What To Do About Stucco?


Posted by Damon L. Chavez on Monday, February 25th, 2008 at 1:32pm.

Stucco was all the rage for a time, and builders not only used it to cover new homes, but also over top of old wood siding homes. If your home has an older stucco finish, chances are it is in need of some repair. Typically, stucco is applied in several coats over a wire mesh which lies on top of spacers, building paper, and a sheathing, most likely plywood.  It can be blown on or applied by hand.  It is important to know that stucco absorbs moisture. This makes for a challenge when deciding what to do to replace it. If you have cracks or holes in your stucco, you can probably patch these fairly easily. Determine which kind of cement most closely matches your type of stucco, as there are a variety of suitable types. Then, examine your texture, and determine what you will need to do to match it. You may need to add sand or small pebbles, or you may need to do some artful raking or toweling to make it match. You may also have to get just the right pigment to match the existing color. Other than all of these steps, patching cracks in stucco is actually quite easy. You may decide you want to change the color of your stucco home. In this case, your options are to stucco a new layer over the entire home, or to paint. This is where the moisture warning comes in. You need to be sure your paint isn't allowing moisture in, while not allowing it to evaporate. There are special paints and stains on the market specifically for stucco, and it's best to do some research to be sure you are getting the right thing. Otherwise, moisture damage can occur, especially in colder climates. If you do another stucco layer, be sure the surface of your existing stucco isn't treated with anything that will prevent adhesion. Another option is to put new metal lath (a sort of mesh that helps stucco and plaster adhere) over your existing finish and re-stucco onto that. There are also synthetic stucco-like products on the market. Be careful what you choose, as there is mixed feedback about these products. Some complaints are that they do not adhere very well, and come off in large pieces. I there are a lot of the problems with stucco or any similar finish, it may be due to improper application.  Be sure to do more research if you are going to attempt to update your stucco finish. It might even be best to hire a professional, as long as you are sure they have specific stucco experience. This article was written by the writing team at Colorado House Finders, Colorado REALTORS®. If you are looking for real estate in Colorado, the Colorado House Finders team of professionals can help.