Having a stucco plastered home gives your property a curb appeal that’s hard to match. Composed of aggregates, binder and water, stucco is a popular choice of siding for homes that desire a simple yet classy Mediterranean architectural style. While stucco can be a great source of pride for your family it could also cause a few occasional concerns. Here’s a blog that not only informs you about the most common types of stucco problems but also guides you through the usual process involved in stucco repair or restoration.
Common problems with Stucco that call for repairs:
1. Staining and Discoloration: If you see dark blotches or hazy streaks around your windows or doors, you have a problem that needs fixing. Poorly installed flashing can be a reason and if you don’t remedy this soon, you could face issues like rotting wood, growth of black mold and weakening of your home’s structural integrity.
2. Surface Cracks: Your stucco can start to develop cracks over a period of time. The reasons could vary from incorrect stucco mixing and mediocre installation to earthquakes and land shifting. These cracks should be repaired before they penetrate deeper beyond the surface level.
3. Moisture and Water Intrusion: Missing pieces or portions of stucco point in the direction of moisture seepage. A damp stucco wall is another manifestation of the same problem. A flawed drainage system at the bottom of the walls is usually the reason for these cracks or damp spots.
The Stucco Repair Process:
Step #1: Remove the Loose Stucco: The first step of stucco repair is to get the loose or damaged stucco off the home’s external frame. The best tools for this job are a hammer and chisel and the way to go about it is to break away pieces of affected stucco until only the solid unaffected stucco is left behind.
Step #2: Add Building Paper: When damaged stucco is removed off a home’s exterior, the surface becomes vulnerable to moisture and humidity. To protect the structure, cover the exposed spot with Grade D Building Paper – which is basically kraft paper permeated with asphalt. Use a staple gun to fix two layers of this paper onto the wood framing of your house, one at a time.
Step #3: Install Metal Lath: The new stucco layer needs a new foundation underneath. Cut a fresh layer of metal lath; make sure to leave no gaps between the mesh and the original stucco. Attach the lath to the home’s wooden structure using galvanized roofing nails. It’s important that the nails penetrate one inch into the wood framing.
Step #4: Prepare the Stucco Mix: Once the foundation for the new stucco is in place, mix the first batch of stucco. Since stucco dries in about 45 minutes, be careful not to mix a quantity that’s more than what you can apply in those 45 minutes.
Step #5: Scratch Coat: Before applying the first coat, the old stucco needs to be moistened by spraying water. Take the freshly mixed stucco – a fist-sized amount at a time, and start applying it on the area that needs repair. The stucco needs to penetrate the openings of the underlying mesh, cover the edges of the old stucco and reach ½ inch below the old stucco surface. Let the stucco cure for about an hour or two. Spray the stucco with water to enhance the result of the process.
Step #6: Brown Coat: With the first coat dried and set, the time is right for the second layer or the brown coat. The second layer of newly mixed stucco needs to be applied about 1/8 inch below the original stucco, along the edges of the old stucco and through the metal lath. Leave the second coat to cure for the same duration as the first, with periodic sprays of water in between.
Step #7: Final Coat: Once the second coat of stucco has properly dried, it’s time to seal the deal with the final coat. The obvious shade difference between the old and new will get corrected by applying the final coat of new stucco across the entire wall or surface.
Although we’ve outlined the process of stucco repair, our advice would be to engage a qualified expert with the requisite experience in stucco repair and installation. This is because, unlike other forms of siding, stucco calls for specialized expertise, materials as well as techniques for the installation to be error-free. If you’re looking for home improvement contractors, stucco remediation near you or home improvement contractors with stucco expertise, give us a call. We’re Hynes Construction, and we’re one of the industry’s best known and most experienced roofing and siding specialists with fully licensed and certified teams of experienced and proven professionals. Give us a try and we’ll be glad to use the opportunity to introduce you to the Hynes way of work.