Sunday, 28 April 2013

Applying Stucco on Exterior Walls

Stucco is popular building material used to cover unattractive materials such as clay brick, concrete, adobe, and cinder block. It is applied wet and it hardens into a very dense, rough surface. One of the best things about applying stucco on building or home exterior makes the structure stronger, more durable. Stucco also helps improve any building withstand extreme weather conditions.

Stucco consists of cement, sand, lime, and water which make this material waterproof and fire-resistant. It keeps mold and mildew from building up so the building can last longer than others. And if you decide to use stucco for your house or building, you don’t have to worry about the expenses as they are cost-efficient and requires very little maintenance. Follow these steps so you can apply stucco on your own:

Step 1:  Prep the Wall

Check for any damages on the walls such as cracks or holes and make the necessary repairs. You should also remove anything that can come in between the stucco material and the surface of the wall like dirt. Power-washing is the best way to do this so you can be sure no grime or mold is left. Sandblasting is advised for walls that have been neglected for a long time. For concrete, brick, or cinder block walls, you need to apply a coat of concrete bonding agent before applying the stucco. For wooden walls, you should install roofing felt with a metal netting prior to the application of stucco.

Step 2: Applying the Primary Coat of Stucco

Direct contact with stucco is harmful as it can burn and destroy your skin. This means you need to wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles. It is essential to apply stucco on a moist surface so you need to spray some water on the wall first. Position two strips of thick wood laths on the top and bottom parts of the wall so you can get an equal amount of thickness as you level the surface.

Using a trowel, apply the first coat beginning from the bottom of the wall. Make sure the coat is applied evenly over the entire are maintaining the thickness of 3/8 inches. Use ample pressure on the trowel so you can reach the spaces on the uneven parts of the wall. Once done, let it set for a few minutes and begin the leveling process while the stucco is still wet with the help of either metal or wood straightedge. Place the straightedge on the wood lath then move it up and down to remove any residue. When you're done leveling the stucco, remove the laths carefully.

Step 3: Let the stucco dry completely

Drag a mason's float over the wall in circular motions to minimize any risks of cracking or shrinkage when the stucco dries up. Let it sit to dry completely for two days. As you are waiting for it to dry, you should regularly spray water on it to maintain its moisture. Once it dries up fully, apply the final coat of stucco by following the same instructions in step 2. However, the final coat should be as thin as 1/8 inch. It can take 6-7 weeks for the stucco to be entirely cured. This is the only time when you can paint over it.

Jove Arthur loves to read different articles related to the home improvement and construction industry. He is professionally affiliated with Door Emporium, one of the leading wood entry door manufacturers in the market, as online sales manager. 


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