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  • Rehabbing stucco

    A client of mine would like to remove the vinyl siding from their house and go back to the house's original stucco look. The vinyl siding was attached to the house by driving nails through the original stucco on the 1952 house. As a less expensive option to removing the existing stucco & underlayment, my stucco sub is suggesting patching the holes on the existing stucco, spreading weld-crete and then putting a skim coat over that.

    I'm concerned about the damage that all of the nails might have done to the building paper under the original stucco. My sub suggested that we use a Skil saw with a concrete blade to cut out a 2'x2' section of stucco & lath to inspect the paper underneath to make sure it's in reasonable condition.

    Does this sound like a reasonable approach or should I assume that the wall has been too compromised by the nail holes and should be demolished?

    Rich

  • #2
    Re: Rehabbing stucco

    Need more info.
    Location, exposure.
    Maybe even a photo!

    That said it would be hard to imagine the paper under is still a wrb.
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    • #3
      Re: Rehabbing stucco

      I don't have a photo of the stucco since it's under the vinyl but I've attached a photo of the front of the house. As you can see the eves are about 2 feet so they provide a lot of protection to the walls. The house is in San Mateo, CA (zip 94402). It's a suburban location (not maritime) and it's at the top of a hill so there is some weather exposure but the climate is generally temperate. The nailing pattern is 16" on center horizontally. The courses are approximately 8".

      Let me know if you need any other info.

      Rich

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      • #4
        Re: Rehabbing stucco

        In my experience working mostly in Santa Barbara the weather barrier behind stucco is usually badly deteriorated in a home that age.
        If the vinyl, heaven forbid, was nailed through the stucco into framing there are thousands of holes in the stucco and the weather barrier, whatever is left of it.

        I like the idea of cutting a test hole.
        Do that on the weather side were you see the most signs of wind and rain.

        Even with a good test I would be very reluctant to patch and skim coat.

        It gets down to how much you can rely on your stucco guy.

        It is safer to go with an exterior cladding that that includes a wrb.

        I know i am wobbling here, it really takes a closer look at all of the conditions.

        I would NEVER tell you it is OK, that is ultimately your decision, and your stucco contractor.
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        • #5
          Re: Rehabbing stucco

          If you end up sticking with the stucco, consider spraying on what is called "Fog Coat" for the color coat.

          http://www.lahabrastucco.com/literature/LFCDS.pdf

          You patch the stucco as required and match the finish. Then spray on the appropriate color Fog Coat (the mfg can custom color match to whatever you want). You can spray it on with a common hand pumped garden sprayer or Airless or HVLP. Couldn't be simpler. And you or the homeowner can touch it up in the future whenever needed. It is gritty so the garden sprayer works best and can be thrown away after use.

          Fog Coat is primarily portland cement, hydrated lime, and tint.

          Don't paint stucco, it can't breath once painted and can trap moisture in the wall.
          HERS Rater • BPI Building Analyst • BPI Envelope Professional
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          • #6
            Re: Rehabbing stucco

            I've worked with my sub for a long time and I think he's good. I think your thought on the WRB make sense. The stucco itself seams to be in pretty good shape. It's a sanded finish coat with several layers of paint on it. Do you think adhesion of the new finish coat (assuming we go that way) will be a concern if we use the weld-crete?

            Rich

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            • #7
              Re: Rehabbing stucco

              Paint is not a good idea on stucco. Traps moisture inside the wall. Supposed to use Fog Coat.

              You can sandblast the paint off to get back to stucco, unless the paint is lead based.

              If you've got a wall that has had trapped moisture for 20 or 30 years, coupled with lead based paint, coupled with lots of holes in the WRB, it probably isn't salvagable.

              Best solution is to remove the stucco, fix any moisture related damage, then install a new stucco system or equivalant.

              Alternate is a new exterior cladding with a WRB as Bill suggests but you aren't identifying and fixing any problems that may be under the stucco.
              HERS Rater • BPI Building Analyst • BPI Envelope Professional
              Certified Green Building Professional • Certified Existing Home Advisor
              General Building Contractor • Asbestos Certification • Hazardous Substance Removal Certification • EPA Approved Lead-Safe Contractor • Locksmith
              PMP • ESEP • CISSP

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              • #8
                Re: Rehabbing stucco

                Code requires a WRB without holes except for the fasteners of the WRB and of the cladding (or words to that effect. The only thing you can legitimately do, short of a tear off, is to move the water-resistant plane to the outside - BUT use a vapor-permeable coating.

                Best to remove the stucco and start over. You are likely to find loose areas from prior earthquakes, the openings won't be properly flashed, the bottom is likely bonded to the stem walls and down in the dirt, and, as stated above, the WRB is likely to be in poor condition

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                • #9
                  Re: Rehabbing stucco

                  Have you confirmed that the nails used to attach the siding actually went through the stucco and the WRB? Might want to verify.

                  I"m sure the installers did not go to the trouble of finding the studs behind the stucco to nail into.
                  HERS Rater • BPI Building Analyst • BPI Envelope Professional
                  Certified Green Building Professional • Certified Existing Home Advisor
                  General Building Contractor • Asbestos Certification • Hazardous Substance Removal Certification • EPA Approved Lead-Safe Contractor • Locksmith
                  PMP • ESEP • CISSP

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