Stucco Repair: More Than Just Repairing Cracks and Holes
Stucco Repair Philadelphia can be an extensive project involving more than just repairing cracks and holes. It’s important to address underlying causes of damage such as water leaks, mold, wood rot, and buckling.
Cantor says that homeowners can often repair smaller cracks themselves by using paintable stucco patching products. First, chisel the cracks to widen them and bevel the edges of each with a cold hammer.
Water damage can be a very serious issue for your stucco house. It can cause mold, rot, and other structural problems. The first step to fixing this type of damage is to remove all loose plaster and debris. You may need to chip away some of the stucco, but it is important to wear safety glasses and a dust mask. You should also clean the area well to prevent water from getting back into the cracks. Once the area is clean and dry, you can apply patching plaster to any damaged areas. This can be purchased in pre-mixed form at your local hardware store and applied with a trowel. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and application.
Stucco is a material that has been used for centuries on the exteriors of homes and commercial buildings because it is durable and attractive. It is a combination of cement, sand, and lime that has been molded into different shapes and textures. In the past, this was done by hand, but now most of this work is done with power tools and machinery.
While it is not impossible to do this type of work yourself, you should always have a licensed masonry contractor or stucco company take a look at the situation. Unless you have extensive experience working on construction projects, it is generally best to leave major home repair and remodeling jobs to the professionals.
Some people choose to use the pre-mixed stucco repair products that are available at most hardware stores. These can work well for small hairline cracks and surface divots that are caused by removed items, building settlement, or aging. However, if the cracks are caused by water intrusion or if they are extending into the interior of the house or any support structures, you should call in an experienced stucco contractor to assess the problem and advise on how to proceed.
Stucco remediation is a process that can be much more expensive than simply doing a simple repair, but it is essential to the long-term integrity of your house. Remediation is a thorough process that can identify the underlying issues and address them to ensure your house doesn’t continue to suffer from damage that could be costly down the road.
Moisture that penetrates the exterior surface of stucco is a major concern for homeowners. It can cause discoloration and lead to mildew, mold, and wall rot. It can also compromise the structural integrity of your home. In some cases, if not addressed quickly enough, it can lead to the need for remediation and cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
Stucco repair is a relatively simple process, but it’s best done by a professional. First, remove any loose or damaged pieces of stucco. Then use a hammer or mason’s chisel to widen any cracks in the stucco to about 1/4-inch wide. Be sure to leave a bit of undamaged stucco around the crack. Also, be sure to remove any lath that’s close to the crack.
Once you’ve done that, mix a batch of stucco patching material. You can purchase a pre-mixed product that’s ready to trowel on, or you can make your own using sand, cement, and water, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to add pigment so the patch matches the color of the surrounding stucco. Apply a thin layer of the mixture to the area you’ve repaired, then let it cure for 24 hours before proceeding to the next step.
You can either sand the patch to give it a smooth, even finish, or you can use a textured caulk. Be sure to use a caulk that’s designed for exterior application and has a good seal.
After the patch has cured, apply a second thin layer of stucco. If you used pigment in your mix, the second coat will match the color of the rest of the stucco. If you didn’t, paint the new stucco or sand it again to smooth it and prepare it for painting.
While stains from dirt, rust, and mold are usually easy to fix, wood rot is more serious. As All American Painting Plus explains, this fungus can lead to a range of problems, from health concerns for you and your family to issues that threaten the structural integrity of your home.
Mold is a common stucco issue that can cause severe damage if not addressed. If you notice dark spots or discoloration on your stucco, it’s time to call in a professional for a mold remediation inspection. This may also include a roof inspection to make sure the flashing is secure and that there are no leaks. Mold is a serious health concern and can wreak havoc on your home. Even if your home is insulated, it can still spread to the interior and damage wood framing and drywall. This damage can cost tens of thousands of dollars and is often not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
Moisture trapped behind stucco walls can result in mold and rot, severely damaging the wooden studs and wall sheathing underneath. If left untreated, this moisture can also lead to a host of other issues, including structural problems with the exterior and foundation of your home.
If you are having stucco problems, it is a good idea to have a moisture test done by a certified masonry contractor. Often, the moisture can be found in areas around windows, doors, and cracks in the stucco. The contractor can then determine if there is an underlying moisture intrusion that needs to be dealt with before starting a repair job.
Stains are another common stucco problem that can be caused by many different things. Whether the stain is caused by dirt, rust, or even mold, a stain can make your home less attractive and decrease its value. Most stains can be repaired with a simple cleaning and a fresh coat of paint.
The most severe stains are caused by mold that has penetrated through the stucco, causing it to change color and create a musty smell. In this case, the mold needs to be cleaned, the stain must be scraped off, and then a new layer of stucco must be applied.
It’s best to keep your stucco clean by hosing it down on a regular basis and painting with a mildew-cidal paint. If you want to prevent mold, you should try to avoid planting plants or flowers that are too close to your house and use a dehumidifier regularly.
Stucco is fairly resilient and easy to repair, even for the do-it-yourselfer. Most damage to stucco is surface-level and can be fixed with simple caulking, although hairline cracks are a sign that something more serious may be going on. Cracks that go through plaster, however, can open up pathways for water to seep inside the wall, leading to wood rot, mold, peeing paint, and other structural issues. The best time to repair these types of cracks is before they get any deeper, which will require more involved stucco patching.
If you find a crack in your stucco wall, first use a cold chisel to widen it, making sure that its edges are perpendicular to the wall. Then clean away loose fragments and clear the crack of dirt and debris. Using a sanded acrylic caulking product like Quikrete’s sandable caulk can remedy this kind of crack (see it on Amazon). You can also try premixed stucco patch, available at your local hardware store or home improvement center. But if you decide to use a premixed patch, read the label carefully, as some are designed for larger holes and gouges while others are specifically meant for smaller cracks in stucco.
Generally, you will need to apply the caulking over a prepared surface, such as a primed lath board or sheathing that is nailed or stapled to the studs and/or sheathing. Cut a piece of house wrap or felt paper to the size of the damaged area and secure it firmly with tin snips or a staple gun. Then, cut a section of sandable caulking to the size of the damaged area and apply it with a putty knife or scratch awl, being careful not to push it into the crack itself.
Once the caulking dries, it will need to be covered with a colored coat of stucco in order to blend into the rest of the wall. You can either add pigment to the caulking before application or paint the area once it is dry, matching it to your existing stucco. Then, once the new layer of stucco is applied and painted, you can caulk over the repaired area again to prevent further cracking.