How To Repair Water-Damaged Stucco

Stucco is an incredibly durable and long-lasting material, but even it can become damaged. The most common issue that homeowners run into with stucco is water damage. Even a small leak can eventually separate stucco from the rest of the structure, causing cracks and flaking. It's important to address these problems right away.

Identify the Cause of the Problem

Stucco doesn't usually peel or crack unless there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Most often this is flooding or a water leak that is coming from inside. If you don't address this issue first, the stucco will simply peel off again. Stucco can last up to a hundred years if there aren't maintenance issues involved. 

Remove and Sand the Damage

Pull off any of the waterlogged, damaged stucco and sand down the edges. You may need to wait for the entire area to dry if it has been exposed to water recently; you should never apply new material to stucco that is still wet as it won't adhere properly. You should sand with a coarse sandpaper grit rather than a finer grit for the same reason; a smoothly polished surface will not adhere well.

Mix Up New Stucco

Stucco is a mixture of cement, mason's sand, lime and bonding agent. You can get a premixed stucco powder from a hardware store or find a recipe online -- either way you need to make sure that your measurements are accurate. Improperly mixed stucco is not going to adhere or may not last. Water should be mixed into your stucco powder until you have a smooth paste. 

Quickly Apply the New Stucco

Make sure you wear gloves throughout this process! Stucco does have lime in it, so it can harm you if it gets on your exposed flesh. Stucco should be applied within half an hour of being mixed as it will begin to harden and become unworkable.

Apply the new stucco smoothly using anything flat, such as a paint scraper or other similar metal tool. You will have to apply multiple layers of stucco if the area to be patched is deep. Just wait a few minutes until a layer hardens and then place more stucco on it. 

If you come in contact with stucco at any time during this process, you should run the affected area under water for at least a few minutes until you are certain that it has been washed off. Wash any clothing that has come into contact with stucco thoroughly and separately from any other clothing. After one or two days, the stucco should set properly and you should have a solid new finish.

To learn more, contact a company like Advanced Wall Systems Inc. with any questions or concerns you have.