Tips for maintaining and fixing your stucco

If you need to patch a large area in a stucco wall, call a mason or stucco specialist. But if the damaged area is no more than a couple of square feet, this can easily be done by yourself. Here’s how.

Maintaining and fixing your stucco
Tips for maintaining and fixing your stucco

1.  Clean out damaged stucco

  1. Wearing safety googles, clean out the old damaged stucco with a wire brush ;
  2. Using a hammer and cold chisel, undercut the edges of the opening to make it wider inside at the base than on the surface ;
  3. Brush out any loose material, then wet the area with a sponge.

2.  Replace the stucco

  1. Use a trowel to pack stucco into the opening, overfilling it slightly ;
  2. Let the stucco dry for 15 minutes or as directed ;
  3. Then smooth the stucco and scrape off any excess.

3.  Getting a great finish

  1. Further smooth the surface with the trowel, smoothing out the edges to blend with the surrounding surface ;
  2. Use a whisk broom or trowel to give the patch a matching texture ;
  3. Cure the stucco by wetting it with a fine spray from a garden hose once each morning and evening for the next three days.

4.  Tips for extending the longevity of your stucco

  • For a longer lasting finish, paint faded and cracked stucco.
  • Fill cracks with a paintable exterior caulk; if they are wide or deep, use premixed stucco repair compound.
  • Clean the surface thoroughly; if you use a power washer, hold it three feet away from the surface to avoid crumbling the stucco.
  • Apply two coats of high-quality acrylic latex. Apply the paint with a thick-napped roller, and use a masonry brush to get into crevices. Work the first coat into the stucco by rolling or brushing in several directions.
  • If the stucco on your house tends to crack, use elastomeric paint, a paint that has a special coating that makes it thicker, tougher, and more pliable.
  • Preventing moisture from sneaking behind stucco is the most important step you can take to prolong the life of your stucco.
  • Replace damaged or missing flashings around chimneys, vents, and other roof openings.
  • Check windows and doors — especially along the tops — to make certain they’re properly flashed to keep water out.
  • Repair any surface cracks or damaged areas immediately.

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