Stucco is composed of water, a binding material, and construction aggregate, and is mainly used as a strengthening material. It is a building material that gives the walls an attractive look. Moreover, it is durable and weather-proof. Its use in the United States dates back to the 19th century. St. John's Church in Washington, D.C. is an example of one of the most important stucco structures of the 19th century. This material was considered to be a far more superior, inexpensive, dryer, and a warmer material than the bricks by Andrew Jackson Downing, an architect of those times. There are two types of stucco, the traditional and the modern. The traditional variety consisting water, sand, and lime; whereas the modern one consists of sand, water, lime, and Portland cement. The modern stucco is a cement plaster wall covering used for exterior walls of the building. It sometimes might also contain a mixture of additives that include synthetic acrylics and fibers. This mixture is added with an aim to increase the strength. Other than walls, it can also be applied on wood. From the above discussion, it is understood that stucco is a vital material to strengthen the wall and also for home decorating purposes, and its repair becomes necessary when it shows signs of damage.
Steps for Repair
Repairing stucco is not a difficult job, and it only requires some practice to do it perfectly. In order to practice, you can try repair work on boards that contain holes on it. Once you heal those cracks successfully, you can move further to do the actual job.
- Portland cement
- Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) boarding agents
- Dampened rags
- Soft-bristled brush
- Latex paint
- Some garden hoses and attachments
- Paint rollers
- Cold chisel
- Fiberglass cloth
- Builder's sand
- The first step in repairing exterior stucco is to completely soak the crack area with the help of a hose. By doing so, the stucco would not separate water from the new mortar and thus would prevent crumbling.
- The next step is to prepare the mortar by mixing some water to one part of Portland cement and about four parts of builder's sand. Ensure that the mortar has become thick enough to be used for the work.
- Further, take the polyvinyl acetate bonding agent and cover the cracked area.
- The bond would remain a little sticky for some time, so apply the mortar to the crack at this time itself. This would fix the bond-and-mortar mix properly to the crack.
- Now, cover the cracked area with the help of bitumen-coated fiberglass. Further, the fiberglass needs to be fixed in its place. You can do this by pressing a paint roller over it.
- Apply bitumen to the crack area and let it dry. On drying the first coat, apply the second coat and spread it uniformly with the help of a soft-bristled brush so that the coat does not stand out as an odd spot on the wall
- Painting a stucco is not difficult. Use the primer to paint the patched area and let it dry. Apply another coat of primer and take care that the newly painted area should look a part of the rest of the wall.
- If you ever find vertical cracks from the bottom of the wall to the window or from the roof of the wall to the door, have these cracks repaired from a professional. As such, cracks indicate a fault in the foundation of the wall.
- Very tiny cracks that are less than ⅛ inch can be stuffed with a superior quality caulk. Prefer using a caulk that allows painting on it post application.
- For painting a stucco, always prefer an acrylic-based paint which prevents moisture from accumulating in the paint.