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Stucco Repair – Why You Should Hire a Professional

Stucco Repair Philadelphia is a versatile and attractive exterior finish for homes. However, it can crack and damage over time for many reasons. It is important to inspect your stucco regularly, especially the corners around windows and any areas that have foam trim.

If you notice cracks or discoloration, it may be time for a repair. Remediation is more expensive than simple repairs, but it will solve the underlying problem and prevent future damage.

Stucco damage is a deceptive issue because it often goes unnoticed until it’s too late and you’re forced to hire a professional for a thorough inspection. It might seem minor, a hairline crack here or a discolored patch there, but the truth is, these symptoms can lead to serious moisture problems that can have a negative impact on the structure’s durability and lifespan.

Moisture damage starts with hairline cracks that gradually widen over time. These can cause further structural problems, such as rot or mold, if left unchecked. Thankfully, there are a few ways to mitigate this type of problem. Homeowners can invest in a quality sealant that can act as a protective barrier against moisture intrusion and temperature fluctuations. They can also ensure that gutters and downspouts are directing water away from the wall, as well as check that all flashing is intact.

Another easy way to keep moisture at bay is by coating the stucco with a special masonry paint that is both weather-resistant and waterproof. This will protect the surface from moisture and abrasion, preventing damage and preserving the beauty of the stucco for years to come.

It’s also a good idea to regularly inspect the stucco, especially after stormy weather. The freeze-thaw cycle can exacerbate small cracks and create further damage over time, so it’s important to be vigilant. Lastly, homeowners should be sure to check for any signs of mold or mildew. If you notice any, it’s best to scrub the affected area with a mixture of one part bleach to four parts water, wearing gloves and eye protection. Then, make sure to rinse and dry thoroughly before proceeding with a repair.

Other common weather-related issues include blistering, crazing, flaking and chalking. These problems are caused by the expansion and contraction of the paint, causing it to lose its adherence to the stucco. Water can seep into these cracks, creating further damage and resulting in further paint failure.

Fortunately, most of these issues can be prevented with regular maintenance and careful attention to the details. Stucco damage may not be covered by your home insurance, but there are public adjusters and attorneys who can help you get compensation from the contractors or builders who were responsible for the initial work on your property.

DIY Repairs

A stucco exterior requires a little more care than vinyl siding, but it’s still popular among homeowners. Whether you decide to handle stucco repairs yourself or hire a professional will depend on the extent of the damage and your comfort level with DIY projects. Using the right tools and understanding how to assess and repair damage is essential to keeping your home looking great.

Using a mason’s chisel and hammer, remove any loose pieces of stucco around the crack or hole in your stucco wall. You should also sand the area with a wire brush to ensure it’s smooth and clean before applying new stucco. It’s also important to check the condition of any metal mesh that may be present behind the damaged area. If this mesh is severely damaged or missing, you’ll need to replace it.

Small or medium-size holes in your stucco are typically easy to fix without a professional. You’ll need to purchase a kit that includes a stucco patching compound and explicit instructions on how to use it. Ensure the compound you select is suitable for the size of hole or crack you are repairing. It’s also best to apply the first coat of patching in the morning when it is cool so it doesn’t bake or shrink as it dries.

Once you’ve applied the primer coat, you’ll need to prepare your stucco mix. You can choose a pre-mixed repair product, or you can make your own with Portland cement, lime and sand. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how much mix you need per repair area. Remember that the mix dries fast, so you’ll need to work quickly once you start.

After applying the first coat of stucco, you should etch the surface with a putty knife or trowel. This helps the second coat of stucco adhere to the first, and it will help the final texture match the rest of your house. After applying a second coat, allow the patched area to dry for several hours before etching it again with your tool of choice. Once the patched area is completely dry, you’re ready to paint.

Hire a Professional

Stucco looks easy enough to put on your walls, but it requires the skills of a professional. If you hire a contractor to repair your stucco, they can save you time, money and trouble by doing the job correctly the first time. You can find a qualified contractor with a good reputation by asking smart questions. It is also a good idea to learn as much about stucco as you can so you can ask informed questions when interviewing potential contractors.

The location of the contractor is important, as the closer they are to your home, the more cost-effective it will be for them to transport their workers and materials. In addition, a local stucco contractor will be familiar with the specific threats that your stucco faces from moisture and pests in your area. They will know whether there are particular problems you may need to watch out for, such as excessive staining or soft spots that indicate water damage behind the surface.

A reputable stucco contractor will be licensed, insured and provide you with a warranty. This will give you peace of mind that they will perform a quality job for a fair price and will stand behind their work. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and will be able to explain how their products and services can benefit you.

Remember that when moisture seeps through cracked or damaged stucco, it starts a chain reaction that can damage the entire wall structure of your home. The continual flow of moisture will eventually cause mold, mildew and rotting wood which can affect the health and safety of your family. Mold exposure can cause a range of health problems, from respiratory issues to itchy or burning eyes and skin.

Regular inspections of your stucco will help you spot any problem areas before they get out of hand. Look for hairline cracks or larger ones, as well as stains and rotted wood. If you notice any of these signs, call a stucco contractor right away. They will be able to fix them before they worsen and damage the rest of your home.

Prevent Mold

Mold spores can be spread by wind or rain, but they can also become trapped behind the stucco surface. When this happens, the moisture can’t drain or dry, and it begins to rot the wooden wall studs and sheathing. This causes extensive structural damage that can cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix and is often not covered by homeowners’ insurance.

The best way to prevent mold is to perform a visual and physical inspection of your stucco once a month. Look for cracks, holes, chips and discoloration. Make sure to examine any areas where water could have gotten in, such as behind your gutters, around windows and doors or near the base of the walls. Mold tends to grow in moist regions, so check carefully around any shrubs, flowers and trees that may be growing near your building.

If you notice any areas of mold, wash the affected area with a gentle cleaning solution such as oxygen bleach. This will kill the spores and help prevent them from returning. If the mold is widespread or persists, a professional may need to come in and treat the entire area with mold removal chemicals.

Water damage is another major problem that can lead to mold. If the stucco was installed incorrectly or is prone to leaking, water can seep into the interior and cause serious problems, including mold.

A professional should inspect the underlying lath and sheathing to ensure that there are no signs of rot or water damage before repairing the stucco. If the sheathing and studs are in good shape, reinstalling new stucco with water-resistant barriers should keep mold from growing.

A common cause of water damage in stucco is misdirected rainwater. Gutters and downspouts can become clogged, causing water to pool and leak into cracks in the stucco. Regularly cleaning your gutters and downspouts can help prevent this issue, as can improving drainage around your home to reduce the risk of backyard flooding and excess moisture. Mold that makes its way between the exterior stucco and the framing of your house can damage walls and exacerbate allergies or asthma. If you notice any signs of mold on your stucco, take prompt action to avoid costly repair bills in the future.