Stucco Repair Charleston SC fixes the underlying issue that’s leading to stucco damage. Without remediation, moisture that gets behind the walls will cause rot, leading to dangerous mold development and other safety hazards in your home.
The process begins with fully inspecting the stucco wall system, especially around windows and doors. Simple repairs may be enough if there’s no evidence of a moisture problem.
Stucco is one of the most popular materials used to cover homes in the past few decades. It looks beautiful, is a great insulator, and reduces outside noise. When it’s properly installed and maintained, it can last for over a hundred years. But, like any material, it will eventually wear down and show signs of damage. When those signs appear, it’s important to take action immediately.
While simple repairs can help address some of the problems caused by stucco, a professional must conduct an in-depth remediation service. This type of repair involves removing the wall’s outer layer and replastering it to correct the underlying problems. This is much more expensive than a simple repair and should only be used as a last resort.
The first step of this process is to inspect the stucco and look for signs of underlying issues. These can be seen in the areas around windows and doors, where moisture penetration is most common. If a problem is found, the underlying issue will be fixed before the stucco is reapplied.
After the underlying issue is addressed, the contractor will begin to strip away the old stucco. This will reveal the metal lath beneath it. If the metal is in good condition, it can be used as the base for the new stucco. Otherwise, it will need to be replaced with new metal mesh that is cut to size using metal snips. Then, the contractor will apply a coat of a special stucco mix to the mesh. This coat is a quarter inch thick and is spread evenly. It’s important to note that the color of the stucco can change over time, so you will want to add a little pigment to the mix to match the existing color.
Once the new layer is applied, it will need to be “screeded” with a straight edge in order to ensure that it is completely flat and level. Then, the contractor will apply another coat of stucco, which is a third of an inch thick. This coat should also be smoothed down and leveled with a straight edge.
The good news is that if your stucco has been affected by surface cracks and minor water damage, you might be able to save some money by doing the repair yourself. Stucco is a lime or cement-based plaster that is applied to exterior wall finishes in a three-coat system that ensures setting, sealing, and insulation. It can be mixed easily at home and is relatively inexpensive as DIY projects go.
If your problems are confined to hairline or spider cracks that do not extend through the entire substrate, you may be able to fill them with a high-quality stucco repair caulk purchased at your local hardware store. Before applying the caulk, brush or vacuum any loose stucco and then clean the gap using a putty knife or drywall trowel. Apply the caulk with a caulking gun, smooth it with your finger, and let it dry according to manufacturer’s guidelines.
For more extensive damage, a more substantial repair is required. If your walls have black stains that bleed through the stucco, it is likely due to significant water damage in the substrate and should be addressed immediately. This will require removing and replacing the existing material on a large area of your home, and the cost for this type of repair usually runs from $30 to $50 per square foot.
Depending on the extent of the problem, additional costs for inspections and moisture testing might be required. Moisture meters probe for dampness behind the stucco, which is often hidden from view and cannot be detected visually. Moisture intrusion can lead to mold, mildew, wood rot, and other issues that threaten your health and that of your family.
If you have extensive stucco problems, it is a good idea to hire an experienced contractor for remediation services. The best time to start a stucco repair project is in early spring or fall when the weather is cooler and the building materials are less likely to expand and contract.
Time to Remediate
Stucco remediation is a major repair project, but it’s also a way to prevent moisture penetration from damaging your home. A professional stucco contractor can help you determine whether a complete remediation or just repairs are needed. This distinction is important, as it could save you money and protect your property value.
In addition to addressing structural issues, the remediation process can help you address mold and wood rot that may be affecting your home. It is best to do this as soon as possible, because these problems can spread quickly. Besides, these kinds of problems are expensive to fix and can damage your home’s value.
Repairing a stucco wall involves removing the damaged area and reapplying new stucco material. This process usually takes a few days, depending on the extent of the work required.
The first step is to sweep or vacuum the cracks and brush off any loose material. Then, use a caulking gun to fill the cracks with a high-quality stucco repair caulk and smooth it over the surface. For larger cracks, a premixed stucco patching mix can be used. After the patch is applied, it’s a good idea to add color pigment and re-texture the surface to match the surrounding stucco.
Once the new material has been textured, it’s time to paint. This can take a few days, but it’s better to do this than wait any longer. If you wait, the cracks will widen and the water will cause further damage to your home.
Moisture penetration is a serious issue for any type of building, including your stucco house. A thorough remediation will help prevent damage to the walls and interior of your home.
If you’re thinking of getting your stucco repaired, be sure to check out reviews and testimonials before hiring a contractor. This will give you a good indication of the quality of the work and how well the contractor treats their customers. A trusted contractor will not resort to shady sales tactics or make promises they can’t keep. Instead, they will provide you with an honest consultation and a reasonable estimate.
Don’t Wait Any Longer
Stucco is an architectural material that requires regular inspection and maintenance. When it’s not maintained, cracks begin to develop. These cracks create pathways for water to enter your home. When moisture penetrates the stucco, it softens and seeps into the wall, causing damage like peeing paint, drywall rot, wood rot, mold, swollen shingles and more. If this is allowed to continue, the rot will eventually cause structural damage and the entire wall system may need to be replaced by a licensed professional.
Hairline cracks in stucco may seem minor, but if they are not repaired they will spread. This will create bigger problems for the home’s structure as the cracks grow and can result in untold damages to the walls such as swollen shingles, water penetration, wood rot, mold, fungus, and more.
Cracks and chips are easy to fix with the use of commercially available stucco fillers that are specifically designed for this purpose. However, this is still a project best left to professionals unless you are experienced in plastering. The right stucco mix for the type of surface you are repairing is important, too. Different types of surfaces require a different mix, and there is a technique for applying the stucco to ensure proper setting and insulation.
Plastering is an art that takes time to master, and if not done properly, can lead to even more damage. Leaving a stucco repair project unfinished can also be problematic, as the existing damage to the wall will continue to propagate and can affect areas that were just redone.
If you have a stucco home and are experiencing any of the issues listed above, it’s time for an inspection. A qualified home inspector or licensed contractor can tell you if your stucco needs simple repairs or remediation. The sooner you get the problem fixed, the less expensive the solution will be. Putting off this project will only cost you more money in the long run, as damage can spread to previously repaired areas. So don’t wait any longer, call a licensed contractor to schedule an inspection today!