If you plan on having your house’s stucco exterior painted, you must first ensure your stucco is in good shape. Stucco homes have earned a bad reputation, but not because stucco as a product is bad. In fact, the cement or lime-based plaster is very low-maintenance.It’s the application that’s key.If moisture cannot escape, it builds up and forces its way out around openings by doors and windows.
Failing to recognize stucco issues will result in a failed paint job.
Here’s how to plan and execute stucco repairs:
- Inspect. Walk around your house and look for signs of stucco damage, such as cracking or staining. If you see any visual evidence, you should schedule a professional stucco inspection, which involves probing the house in multiple areas to test moisture retention. This should be done by a professional who will drill small holes to penetrate the stucco and measure the moisture content inside. A scanner or infrared camera can help the inspector locate moisture to identify which areas of the house must be probed for rot. If the inspector determines that minor repairs are needed, you can choose to undergo a stucco repair yourself.
- Watch the Weather Forecast. Don’t tackle a stucco repair job if nighttime temperatures are below 40 degrees, as the stucco cannot properly cure in temperatures that low.
- Prep Materials. In addition to the stucco mix ingredients, you’ll need a wheelbarrow, a mortar hoe, and water. A brick trowel and a finishing trowel will be needed for application. Wear gloves when working with fresh stucco and have a bottle of water nearby so you can easily wash any stucco splashes off of your skin. Eye protection and a mask should also be worn.
- Break Off Loose Stucco. With safety gear on, use a hammer or a chisel to break off any loose stucco. Use builder’s paper and a galvanized metal lath to patch.
- Mix the Stucco. Properly mixed stucco should resemble buttercream frosting. Once water is added, the mix is usable for 30-90 minutes before it starts to harden.
- Apply the Stucco. Wet the edges of the old stucco, then scoop fist-sized dollops of wet stucco onto your brick trowel and fling the stucco onto to wire lath. Smooth it with your finishing trowel and pack the new stucco against the old. Once the patch no longer has that wet shine, score the surface of the patch and follow it with a plastic sheet.
- Wait and Repeat. After a week, remove the plastic sheet, spritz the patch with water and apply a second coat of new stucco. Once the wet shine disappears this time, use the trowel to smooth the new stucco just below the level of the old stucco. Cover it up again and wait three days before applying the final coat.
This patch should cure for a week before painting. Giving stucco repairs adequate time to cure and dry ensures your exterior paint job will last. You don’t have to tackle your home’s exterior repairs alone. Contact Roselle painters and schedule your free in-home estimate.