Stucco is an easy and versatile way to accent otherwise plain-looking or flat out ugly walls. This construction material is used for decorative finishes on walls and buildings or fr restoration purposes. It is typically a mixture of lime, sand, Portland cement, and water. This mixture is applied wet to the surface then hardens as it dries. It is popular to homeowners because of how cost-effective it is. Stucco is also widely used in construction. Now before you decide to pick up that trowel and brush here we have provided you with some useful tips that could help your next project a success:
STUCCO NEEDS WATER TO BOND.
Stucco needs water to bond so it does not apply uniformly on a surface that repels moisture. So, if you have a wall that exposed brick or a surface that absorbs moisture, then the stucco can be applied directly. However if you have a painted finish that repels water then that might be a challenge. Now this doesn’t mean you are out of luck, there are 2 techniques you can try:
- Option 1: Remove the paint finish either by sandblasting or water blasting before applying the stucco.
- Option 2: Attach a paper-backed lath to the surface before applying three layers of stucco.
STUCCO NEEDS TO CURE
As we mentioned above, water and hydration is necessary for the layers of stucco to harden. So if anything interferes with the moisture then content should be avoided. This includes the temperature and the wind conditions the wall is exposed to. The ideal temperature for proper curing is 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If weather conditions are less than ideal, then it might be necessary to install sun or windbreaks. Also you will need to wet the stucco finish one to two times a day, especially on the first two days, except for painted finishes as wetting might interfere with its uniformity. In this case, it is better to wet the base coating before applying the top layer.
DOES THE SURFACE HAVE JOINTS?
Depending on what part of the house or building you are applying the stucco on, the surface may have joints. It can be an expansion or contraction joint, which means the wall moves back and forth, or it can be a control joint that allows for out of plane movements. Either way, these are made to relieve pressure or stress to prevent cracking. When dealing with walls that have these, you need to use the appropriate accessory. Use a one-piece accessory for expansion and contraction joints and a two-piece assembly for walls with out-of-plane movements like doors and windows.
When it is applied properly stucco can last a very long time. It is resistant to fire, mold, rot, and termites. Unfortunately if it is not applied properly then it can start to deteriorate. This is something that you would want to leave to the professionals, like the ones at CDP Stucco.