Stucco Repair Philadelphia is a task all homeowners with stucco homes will have to deal with at one point or another. Fortunately, it is not as daunting a project as you may think.
Rather than simply applying a bandage to your stucco issues, you will need a professional to perform remediation. Remediation addresses the source of the moisture that damages the exterior surface of your home.
Cracks in stucco aren’t necessarily a sign of damage or structural failure, but they can cause problems if left unattended. For example, cracks can allow water to enter behind the stucco and rust the metal lath, which can lead to stucco popping off your home, especially in wood-framed homes. They can also let rainwater seep in, which can eventually rot the wood framing or concrete masonry.
Most cracks in stucco are hairline, and they’re usually no cause for alarm. However, they do lay pathways for moisture to get into the wall system, which can lead to problems like peeing paint, swollen drywall, mold growth, musty smells, and other irreparable issues. These types of cracks can be repaired by using caulk or stucco patches.
Larger vertical and horizontal cracks are a more serious issue and may be indicative of shifting in the foundation. If you notice these cracks, call a professional to take a look. Diagonal cracking around doors and windows is a particularly bad sign and may indicate the need for a foundation adjustment.
Repairing these cracks requires removing the old stucco and lath from the affected area, then patching and painting. If you’re able to do this yourself, use a putty knife and scratch awl to scrape away any loose or crumbling stucco. Then, apply a premixed stucco patching product with a putty knife or a wire-bristled brush and smooth it to match the texture of your existing stucco. You can paint over the patching material if desired.
If you’re unable to do this yourself, it’s best to have a professional handle it since the cracks will probably get worse without treatment. In addition, if you try to patch the cracks and they open up again, it’s likely because they weren’t fixed properly in the first place. A professional can also assess the condition of your stucco and make recommendations about any structural repairs that need to be made. Stucco is very resilient and easy to repair if you know the right steps to follow. It can even be a do-it-yourself project, but it’s important to work carefully so you don’t cause any additional damage to your house.
Stucco is a popular siding option for homes because it is durable and provides an interesting exterior look. However, like any material that covers walls, stucco is susceptible to damage and needs repair from time to time. Holes in stucco can appear for a variety of reasons, and it is important that any holes are repaired promptly so they do not allow water or other elements to enter the wall structure. While larger holes may need to be repaired by a professional, small, hairline cracks and holes can easily be repaired at home with the right tools and techniques.
Before beginning a stucco repair project, it is important to remove any loose or crumbling stucco from the damaged area. This can be done by using a hammer and chisel or a power drill with a large bit. During this process, it is recommended that you wear work gloves and eye protection to avoid getting dust and debris in your eyes. Once you have removed the broken sections of stucco, clean the area and make sure it is free from dirt. Next, place a tarp or similar covering over the areas you will be working on to prevent debris from falling onto the new stucco patch.
Once the tarp or other covering is in place, use tin snips to cut a piece of grade-D builder’s paper to size and affix it to the metal lath around the hole. Next, using a putty knife, spread a layer of specialized stucco patching compound over the hole, spreading it evenly and extending it to the edge of the existing stucco on your home.
After allowing the first coat of patch to dry and cure for seven days, remove the tarp and spray it with water. Once the patch loses its wet sheen, repeat the process by spreading a second and final layer of patching stucco over the hole and extending it to 1/8 inch past the edges of your home’s original stucco.
After the second and final layers of patching stucco have dried, use a trowel to smooth the surface. Once the final stucco is smooth, it can be textured and painted to match your home’s existing style.
A stucco wall can become damaged and leak in many ways. Most people think cracks are the main cause of moisture intrusion, but this is only partially true.
Water can get into a stucco wall through any area where the wall meets something else, such as concrete, a roof, or even the ground. This is most common in the bottom sections of walls and around windows and doors, where the wall is either caulked to the concrete or to the foundation. If the leaking is not stopped, it will eventually penetrate the wall and cause serious damage.
It’s important to keep in mind that stucco is a porous material, and it will take up moisture from the soil. The moisture will then be carried through the wall and into the house. This can result in rot, mold, and structural problems. The best way to avoid this problem is to ensure that your stucco is not touching the soil and that rainwater drains away from the house properly.
Inspecting a stucco wall on a regular basis will help you identify potential moisture problems before they become dramatic. Look for water stains, abrasions to the stucco, and dark spots or streaking around windows and doors. It is also helpful to inspect for areas where rot or mold may have developed and to check for loose or fallen pieces of stucco.
Once a problem is identified, you will need to decide whether to repair the affected area or remove it and replace it. It is always a good idea to keep in mind that repairing a stucco-damaged area as soon as possible will prevent additional damage and save you the expense of removal and replacement.
Using an IICRC-certified water damage remediation company can help you make the right decision. A professional will be able to advise you regarding your best course of action and can clean and dry the affected area so that a new coat of stucco can be applied. If you have a hole in your stucco wall, you can fill it with acrylic latex or stucco repair caulk. Be sure to use the proper caulk for your type of stucco. A stucco repair caulk will be thicker and contain additives that are designed to work with your stucco.
Stucco absorbs moisture, and the elements wreak havoc on it. Cracks, blisters, and dings are not only unsightly; they can lead to significant structural damage. Stucco can also become a breeding ground for termites and other pests. In addition, water that seeps behind stucco can deteriorate the sheathing, leading to rot and other problems. Stucco should be inspected regularly and damaged areas repaired as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration.
Small, hairline cracks (about 1/4″ wide and below) in the stucco surface can be patched with a quality exterior latex paintable caulk that matches your existing stucco color. The caulk should be allowed to dry completely before being touched up with matching exterior paint.
Larger cracks and holes must be addressed with a different type of repair product. The most common choice for this type of repair is a premixed stucco patching mix. You can find these at your local home improvement store, or you may prefer to prepare the ingredients yourself. To do this, shovel the dry ingredients into a wheelbarrow and mix them with a mortar and pestle. Slowly add water, stirring well. The mix should have the consistency of buttercream frosting. If you’re using a pre-mixed product, simply apply it with a trowel.
Before patching, you must determine the source of the deterioration. Loose stucco often bulges and feels spongey to the touch. A wood or acrylic hammer can be used to tap the wall; hollow sounding indicates the underlying sheathing is rotting. In some cases, a chisel may be needed to remove the loose stucco. For safety, it’s a good idea to wear gloves and eye protection when working with a chisel or hammer.
Once the loose stucco is removed, you can cut away any rotted sheathing and replace it with fresh material. You must use a rotozip (or similar tool) to cut through the wire mesh, which is usually nailed to the sheathing with nails that are long enough to penetrate through both the sheathing and the tar paper or other waterproofing membrane. If the rot extends to the framing, you will need to replace it.