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.

Tips for maintaining and fixing your stucco

1. Clean out damaged stucco

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

2. Replace the stucco

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

3. Getting a great finish

  • Further smooth the surface with the trowel, smoothing out the edges to blend with the surrounding surface.
  • Use a whisk broom or trowel to give the patch a matching texture.
  • 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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