Stucco Repair Philadelphia is an important aspect of maintaining your home’s exterior. A few hairline cracks can be considered normal wear and tear, but wider cracks could indicate underlying issues that are causing damage to the structure of your house.
Small, hairline cracks can be repaired with paintable acrylic caulk. Apply a strip of caulk and smooth it with your finger before it sets.
Stucco is a sturdy cement plaster that’s used as siding on many homes. It’s not uncommon for cracks to develop in stucco over time. Depending on the size of the crack and the cause, repair may or may not be necessary. In most cases, the cracks are cosmetic and can be easily remedied.
Hairline cracks that appear only on the surface of the stucco aren’t as problematic as more serious ones that extend through the plaster. However, they can still pose a threat to the structure of the house. It’s important to address them right away to prevent moisture penetration, which can lead to wood rot and mold growth.
To correct these cracks, clean the area with a brush and soapy water to remove dirt and debris. If the crack is caused by climbing vines, it’s important to remove them before they get a foothold in the crack. This can be difficult since the roots often penetrate deep into the stucco. Be careful not to rip the plant out; pulling it can rip away chunks of the surrounding stucco. It’s best to spray the plant with water and then scrub it using a stiff-bristle nylon brush.
Once the area is clean, apply caulking designed for stucco. Ideally, use an elastomeric caulking that is flexible and will accommodate the expansion and contraction of the plaster. Quikrete produces a sanded acrylic caulking that’s easy to use for this type of repair (view on Amazon).
After applying the caulk, use a trowel to smooth it. Try to match the texture of the surrounding stucco as much as possible, making sure that there are no ridges or bumps. It’s also a good idea to apply a recoat to the wall(s) afterwards so that the patched area blends in.
If the cracks are more severe or accompanied by bubbling, it’s probably best to call in a stucco pro. A reputable company will know what’s causing the problem and can take steps to resolve it. For example, they may be able to help you install push piers or helical piers under your home, which can prevent further movement and allow for practical maximum recovery (the possibility of regaining inches lost by settlement). They’ll also be insured and guarantee their work, so you can rest assured knowing the job was done properly.
Holes in stucco are more of a nuisance than a serious issue, but they need to be addressed so that water cannot seep beneath the surface and cause water damage. A professional masonry contractor or stucco company can perform the necessary repairs to ensure that the integrity of the home’s exterior is not compromised.
Stucco is a plaster made from cement and lime, often applied to wall finishes in a three-coat system that provides proper setting, sealing, and insulation. While the material itself can be mixed at home and applied to exterior walls, it is typically done by a professional stucco contractor. As with cracks, it is best to address holes and crumbling sections of stucco early on in order to prevent more extensive damage and potentially costly repair bills.
To patch small holes, use a putty knife to spread a specialized stucco patching compound over the hole. The compound should be thick enough to fill the gap and blend into the surrounding stucco. It should also be textured to match the surrounding texture, if possible.
If the hole is more than a few inches wide, chisel away loose stucco with a hammer and cold chisel. Attempt to widen the hole as much as possible without making it too large for a patching product to cover. Once the void is clear, clean it thoroughly to remove any debris that may sabotage your repair efforts.
Once the patch has dried, use a brush to create streaks and swirls in it that match the texture of the surrounding stucco. Then apply a top coat of sanded caulking to seal the hole and allow it to dry again.
A top coating of paint can also be used to close the gap in the surface and conceal any caulking that is visible. In many cases, however, it is better to call in a professional to handle this task. This is especially true for larger holes or cracks, as they could be indicative of a more serious problem, like a leak. To get a free home repair estimate for your stucco project, sign up with PunchList and get matched with vetted local contractors.
Stains on stucco are a common sign that it’s time to have the surface repaired. While some stains can be treated with a bit of elbow grease, it’s best to hire professionals for the job to ensure that the discoloration is completely removed. Staining isn’t just unsightly; it can also cause damage to the stucco, so you want to address it as soon as you notice it. Grease stains, green algae, and other organic growths can actually cause the material to break down. If the stain is left untreated, it may also become a health hazard for you and your family.
Generally speaking, most stains can be cleaned with a mild detergent and water. The key is to saturate the affected area thoroughly with the solution and allow it to sit for five or ten minutes so that it can penetrate the pores of the stucco and cause discoloration. Then, rinse the affected area with a pressure washer. Continue saturating and rinsing the stain until you’ve completely removed it from the surface of your stucco.
In some cases, you may need to scrub a stubborn stain with a brush, either by hand or using a power-brush attachment on your pressure washer. However, it’s important to avoid being too rough so that you don’t risk damaging the surface. If you’re dealing with a particularly difficult stain, it might be time to try something a little more harsh, like a diluted acid wash or household ammonia.
Stucco repair is one of those home improvement projects that most homeowners will need to tackle at some point. While it’s not as easy as repainting a wood-based surface, the task is manageable and requires a few tools that you’ll likely already have in your toolbox. By understanding the basics of how to repair stucco, you can minimize your home’s exterior damage and save money in the process. Stucco repair can be as simple as repairing cracks and stains or as complex as re-building an entire section of your stucco. Either way, it’s a worthwhile project to undertake for the benefit of your home.
Remediation is a process that fixes the underlying problems that are damaging your stucco, such as moisture penetration or structural deterioration. Unlike repair, which is used for surface-level damage, remediation can be more expensive and extensive but will provide a long-lasting solution to these issues.
This type of work is best done by a professional, and the first step is a thorough inspection of your exterior to look for any signs of damage. It’s important that any underlying issues are addressed as soon as possible, since they will continue to worsen if not treated.
The next step of the process is to remove any damaged sheathing or framing and replace it with new materials. This may be necessary if the inspector finds moldy or water-damaged plywood, sheathing, or insulation. A professional can also replace any doors or windows that have been compromised by the damage. During this process, it’s also a good idea to add gutters if you haven’t already. This will help channel rainwater away from problem areas, and it’s a good idea to keep the gutters clean to prevent blockages.
Once the sheathing and framing are replaced, the damaged stucco is stripped down to the bare walls. A fresh coat of stucco is then applied, and any stains or damage are repaired. It’s important to use a high-quality stain or paint, as these are better able to resist wear and tear. Additionally, quality paint will help protect the stucco against harmful UV rays that can cause discoloration and fade over time.
When it comes to repairing your stucco, it’s essential to do your research to find the right company. Reputable companies will take the time to assess the damage and determine where it is coming from. They will also address any underlying issues, such as mold or mildew, so they do not return.
It’s important to recognize that if your home is suffering from damage to the stucco, it could be affecting the rest of the house as well. Moisture from the stucco can cause rot in the sheathing and framing, leading to costly repairs and replacements. Choosing to simply repair the stucco instead of addressing the underlying issues could cost you more in the long run.