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How do I Repair Stucco?

By M. Rosario
Updated May 16, 2024
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Stucco is a plaster-like material known for its durability and aesthetic function. There are times, however, when stucco may need to be repaired. Caulking is the most common method of repairing stucco when minor cracks appear. Chipped stucco is typically remedied by painting over it. In addition, patching is a common way to repair stucco holes.

Before you can repair the stucco you must assess damage. Check to see if the damage involves minor cracks, chipping or small holes, as they can easily be repaired by using off-the-shelf products. If the damage is too extensive, contacting an expert to repair stucco may be more effective than trying to remedy it yourself. A stucco specialist can check to see if the damage was caused by structural fault.

It is important to clean the area before undertaking repairs. Removing loose debris ensures the new material bonds well to the surrounding stucco. Scrub the area with a wet sponge or rag to create a smooth stucco working area. Additionally, if the repair involves patching, use a chisel to remove stucco around the hole.

Superficial cracks in stucco are usually fixed by applying caulk. Caulk is available in hardware stores in the form of tubs that can be put in caulking guns. Fill the cracks by tracing the caulk along the crack line. Make sure the caulk completely seals the crack by pressing it using your finger or a stick. After the cracks are filled, remove the extra caulking with a sponge to create a smooth stucco finish.

Chipped stucco is more complicated since the new stucco needs to match the color and texture of the original surface. Most small chippings are fixed by spreading caulk on the damaged area. Allow the stucco to completely dry before painting on it. To make the new paint appear seamless, create a test batch and paint on a cardboard. One thing to remember is that paint tends to appear darker or lighter when wet. After the paint has dried, check to see if it blends perfectly with the old paint. If it does, simply paint over the new stucco and wait for it to dry.

Two types of caulk are mainly used to repair stucco, silicone- and latex-based. Silicone-based caulk is best used for filling small cracks because of its resilience and ability to adhere to most surfaces. As such, silicon-based caulking is typically used to repair stucco on exterior walls. Latex based caulking, on the other hand, easily absorbs paint. For this reason, it is mostly used when applying a stucco patch that will need repainting.

Patching holes in stucco requires a lot more planning. For homeowners inexperienced with masonry, buying pre-mixed stucco can save a lot of time and effort. To patch stucco, determine how deep the hole is. If the hole penetrates to the wall’s inner backing, a wire mesh must first be placed to create a base that the stucco can stick to.

The stucco will be applied in two layers. First, use a trowel to apply the initial coat. Fill the hole to within half an inch (1.3 centimeters) of the surface. Allow it to dry before applying the second layer. A parging coat may be included in the stucco mix in case the surface is textured. If the wall has a smooth surface, apply the second layer just as you would when repairing chipped stucco.

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