Posted in Blog  
  on Jul 14, 2015

How To Repair a Stucco Exterior Wall

An exterior stucco wall can create some amazing curb appeal. It can also create a difficult repair should the stucco crack over time. Because the stucco is made from cement plaster, there is also a risk of buckling that occurs. It is possible to repair these issues, but it will take some specific tools and some time. You'll need some cement, mason's sand, hydrated lyme, and a bonding agent. You'll also need to keep an eye on the weather. If the temperature drops below freezing, then the wet stucco can be ruined. If it is too hot or dry, the mix may not cure properly. If it is windy outside, then debris can get stuck into the stucco. Wear gloves while mixing the stucco as well otherwise it can burn your skin.

1. Mix Your Compound.

Use a wheelbarrow to mix up your stucco. Once the dry ingredients are mixed together, add the bonding agent just a bit at a time. Your goal is to create a mixture that looks like cement frosting. Once you reach this stage, you've got at least 30 minutes to get the repair completed. You way wish to prepare the job site before mixing the stucco compound together.

2. Break Off Any Loose Or Cracked Stucco.

There will be mesh or lath supports underneath the stucco. Don't damage this, but do remove any of the damaged stucco with a chisel, a hammer, or other tools. You'll need to have something protecting your eyes for this part of the job. Keep going until you reach stucco that is firmly attached to the wall. Then you can cut out any metal mesh that may be present.

3. Cover The Exposed Lath.

Once the mesh has been removed or the wood lath exposed, it is time to cover it up. Use builder's paper to get this part of the job done. You can fasten the paper to the lath with roofing nails. Make sure to cover the entire boundary of the repair gap and make the surface of the paper nice and tight. Once that is done, repeat this step. You'll need two layers of builder's paper to successfully repair the exterior stucco wall.

4. Place a Metal Mesh Over The Paper.

Trim the mesh to size so that it fits directly over the paper and tightly up against the good stucco More roofing nails can help to secure the metal mesh to the wall so that it fits securely.

5. Now You're Ready To Sling The Stucco.

Add a little water to the good stucco on the wall first so that the moisture of the patching materials isn't drawn to the existing materials. If this happens, the bond of the repair will be weakened. Then scoop up the stucco compound and sling it onto the wall until the metal mesh is completely covered. Smooth out the the surface of the stucco using a trowel and then back in into the edges of the repair site using a brick trowel. You'll need to keep repeating this step until you have enough material in place that the repair site is about 0.5 inches below the existing stucco.

6. Score The Surface Of The Stucco.

Once the stucco compound has lost its luster, then it is time to score the surface of the repair site. This improves the bond that will occur when you add another layer of stucco to the repair site at a future time. Now cover the repair site with a plastic sheet to prevent it from drying out too quickly.

7. Add a Second Coat.

You'll need to let the first layer of stucco dry for at least 7 days. Once the time passes, you'll be able to remove the plastic sheet and mix up a new batch of stucco compound. You'll want to create a layer that is about 1/8 inch below the existing stucco. Pack down the edges, let the luster of the stucco disappear, and then smooth out the repair site. Cover with the plastic sheet once again and allow to dry for 3 days.

8. Finish The Job.

Mist the patch and mix up some more stucco compound. This will be your finish coat, so match up your textures to create a seamless repair. Your finish coat will create a flush surface at this point. As a final step, allow the stucco repair to cure for another week. Then you can paint it and the rest of the wall. This will create an invisible repair patch that will make your exterior wall look brand new.


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