If your stucco is cracked, you might think you should repair it right away, but it’s best to wait. Why? Freezing temps and stucco patching just don’t mix.
It’s likely that if you look hard enough, you can find someone to do any job you want done, but a true professional will not take a job that he or she knows will not turn out right or will not last. Experience, skill and honesty are three important traits everyone working on your home should have.
STUCCO THROUGH THE AGES
Stucco dates back at least to the ancient Egyptians, but the finish on your home isn’t likely to last as long as the pyramids, though some of the same ingredients are used in each. Traditional stucco was made of lime, sand and water, but lime eventually was replaced with cement for a more durable product.
Stucco used to be installed over brick or stone, the result a fortress-like residence. Later, the switch was made to wood for the base — a lighter material that made wall building easier and faster. The stucco finish was attached to an outer layer of lath, or thin strips of wood the provided a reliable base to which the stucco could adhere properly. Over the years, this type of lath was replaced by the superior metal lath, which is like a heavy screen and holds the material better.
NOT IMMUNE TO DAMAGE
Despite all these advancements, stucco sometimes still requires repair. Because it is so rigid, it’s not unusual for stucco to suffer some cracking, either due to the building settling or suffering some type of impact — being bumped with a vehicle, hit with a ball or struck in some other way.
If the crack is merely cosmetic, it can be repaired fairly quickly and easily with specially made caulk. Some homeowners feel they can tackle this job themselves, but know the process before you try. The crack has to be widened and prepared correctly in order for the caulk to work properly. Watch this video by Quikrete to see if you think you’re up to it.
Patching small holes is a similar process, but your result depends on two major caveats: temperature and availability of color.
MILD WEATHER NECESSARY
Applying stucco or even applying caulk or patch to stucco in temperatures below 40 degrees can do more harm than good. Stucco gets its strength from the drying process, which should be allowed to occur slowly. If the water in the mixture freezes up as soon as its applied, the product won’t last.
Professional stucco installers have access to a wide variety of colors for patches that can’t always easily be found at your local hardware store. No stucco patch will ever match exactly, but the professionals come closer than most handymen can on their own.
If your stucco is cracked, call the professionals here at Renovation by Burbach. We will come out and assess the damage, ascertaining if it is merely cosmetic or requires more work, and we’ll get you on the calendar to have your stucco repaired as soon as the snow starts melting.