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Stucco Repair in Commerce, CA

What is Stucco?

Stucco is a fine plaster used for coating wall surfaces or molding into architectural decorations often used in construction and for general household repairs. Traditional stucco is made of lime, sand and water whereas modern stucco is made of cement, sand and water. Sometimes additives such as acrylics and glass fibers are added to improve the structural properties of stucco. Applied when wet it hardens into a very dense solid. Stucco may be used to cover less visually appealing construction materials such as concrete, cinder block or clay brick and adobe.

Traditional stucco used as a building material, is a durable, attractive and weather-resistant wall covering. Stucco was adapted for heavy timber and light wood-framed construction methods by adding a reinforcement lattice attached to and spanning between structural supports and by increasing the thickness and number of layers of the total system. The lattice adds support for the wet plaster and tensile strength to the brittle, cured stucco, while the increased thickness and number of layers helps control cracking. In exterior wall applications, the lattice is installed over a weather-resistant asphalt-impregnated felt or paper sheet that protects the framing from the moisture that can pass through the porous stucco.

Some Of Our Stucco Repair Work

Why Would I Need Stucco Repair?

When you start to see bubbles, cracks and buckling where stucco has been applied under paint on a wall or surface, it's a sign of underlying water damage and time for repair before the damage grows. When properly installed, stucco is long lived as anyone could wish for lasting over 100 years typically. You'll want to remove any loose material and repatch it with 3 separate coats of stucco then repaint the area.

Temperatures that reach freezing can ruin any good stucco repair so if you live in a colder area it's best to wait for the temperature to reach above 40 degrees before tackling any repairs. Hot, windy and drier climates can also wreak havoc by sucking out moisture so the mix needs to cure properly. Working in the shade will help under these conditions so the stucco doesn't dry too fast. Keep the patch moist between coats by covering it with a plastic sheet.

For instructions on how to repair stucco refer to this helpful YouTube video that will walk you through the process of mixing stucco and applying it safely: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,1628270,00.html

Stretch Guard Elastomeric Life Time Paint

How Often Do I Need To Repair Stucco?

While the service life of stucco can't be quantified as a specific number of years, usually stucco is as durable as any commonly used cladding material. It's hard surface resists abrasion and can take a lot of physical abuse. The lifespan of stucco largely depends on where you live and the quality of workmanship. Stucco can stand up to most climates from hot to cold to wet and dry and last as long as you own your home in most cases but in areas with extreme climates and weather conditions, it may have to eventually be repaired.

If the person who applied the stucco in the first place did not have the knowledge and experience of knowing how many layers to apply, which materials work best with stucco and so on the stucco may not last as long as it would with higher quality workmanship.

When you set out to do a repair, make sure that all the old materials are removed before applying the new stucco otherwise it's not likely to dry properly and work as effectively as an adhesive. The stucco will end up cracking if not applied properly with the standard recommended 3 coats. When applied the right way, stucco is low-maintenance and shouldn't cause you any problems in the long term. A professional plasterer understands how to work around any challenges and knows all sorts of methods to compensate.

What Determines The Cost Of Repairing Stucco?

Each repair project stands on it's own merit and can vary in cost but there are some general costs to consider that can help you budget for your stucco repair. A stucco job can cost you more in the long run if you don't use a reputable stucco contractor to do the job. An job done properly will cost you between $9 to $10 per square foot. Any less and you may be compromising the functionality of your wall. If you receive a quote for less you should run the other direction because it's true you get what you pay for. Just costing the materials at $4.50 per square foot plus labor at $3.00 per square foot puts you at $7.50 per square foot for the job. This doesn't include other costs incurred by the stucco contractor such as setup, cleanup, gas to and from suppliers, etc.

To know if you're getting your money's worth, ask the contractor is what kind of material is he using to complete the job. Make sure their not using below grade materials which means your own research will pay off so you can have an educated conversation about it. Go over the breakdown of all the materials and supplies needed to complete the job such as stucco used over masonry without foam insulation, etc. Extra costs can come into play if repairs need to be done to damaged areas before applying the base coat. The cost of the average stucco repair ranges from $50 to $100 per square foot.

How To Protect Stucco With Texture Coating?

Most people think painting over stucco will protect it when really it could actually cause you more problems later on. If you want stucco to last longer there are ways you can go about protecting your stucco home with texture coating which is much more compatible than paint and a way to save you money overall. Stucco can be a protectant in it's own right but also fragile in many ways so experts employed a variety of means to prolong it's usefulness.

The most common treatment was to whitewash stucco, often annually. The lime in the whitewash offered protection and stability, helped to harden the stucco and fill small cracks before they could develop into larger ones and let in moisture. To improve water repellency, stucco buildings were also sometimes coated with paraffin, a type of wax or oil mastics. Once the basic makeup of the stucco is determined, you can find the appropriate coating to protect it.

Tex-Cote Cool Wall Application

Using The Basic 3 coat system

Typically, stucco starts with lath. Lathing begins with a metal weep screed that is installed around the bottom of your home. The exterior walls are wrapped with a weather resistant black paper similar to roofing paper, the purpose is to create a backup weather resistant membrane just incase any water gets past the stucco. Next, a metal woven wire is installed over the black paper to support the newly applied wet stucco until it can dry. After the lath has been completed, the stucco is applied in 3 layers referred to as scratch, brown and texture coats. Color can be added to the texture coat. One advantage of stucco is that there is a never ending variety of textures ranging from a smooth, egg shell type of texture to a heavy lace texture.

Texture coatings will provide the long lasting protection your home needs against chipping, flaking, fading, chipping and moisture over time. They help preserve the color of stucco which can sometimes change over time in varied climates. The best brands are 100% waterproof, maintenance free and lets your walls breathe.