Repairing Stucco


Stucco is one of the most versatile and cost-effective ways to reimagine your home’s exterior. Its composite materials naturally deter fire, mold, rot, and termite infestations.

To use Stucco Repair Philadelphia in damaged areas, find and correct the underlying problem causing deterioration. Loose stucco often bulges and feels spongey to the touch. Cracked areas allow water in, resulting in rising dampness and crypto fluorescence (a crystallization of salts).


Stucco is a practical and beautiful option for remodeling or upgrading the exterior of a building. It is easy to maintain and offers limitless design options. However, like any material it is subject to weather damage, and over time even the best-maintained stucco will require repair work. Stucco can be damaged by severe weather events, overexposure to moisture, improper application, or the natural settling of the structure. If your home’s stucco is showing signs of wear it is important to catch problems early and perform routine maintenance to avoid further deterioration.

Small cracks are unavoidable in any building, but if they’re allowed to continue growing they can lead to structural damage and more expensive repairs. Regular maintenance, including cleaning and restraining growth of vegetation such as moss, can prevent extensive and costly repairs. In addition, a regular check of the structure to ensure that water is not leaking behind the stucco and creating damp zones is also beneficial. Moisture retention can cause a bloom of white efflorescence or the softer, crumbling ‘cryptoflorescence’ that may eventually lead to disaggregation of the masonry.

If a large area of the wall is loose it should be removed carefully to preserve any original fabric. If necessary, the damaged area can be replaced using the same materials that were used in the original construction. This will ensure historical continuity and structural compatibility with the rest of the building.

Loose stucco can be identified by a spongey texture and a soft sound when tapped with a wood or acrylic hammer. Loose sections can be chiseled off and the edges should be back cut to expose the solid base of the stucco. It is important to re-secure the loose areas with mortar to prevent further loss.

When replacing loose stucco it is important to use a stucco patch that matches the existing mix and application method. Using the notched edge of the trowel, score grooves in the surface of the new patch to improve adhesion. It is also helpful to mist the surface of the patch with water or spray it with a hose to moisten and hydrate it for better adherence.


Stucco can be restored by replacing damaged areas or repairing cracks and chips. It is also important to repair damage caused by inappropriate construction methods or materials that exacerbate the rate of deterioration. This can include abrasion and the use of cement based materials that do not bond well with lime based plasters.

One of the most common causes of deterioration is water infiltration that is not properly addressed. This can result in damage to the wood framing that supports the stucco. To prevent this, it is essential to inspect the exterior of a house for any evidence of moisture intrusion and to ensure that the proper flashings are installed at each corner and opening in the wall.

The original lath and plaster technique was a popular choice in many parts of the world for residential walls and commercial buildings. Its ability to imitate decorative stonework or rustication became very popular in the 19th century, when it was used on brick and rubble stone structures. The plaster was a cheaper alternative to real stone, and its durability and ease of application made it a very popular option.

In some cases, a complete removal of the existing stucco is necessary to restore the surface to its original appearance. This is most appropriate if the damage is extensive and is causing structural problems or loss of decorative detail. When removing the damaged stucco, it is best to carefully remove a section at a time and to face-up the original fabric around the edges of the repair area where possible.

Stucco is very easy to customize and can be tinted to achieve the desired color or textured in a number of ways. It is also relatively inexpensive and readily available, and it can be painted with standard exterior house paints.

To replace damaged areas of stucco, first clean the cracked area to be repaired. Lightly sand the area to smooth it, and remove any loose debris. A small amount of sanded acrylic exterior caulk can be used to fill a crack no wider than a dime. The caulk will need to be painted after it has dried according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Remediation is the more comprehensive approach to dealing with stucco problems and involves identifying and correcting the underlying problem, rather than just repairing the damaged stucco. This solution can take longer and may require the removal of existing stucco, but it will reduce the likelihood of future damage to sheathing and framing and can save hundreds of dollars in repair costs in the long run.

Stucco is a cement-based plaster traditionally made of a mixture of Portland cement, sand, and lime. It can be used to create decorative finishes such as cornices, arches and other moldings, or as a finish coat for walls, floors and ceilings. Stucco can be finished with a variety of textures and colors, and may be painted or stained to enhance its appearance.

Moisture penetration is the most common cause of problems with stucco. It can lead to rot in sheathing and framing, and can cause unsightly spots and marks on the walls or ceilings. In addition, it can affect the integrity of the building envelope, increasing its vulnerability to wind and rain.

Often, moisture intrusion is the result of improper or inadequate construction methods, especially during new construction. For example, a poorly installed window or door can leave a gap that allows water to enter the wall cavity and damage sheathing and other materials behind it.

In addition, many older homes have inadequate drainage systems that can cause soil movement and moisture saturation. Installing good gutters and downspouts and grading your yard to slope away from the foundation can help prevent moisture problems.

If the problem is not addressed quickly, it can lead to structural failure, which will result in expensive repairs and a compromised living environment. Some warning signs that it’s time to call a professional include exterior cracking, particularly in the corners of the house; dark spots and stains on walls and ceilings; and dripping water from fixtures and vents.

If you notice cracks in the stucco, first remove any loose material with a putty knife or scratch awl. If the cracks are larger than 14-inch, you should consult a professional. To repair the cracks, use a premixed stucco patching mix, or conventional stucco repair mix mixed in a wheelbarrow or plastic tray following manufacturer instructions.


Stucco is a durable material that adds a unique touch to your home’s exterior. It is fire resistant, well insulated and easy to maintain. However, like all materials, it requires regular care to ensure its long-term integrity. If you notice cracks in your stucco, it’s important to take prompt action. The longer you wait, the more moisture will penetrate your home’s exterior surface, damaging it over time.

In addition to cracks, the most common sign of impending stucco failure is leaking. This is caused by water penetrating through the surface and moving into the framing of your building structure. If left untreated, this moisture can cause salt efflorescence, biological growth, and structural damage.

A common alternative to traditional stucco is EIFS (Energy-efficient insulated foam). This is a cement plaster that incorporates an insulation layer, making it more crack-resistant than traditional stucco. It is also available in a wide range of textures and colors. However, EIFS has been linked to mold and mildew problems.

To prevent moisture penetration, it’s critical that you use a weather barrier between the exterior of your home and the stucco. This can be an asphalt-saturated paper or one of a number of manufactured plastic-based sheets, such as a “building wrap”. This barrier must protect the wood and light-gauge steel framing from rain and snow, while allowing water vapor to escape.

Once the waterproofing has been applied, it’s time to put on the brown coat. This is the same mix as the scratch coat, but it includes a bonding agent and is sprayed onto the stucco surface. It’s important to mist the surface with water before applying this coat. This helps the new stucco adhere to the surface, and it also prevents a dry patch from forming.

Once the brown coat has dried, it’s time to apply a texture and color finish. This is a time-consuming process that requires professional application. While some homeowners may try to do this themselves, it’s best left to the professionals. It’s important to choose a color that will match the existing stucco. It’s also important to use a high-quality finish to prevent future cracking and peeling.