Tips for Repairing Stucco
When in good shape, stucco is one of the most attractive of all materials, but this beautiful material can quickly lose its appeal if not maintained and repaired properly. Fortunately, making simple repairs on a stucco wall or other surface is not that difficult a job, and it is well within the skill set of most do-it-yourself-ers.
So, take a look around your home, identify those areas where the stucco needs some TLC, and follow these easy steps:
1. Look first at the direction of the crack in the stucco. If the crack is vertical, such as from the base to the window or from the roof to the door, there could be a problem with the foundation of the home. When dealing with vertical cracks, you might want to call a foundation specialist - you may have a much more serious problem than cracked stucco.
2. If the crack is horizontal, you can move on to needed repairs. Small cracks can be filled by using a high quality caulk. The best caulk to use is one that can be easily and invisibly painted over. The caulk can be pressed into the crack with your fingers. After the caulk is in place, use a damp cloth to smooth and clean the area. Once the caulk has dried it can be painted to match the color of the wall.
3. Wider cracks can be cleaned out using a screwdriver or a cold chisel. The area to be filled should be soaked thoroughly to prevent the stucco from leaching the water from the new mortar. If the new mortar becomes dry it could crumble.
4. Next, mix the mortar using a shallow bucket. Mix one part Portland cement, four parts builder's sand and a small amount of water. The mortar should be thin enough to work easily but not too runny.
5. First cover the area to be patched with a polyvinyl acetate (PVA) bonding agent designed specifically for masonry.
6. When the bond is still slightly sticky, fill the crack with the mortar mix.
7. Then cover the patched area with a piece of bitumen-coated fiberglass. The bitumen-coated fiberglass can then be pressed into place using a paint roller. The coat of bitumen should be applied directly over the patch.
8. Allow the bitumen to dry, and after it has dried, apply a second coat. The second coat should be carefully stippled with a soft bristle brush so that it matches the rest of the wall.
9. The area can then be painted over, using a primer made specifically for stucco. Allow the primer to dry, and then repaint the area to match the rest of the wall.