The Stucco Repair Process

stucco repair process

Stucco is a common choice for exterior wall surfaces, and it’s not uncommon to have Stucco Repair Philadelphia over time. However, a little research and preventative maintenance can make this task much less daunting. For thin hairline cracks, a high-quality paintable caulking product can be used to repair the gap. Larger cracks and damaged areas require full remediation.

Stucco is a durable and beautiful material that offers homeowners the opportunity to add an exterior coating that is both weather-resistant and customizable. However, as with any material, stucco can experience damage and require repair. Damage can occur for several reasons, including severe weather and water damage. Fortunately, several steps can be taken to prevent damage from occurring or repair it when it does.

The first step in the stucco repair process is to assess the damaged area and determine if a full remediation or repair will be required. If only a small stucco area has come loose, it can be repaired using a sanded acrylic caulking product. The caulking should be mixed according to the manufacturer’s directions, and applied to the crack in a thin layer. This will help to seal the crack and prevent moisture from leaking in the future.

If the crack is wider than a dime, it may be necessary to use a stucco patch mix to repair the area. This can be purchased at many home improvement stores, and it is important that the mix matches the existing stucco in color and particle size. Ideally, it should also be made from the same type of lime as the original stucco. This can be achieved by adding a pozzolanic additive like brick dust to a fat lime.

After assessing the condition of the crack, it is important to remove any debris that has fallen in or around it. If the area is large, it may be necessary to replace the metal mesh that is used for support. It is important to ensure that the new mesh is properly secured, as this will determine how well the brown coat and subsequent layers adhere to the structure.

It is also important to note that large cracks are often a sign of improper installation. This can include issues like incorrect locations for expansion joints, base coats that are not allowed to cure properly and other construction errors. If these problems are not addressed, they will likely lead to regular repairs and eventual failure of the stucco system.


The first step in any stucco repair is to determine the underlying cause of damage. Loose stucco often bulges and feels spongey to the touch. Using a hammer or chisel, carefully remove loose stucco to expose the wire mesh lathing underneath. If the lathing is rusty or damaged, cut out the affected section and replace it with new lath. After removing loose stucco, it’s important to clean the wall and vacuum to ensure that no debris is left behind. It’s also a good idea to use this opportunity to check the weather-extreme temperatures can make it difficult for stucco to adhere properly.

Depending on the extent of damage, some areas may require full restoration instead of simple repairs. In general, full restoration requires a thorough cleaning of the area, replacement of the original building paper and metal lath with new materials, and three coats of the stucco mix. This process is more labor intensive and may require hiring a professional to complete the work.

Once the repair site is cleaned and prepped, prepare a batch of stucco mix in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s important to mix the concrete in small batches-it dries quickly and can become difficult to apply when it is too thick. It’s also a good idea not to mix more than you can use in 20 minutes.

Wet the patch area so that the newly applied stucco will adhere to the old stucco and create a bond. It’s also helpful to add a little water to the stucco mixture before applying it-this helps to smooth the surface and create a better texture for the top coat.

When applying the stucco, it’s best to work with a partner-this not only provides an extra pair of hands but can help prevent accidents or injuries. Start by scooping fist-size wads of stucco onto a brick trowel. Pack the wads against the wire lath and apply pressure as you work.

For small cracks and holes, you can use a sanded acrylic exterior caulk to fill them. This will provide a temporary solution until the stucco repair can be completed. Larger cracks are more serious and should be addressed with a professional. They can be caused by a number of things, including incorrect locations for expansion joints, base coats applied before the stucco has had time to cure, or poor construction practices.


Stucco is a beautiful material that offers a wide variety of design and color options. It’s also highly durable and resistant to weather. However, like any material it can be damaged by severe weather events or overexposure to moisture. Other common causes of damage include rushed jobs or incorrect application and mixing of ingredients. If you notice damage to your stucco it’s important to act quickly to avoid further damage. Stucco repair is a much less invasive process than remediation and is typically cheaper as well.

The first step in any stucco repair is to cover or recover any exposed lath. This is done by cutting a piece of builder’s paper to fit the damaged area and then securing it over the existing lath using construction staples. This will create a moisture barrier between the wood and any future stucco application.

Once the paper is in place it’s time to start applying the patch. Using a hawk and trowel apply the scratch coat. This is the first layer of the stucco that goes on the wall and it’s important to apply it evenly.

After the scratch coat has dried it’s time to begin adding the actual repair stucco. Use a float to apply the stucco and make sure to blend it in with the surrounding, undamaged surface. Apply several coats, allowing each one to dry before applying the next. During this phase it’s also recommended that you fill any cracks or holes with paintable caulking.

Moisture intrusion is one of the most serious threats to any stucco system. If left unchecked, it can lead to mold and rot. It’s critical to inspect your stucco regularly and look for signs of leaking water such as damp spots or unsightly lines beneath windows.

Stucco remediation is a more involved service than simple repairs and should only be performed when the cause of the problem has been discovered. Moisture intrusion is usually caused by a lack of drainage or faulty plumbing. Remediation involves stripping the stucco layers back to the base layer of the exterior wall and repairing any internal damage that’s causing moisture intrusion.


While it may sound like a daunting task to fix stucco damage, the truth is that with proper preparation and knowledge of what causes this type of damage, this can be a much less daunting project than many homeowners believe. In addition, using today’s new pigments that are compatible with cement-based materials, this process can bring a plaster surface back to its original appearance without the need for repainting.

While wearing protective gloves and eye protection, begin by tapping the damaged stucco with a hammer and cold chisel to break away any loose pieces that are not securely attached to the lath (strips of wood that help support the stucco). Continue this process until you reach solidly adhered plaster. This step will be easier if the area is wet before beginning; this will also reduce the amount of dust that is produced during this phase.

Once the damaged stucco is removed, measure the area and cut a piece of grade D building paper to fit the repair area, ensuring that it covers all exposed wood materials to create an effective moisture barrier. Secure this layer to the studs or sheathing, leaving a margin around the edge of the repair to be sealed with acrylic exterior caulk later.

Next, if the existing metal mesh is severely damaged or missing altogether, it’s necessary to replace this element for optimal stucco adhesion. Start by cutting a piece of galvanized steel wire mesh to size using metal snips. Then, attach the mesh to the wall using corrosion-resistant screws or staples — overlapping any existing mesh where necessary.

If you are using a premixed stucco repair mix, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s directives on how to properly stir the product before application. If you’re mixing your own concrete, however, be sure to use a rapid-setting formula that will cure more quickly than traditional stucco.

Once the patch is applied, use the notched side of your trowel to score grooves into the surface. This step will provide a better surface for the next coat and result in greater adherence. After scoring, cover the area with plastic and painter’s tape to prevent weather exposure until it is completely dry.