Stucco Repair: How to Remediate Cracks and Holes in Stucco
Stucco is a long-lasting material, but like all materials, it can be damaged over time. Getting Stucco Repair Philadelphia done as soon as possible will help prevent larger problems down the road.
Long, thin cracks are one of the first signs that something may be wrong with your stucco. A home owner can try using joint compound, but it’s often better to do a full remediation.
Whether you want to do it yourself or hire a professional, the first step in making a stucco repair is to find and correct the underlying problem that caused the crack. Then you can patch and refinish the damaged area to look like new.
For minor cracks, you can use paintable exterior-grade caulk that is textured to match your stucco. Before applying the caulk, clean out the crack using a scraping tool or wire brush so that it has a smooth surface to bond with. After applying the caulk, smooth it in with your finger so that it fills the crack and makes contact on both sides of the crack. Allow the caulk to cure for 24 hours before repainting it with a stucco-matching color coat.
More extensive damage will require you to remove the old stucco and make a proper repair. To avoid disturbing the lath underneath, cover areas around the damaged stucco with a tarp to prevent dirt or debris from falling on you while you’re working. If you don’t have a tarp, wear heavy leather gloves and a paper dust mask. Before removing the damaged stucco, press your palms firmly against the wall to see if any areas are springy. Loose stucco often bulges and feels spongey to the touch. It’s also important to determine how much stucco needs to be removed. Press a key against the wall and listen—weak keys will sound hollow, while intact ones will return a solid response.
When you’re ready to start tearing off the damaged stucco, cover any adjacent areas with a tarp or a piece of plywood to prevent the material from falling onto and damaging them. After removing the loose stucco, make sure you’re not disturbing the metal lath. If you’re not able to save the existing lath, you will need to nail in a new layer of metal mesh before applying your next stucco coat. For this, you’ll need a bundle of galvanized wire mesh, which looks similar to chicken wire, and some galvanized furring nails with a furring “button” that goes under the mesh and holds it in place.
Stucco walls provide a unique look for your home. They’re beautiful, insulating, fire-retardant, and can last for over 100 years if properly installed and maintained. However, even stucco can be damaged over time. Whether from severe weather events, overexposure to moisture, or even just the natural settling of your home’s foundation, holes in stucco are fairly common and should be repaired as soon as they occur.
To repair holes in stucco, first chip away any loose pieces of the stucco around the hole with a mason’s chisel and hammer. Be sure to wear work gloves and safety glasses, as this can be a messy job. After you’ve removed all of the broken pieces of stucco, clean the area with a wire brush to remove any dirt and debris. Once you’ve cleaned the area, apply a coat of grade D building paper over any underlying wood lath to create a moisture barrier.
Next, you’ll need to choose a stucco patching material. There are several types to choose from, including acrylic caulks that are commonly used for smaller jobs like hairline cracks and polyurethane caulking for more serious repairs. Once you’ve decided on a product, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use.
For larger holes in your stucco, you’ll want to apply a second layer of stucco to the hole and surrounding areas. This is known as the “brown coat,” and it can be applied just like the scratch coat. However, when applying the brown coat, you’ll want to make sure that it is textured appropriately to match the existing stucco and your house’s exterior color.
Once the brown coat has been spread and textured, you’ll want to allow it to dry for at least 24 hours. Then, you can begin painting the patch and surrounding areas to match your stucco’s original appearance. Although it may seem like a daunting task, repairing your stucco is very possible and can help you restore your home’s beauty and protect your investment. With a little patience and some hard work, you can tackle this project on your own and save yourself the expense of hiring a professional.
Stains can be caused by a variety of things and are usually an indication that the stucco is not being properly maintained. Stucco can also be prone to staining from the inside out if the wall is not properly sealed or ventilated. If the stains are not addressed, they may lead to a more serious problem like rot or mold in the wall. Stucco should be inspected for cracks every three years to make sure that it is still solid and safe.
One of the most common stains that can be found in stucco is mold or mildew. This can be the result of a number of factors, including nearby bushes or trees, increasing humidity levels, rainwater, shadows, or just poor maintenance of the stucco itself. This type of spotting is easily fixed by washing the affected area with a detergent and water solution. A pressure washer is often used to help remove these stains, and it is important that the amount of pressure is not so high that it damages the surface of the stucco.
Another common stain is black, which is caused by algae growth on the surface of the stucco. This is especially common on unpainted stucco walls. These stains can be removed by saturating the affected area with a cleaning solution made of water, bleach, and dish soap. After scrubbing the stained area, it is very important to rinse the stucco wall again with clean water. This will not only remove the cleaning solution, but it will also wash away any pollutants that may have settled on the surface of the stucco.
If the stains are stubborn and don’t seem to be fading even after rinsing, it is probably time to call in a professional. They will know how to handle this type of situation and will be able to use a more in-depth cleaning solution to get rid of the staining.
Efflorescence is a white, crystalline, or powdery substance that can be found on the surface of masonry materials, such as stucco. This is caused when water seeps through the stucco and evaporates, leaving behind salts on the surface of the wall. These stains can be removed by using a cleaning solution that contains water and sodium carbonate, or CLR (caustic soda).
Stucco is a lime- or cement-based plaster that can be made at home with a simple mix. It is applied to exterior walls in a three-coat system to ensure proper setting, sealing, and insulation. Stucco also helps prevent rot, mold, and rust. Cracks and holes are inevitable, however, and can be repaired with a variety of materials. For the best results, choose a product that is specifically designed for use in stucco repair.
Whether you’re trying to fix a small crack or an entire section of the wall, there are a number of good stucco patch products on the market. A store-bought, pre-mixed stucco patch is easy to apply and works well in most situations. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and allow the material to set for the recommended time. It’s important to note that weather plays a huge role in how fast concrete sets, so you may need to apply multiple layers to fill the crack completely.
Before applying a patch, cover areas around the damaged stucco with something like a tarp to prevent soot or dust from getting on any other parts of your home. Chipping out loose stucco can be messy, so you’ll need to wear a mask and safety glasses when working outside. Once you’ve covered the area, remove any old stucco in the crack and surrounding areas to give the new patch a better chance of adhering.
If you have a large crack or small hole that needs to be fixed, try using an acrylic caulk with silicone additives. This type of caulk is easy to work with, cleans up easily with water, and can be painted in less than half an hour. It’s also resistant to water submersion and has a life expectancy of forty years.
You can also find stucco repair kits that are perfect for woodpecker holes. The kit includes a compression plug that is installed into the hole and leveled with the surface of the surrounding stucco. The plug is then coated with a stucco mix and brushed to create a natural look. Once the mixture has dried, paint over it to match the surrounding color.