Stucco News

Question and answers on Stucco and Plastering-- January, 2015

         Re-doing a bad stucco job without tearing it all off
Thanks for the great website! I have an old "renovated" home. When the
renovation (addition and 2nd floor) was done 12 years ago, stucco was put
on VERY POORLY. Moisture from snow on the driveway has crept up and the
stucco is peeling away on the bottom 2-3 feet. Also, the expansion joints are
 terrible looking - bits of barely covered metal showing. There is also a bump at the back of the house where the metal grid is showing and is
 "growing" out of the house! So... is there anything I can do to repair this or do I have to do a complete new stucco job. Does the old stucco have to come off completely or can new stuff be reapplied? How can I get rid of the expansion joint?


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This all can be repaired and new stucco reapplied
without tearing it off. Tearing off is a huge project.

First the bulge of metal lath growing out of the wall
probably is do to settlement, and the stucco is brought down tight
to the slab. As the house settles, there is nowhere for the stucco
to go so it buckles. This also explains why the bottom
2-3 feet look bad- water penetrates the stucco and saturates the bottom
with no drain. There should be a gap at the bottom of the wall between the stucco and the slab. Here we left about a 2" gap(scroll down to the scallops): http://www.rtbullard.com/stucco/progress/progress21.htm When I went to Southern California in 1991, the building code required a 4" gap at the bottom. The bottom should be cut off up to about 4". If any framing is exposed it should be covered with flashing. The bottom of the stucco needs to be defined with a metal metal weep screed. Those ugly expansion joints are supposed to have the metal exposed. As long as the stucco has never been painted, or has no synthetic finish you can fix everything by: 1. Cut off the bottom with an angle grinder or skil saw with a diamond blade. Pull off the lath and stucco and put on a metal flashing if there is exposed wood framing. Put on a weep screed. 2. Rip out the expansion joints. 3. Check all windows for flashing and cut off stucco and flash if needed 4. Cut out bulge and put on new lath. 5. Apply a bond coat with an acrylic admixture and portland. 6. Apply a new color stucco finish to the whole house 7. Find some one to do the stucco that is worth a damn. Hope this helps. Thanks for visiting my site.