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Exterior stucco coatings are a common sight in many homes. It’s a durable coating that gives homes an attractive finish, especially when it’s painted over.
Stucco was used extensively in historic structures all over the United States and was often used as a dressing for stonework and giving buildings an opulent appearance.
Despite how durable it is, stucco coating can and will eventually develop cracks and holes after many years. These damages not only ruin your home’s exterior paint job, but they could also let water seep into your walls and cause all sorts of problems.
The good news is that stucco repair isn’t very difficult or expensive, especially if you start taking care of the damages as early as possible.
Here’s how you can easily carry out the repair on your home<emoji>
Making fresh stucco
Before attempting the repair, you’ll want to make your own stucco. You could buy a bag of ready-made mix, or you can try making some on your own.
Making stucco from scratch is easy and it only really needs a few simple ingredients—Portland cement, hydrated lime, sand, and water.
When you’ve got the ingredients together, simply mix one part Portland cement with one part hydrated lime and three parts sand. Add water to the mixture and stir it until it takes on the consistency of cake batter.
How much of this mixture you need to make depends on how extensive the repairs will be.
A few precautions before getting started
Now, you might be thinking about jumping into getting your stucco patched up immediately, but let’s not be too hasty.
Keep an eye on the weather
Repairing stucco is usually an outdoor job, so bad weather could cause problems. Therefore, make sure the weather’s nice and clear.
Avoid doing the repair in freezing weather, as it could ruin the stucco. Also, don’t do the repair in hot, dry, and windy weather as the stucco could lose its moisture and would not cure properly.
On sunny days, work in the shade to prevent the stucco from drying up too quickly and cover it with a plastic tarp between coats.
Handling wet cement with your bare hands can lead to cement burns. Make sure you have a good pair of gloves and only handle the stucco with your tools.
How to repair the stucco
- Remove loose stucco
If the damage to your stucco has caused some of it to come loose, it’s best to break off the damaged stucco.
Using the hammer and chisel, carefully break off the loose stucco, while taking care not to damage the underlying lath supports. Continue doing this until you get to the stucco that’s still firmly attached to the lath.
Use the wire brush to remove any lingering debris from the stucco.
- Cover the exposed lath
Once all the debris has been removed, clean the exposed lath support and then cover it with a length of builder’s paper. Use nails to fix the paper in place and apply another layer of paper over the first one.
- Insert a metal mesh
Apply a metal mesh onto the builder’s paper and cut it so that it fits perfectly along the edges of the stucco. Use nails to fix the mesh securely onto the lath underneath.
- Apply the new stucco
First, wet the edges of the old stucco with water, so that it won’t sap water from the new stucco. Using a brick trowel, apply a generous amount of stucco mix and cover the lath and mesh completely.
Smooth the fresh stucco and keep adding more stucco mix until the new layer is half an inch below the old stucco on the edges. Make sure to scratch the first coat to make it easier for the second to stick.
- Apply the second coat
Apply the second coat the same way as the first, and smooth the edges using your trowel. Next, just cover the second coat with a plastic tarp and let it rest for at least three days.
After the three days are up, remove the tarp and apply another fresh layer of stucco, and texture it to match the rest of the wall.
You can start your exterior painting job for the newly repaired patch of stucco after letting it cure for at least a week.
Ask a professional for stucco repair
Stucco repair is pretty simple, but it needs to be done with a lot of care and attention to detail. If you don’t have much experience with repairing stucco, you should consider asking a professional for help.
Fortunately, professional painting companies in San Diego also offer additional services such as stucco repair, so get in touch with one today!