Imagine yourself as plaster hanging on your mesh as you inspect the entire house once you think you are ready to get mud on the walls. Pull on sections of mesh to see how tight they are. Check the areas at the top of the wall, around windows and doors, random field areas. That final inspection may be the difference between a beautiful home and a cracked plaster failure.