Stucco is a popular home siding material for a reason—it can last for hundreds of years. But that durability doesn’t mean you never need to repair it. If you notice cracks, holes, or fissures in your stucco siding, you should address them quickly before water seeps in and causes mold, mildew, or rot to form behind the mesh.
Stucco repair is a fairly simple DIY project, but you can always call in a stucco professional to repair damage that’s widespread or out of reach. According to HomeAdvisor, stucco repair can cost as little as $250 for a small repair and as much as $5,000 for extensive repair.
Why You Should Repair Your Stucco Siding Quickly
Beyond being decorative, stucco acts as a shield around your home. As long as it’s intact, the cement mixture is impermeable to the outdoor elements. Cracks and holes in the stucco open your home up to the outside, allowing moisture to enter behind the remaining stucco.
Trapped moisture can cause the growth of mold and mildew and result in rot, which is a much more costly and challenging fix than patching broken stucco.
When preparing to repair your stucco, pick a day with relatively warm temperatures. Stucco should only be applied when the temperature is between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold weather can cause stucco to run. You should also avoid repairing stucco in hot, dry weather because it could cause the water in stucco to evaporate too quickly, not allowing the material time to cure.
5 Steps to Repair Stucco Siding
Remove Loose and Damaged Stucco
While wearing gloves and eye protection, use a masonry chisel and hammer to carefully remove loose and damaged pieces of stucco. Continue removing damaged material until you see the wire mesh lathing underneath it. Clean the mesh with a wire brush to ensure there aren’t any small pieces left.
Next, inspect the lathing for damage. If it’s damaged or has rust or corrosion, remove the section with wire cutters and replace it with new lathing.
Mix Your Stucco
Mix your stucco according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The color of stucco changes over time and with exposure to the elements, so your patch is unlikely to match the existing color perfectly. You can either paint the section once it’s dry or add pigment to the wet mix before application.
Apply the First Coat of Stucco
Photo: Lisa F. Young / Adobe Stock
With a masonry trowel, apply a thin layer of stucco, about one-fourth of an inch, to the wire mesh. Completely cover the lathing. Wait a few minutes and allow the stucco to begin to harden.
Once it looks dry, use the notched side of the trowel to score grooves over the entire surface. The scoring will provide a better surface for the next coat and result in better adherence. Cover the patch with plastic and secure it with painter’s tape, allowing it to cure and dry without being exposed to bad weather.
Apply the Second Coat
After at least 24 hours, remove the plastic. If the stucco is not dry, recover and wait until the patch is dry before proceeding. Once the patch is dry and has lost its wet-looking sheen, mist it with water or dab the area with a wet sponge. Be sure to moisten the edges of the existing stucco, too.
The next step is to apply the second coat of stucco. Begin working from the bottom of the patch and then move up, spreading a layer of stucco that is three-eighths of an inch thick. Allow the layer to begin to dry, and then smooth out the surface using a masonry trowel. Cover the layer with plastic and wait until the patch is dry.
Apply the Final Coat
Photo: soleg / Adobe Stock
Once the patch is dry, remove the plastic. Moisten the patch and the edges of the existing stucco, and then apply a layer that is flush with the surrounding area. Use your finishing tool to add texture to the patch that matches the original.
After applying the final coat, wait several days for your patch to cure. Then, if you did not add pigment during the mixing process, paint your patch. You may have to paint the entire wall to obscure the patch completely.
Should I Hire a Stucco Professional for My Repair?
Stucco repair is a relatively straightforward DIY project, but in certain instances, it may be beneficial to hire a stucco repair professional. If the stucco damage is extensive or in a difficult-to-reach place, like near the roofline, you might consider hiring a pro. According to HomeAdvisor, professional stucco repair costs around $1,500 on average.