There is good reason why stucco is used as home siding, and if it has minor damage, you can learn how to repair stucco yourself, according to This Old House. It is fairly inexpensive compared to other home siding and lasts for years. Stucco looks attractive, is water resistant, wind-proof and provides a bit of insulation. However, even though it is very durable, it is brittle and can crack causing chunks to break off and fall out. This is a serious issue because moisture can begin to collect in the crack causing damp spots inside the walls.
Dampness is dangerous for any home, because it can cause the structure to disintegrate and become unsafe, and moisture can become an environment where mold, mildew, fungus and other pathogens start to grow. These can enter the house and cause pollution to the indoor air quality. If you were wondering how to repair stucco yourself, it’s not a difficult task and may take less than an hour for each broken patch. Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection while you are chiseling or mixing stucco.
Tools for Repairing Stucco
You should gather a few tools before you start the process:
• Gloves and eye protection
• A ladder if necessary
• A mason’s chisel
• A hammer
• Wire mesh
• Galvanized roofing nails
• Metal shears
• A mason’s trowel
• Premixed stucco
• A small, flat board
• A tool for finishing the design, which may be a whisk, sponge or board
Steps for Repairing Stucco
• The first step is to remove the broken pieces and make the area clean. This can be done with a hammer and chisel, and must be done very delicately so as not to cause damage to the underlying wood and lath supports, according to Do It Yourself. Be sure to wear your eye protection.
• The second step is to continue gently chipping away at the wall until you reach stucco that is firmly adhered to the lath. If you find any torn or broken metal mesh, cut it away with the metal shears.
• The third step is to fit a piece of grade-D builder’s paper tightly along the margin where the old stucco and the exposed wood meet. It can be fixed with roofing nails, and a second sheet should be put on top of the first for extra protection.
• The fourth step is to put a piece of galvanized metal mesh over the paper making sure it is tight against the edge of the existing stucco. It can be fixed in place with roofing nails.
• The fifth step is to apply the first coat of the stucco. There will be a particular recipe for the first coat which should be followed exactly. A wheelbarrow can be the mixing container. There may be an acrylic bonding agent that you add to this mixture to improve the adhesion of the new stucco to the old.
• In the sixth step, you should wet the edge of the old stucco so the new stucco will stick. Then, take a fist-sized ball of wet stucco onto your trowel and toss it with some force against the wire mesh until you completely cover it.
• The seventh step can wait until the new stucco slightly dries. Before it is completely dry, you can use a tool to scratch the surface leaving marks that will help the next coat bond. If it seems to be drying too fast, you can cover it with a plastic sheet to slow the process.
• The eighth step if after seven days. Remove the plastic and gently spray some water on the new stucco. Using the second coat recipe, you can mix another batch and trowel on a coat that is 3/8th inch thick. Start at the bottom and work up. When the wet sheen disappears, it can be smoothed with the trowel or flat board, so it is slightly lower than the existing stucco. It should be covered with plastic and left for three days.
• The ninth step is the finishing coat. You can mix another batch of stucco according to the finished-coat recipe. This is when you use a tool to make the surface of the new stucco match the texture of the old stucco. You can make swirls with a whisk, create a smooth surface with you flat board or trowel, or you can create a stippled design with a sponge.
• The final step is to paint the whole area. After the new stucco has cured for a week, you can paint the whole wall with heavy-bonded acrylic elastomer paint, and the patch will be invisible.
Related Resource: Repairing Vinyl Siding
Stucco is one of the best home sidings available, because it is inexpensive, durable and easy to maintain. Now that you know how to repair stucco yourself, you don’t need to call a contractor for your home to always look its best.