Repairing Stucco: A Comprehensive Guide
Because of its beautiful, and long-lasting finish, stucco is an often-used building material. Stucco is a substance applied to the outside structures to create a continuous, weather-resistant coating. Sand, cement, and water are the main elements.
While stucco offers excellent protection, it is not resistant to damage. Over time, cracks or different kinds of damage can happen. If you want to maintain your property’s durability, regular stucco care and timely repairs are necessary.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of how to repair stucco and give you a general idea of the stucco repair cost.
The Right Time to Repair Stucco
Not everyone is a professional when it comes to stucco crack repair. Many people will wonder when is the right time to do so. We’ll address questions such as how to repair stucco cracks or how to repair stucco holes, but first, let’s go over the warning signs that suggest stucco repair is necessary.
If you notice cracks in your smooth wall, this indicates that a repair is needed. These cracks can be in the form of a hairline, spider shape, or pattern. If you do not assess these issues on time, you’ll notice areas where the stucco seems wet and almost swollen. Water can easily enter those cracks and eventually cause significant damage to your wall. Not to mention, the stucco repair cost will be higher than it should be.
Stains and Discoloration
Having noticeable stains or different shades on your wall is another indicator that a repair is needed. This can also mean that water has found its way inside, or perhaps a bigger issue is hidden behind that discoloration.
Damage Due to Accidents or Natural Causes
Accidents happen, whether done by human hand or nature itself, due to harsh weather conditions. For example, a tree might fall due to a storm and cause great damage to your stucco. Depending on the area where you live, your house structure can be exposed to even more challenging weather conditions. In such cases, make sure you do a proper inspection to evaluate the damage that has been done in order to repair it.
Unfortunately, mold can also grow as a result of water entering inside that waterproof layer. While it may not be visible on the stucco’s surface, discoloration or spots sticking out are clear signs. The smell is also a strong suggestion that mold is present. Therefore, if you can smell mold, check the entire house structure. Not only can mold damage your house’s structure, but it can also cause potential health issues.
If you notice any of these signs, act on repairing them rather than ignoring them. Another sign you can look out for is if your stucco is peeling or parts are falling off. It is important to act immediately so you can enjoy the comfort of your house much longer and have peace of mind. If you are not confident about when to act on how to repair cracked stucco, seek professional assistance.
How to Repair Stucco: The Steps You Need to Follow
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to repair stucco cracks and how to repair stucco holes to restore the durability and safety of your structure.
Identifying the Damage
The first step in stucco crack repair is to inspect your house’s structure and identify the areas that need repairing. Do this by searching for any cracks or holes. You can start by checking your window corners and the connection parts where your roof and wall meet. If these are minor issues, you might be able to fix them yourself. You will need safety gear like gloves and a ladder to start with.
However, if you notice that the damage is beyond your knowledge and expertise, the best advice would be to hire a professional. They will do a thorough inspection and evaluate the state of your stucco.
Preparing the Work Area
The next step would be to clean the areas that need repairing. You can use a brush to gently remove the parts that are falling off. You can also scrape the excess or the bits that are not secured anymore. This is necessary for the stucco to stick properly. If these areas are near your windows or plants, ensure you cover them to avoid accidentally damaging them.
Before repairing your stucco, you also need to consider the weather conditions.It might not be the ideal time to repair stucco if it’s freezing or the weather is too hot and windy. Instead, wait for nighttime when it is not too dry so your stucco can stick nicely.
Mixing and Applying the Stucco Patch
Once you have cleared the areas, it is time to mix and apply the stucco patch. But, before doing so, you need to cover the exposed areas with builder’s paper and mash. This will help those holes seal nicely and the stucco to stick. If you are not sure how to mix the ingredients, you can check your local stores for some ready-mixed materials and follow the instructions. Then, add water for the right mix. The stucco paste should not be too thick or too runny.
Once you have your mixture, apply it to the area needing repair. Make sure you spread the stucco evenly. Your first application will be your base coat. Once you have sealed the hole, you will have to wait for it to dry. Depending on where you live and the weather conditions, this might take a day or a week. You can cover it with a plastic sheet to prevent the stucco from drying out or falling without sticking properly on your foundation.
The following step will be to apply your second coat. Remove the plastic sheet, add a bit of water to your first base, and add your second stucco layer. Ensure that you are applying evenly. Cover it again with a plastic sheet and wait a few days.
The last step would be to apply your final coat. The goal of this finish coat is to blend the stucco to look like the rest of your foundation. However, don’t worry if the texture is not exactly the same. The most important thing is that you have repaired the damage.
Painting the Repaired Stucco
This is an optional step if you’d like to paint the repaired areas. If you choose to do so, wait a couple of days for the stucco to dry properly. The great thing about painting is that you won’t even notice the area you have just repaired.
Stucco Repair Cost
To determine the cost, you have to consider a few factors. You’ll have to evaluate the damage and area that needs repairing. The budget is another thing that you should keep in mind. Stucco is an expensive siding option, and the average stucco repair cost varies from $6 to $9 per square foot, not including the materials.
If you enjoy doing simple DIY projects, you might think about saving money by taking care of minor problems yourself. However, DIY repairs not done correctly can be difficult and expensive.
On the other hand, hiring a skilled stucco repair service offers advantages. They have the right knowledge and expertise when it comes to repairing stucco. Although it may initially cost more, the long-term advantages in terms of durability are worth it because your home will be safer and more durable.
Final Words on Stucco Repair
With these steps, you have the basics on how to repair cracked stucco. Repair minor stucco damage right away because, if ignored, it could develop into a larger problem. Giving your stucco the care it requires will ensure that your home has a solid and beautiful exterior for many years.
Remember, if you don’t feel confident enough to repair even the smallest stucco cracks yourself, seek a professional to do it for you. It’s better to ask for help and repair the cracks properly instead of causing more damage.
Can I repair stucco myself?
If you have the right equipment and skills, then handling minor repairs yourself could be an option. However, for major damages, it’s recommended to seek expert assistance who will properly fix those issues for you.
What materials do I need for stucco repair?
In order to do the stucco repair by yourself, you will need stucco patching material, water, mixing tools, a putty knife, and a brush for texturing. Matching paint is optional if you prefer to paint the repaired parts so they don’t stick out.
Is it better to repair or replace stucco?
Stucco restoration can be an effective and affordable solution for small issues. However, long-term durability may require repair if the damage is significant. It is best to hire a professional who will examine the state of your stucco and inform you whether the damaged areas can be repaired or a replacement is needed.
How often does stucco need to be repaired?
Many factors influence the repair frequency, including the environment, preservation, and the quality of your initial installation. In general, it may require minor repairs every few years. However, we recommend you do an inspection every two years to ensure there are no signs of damage.