Stucco Installation Basics

Stucco is an attractive and durable siding material that improves a home’s appearance while protecting it from the elements. It is also low-maintenance and affordable.

Stucco Services

Stucco installation services can include preparing the surface of the building, applying the stucco material, and finishing the surface to create the desired texture and color. Stucco Repair Philadelphia typically involves applying multiple coats of stucco material, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next one. The final coat may be finished with a trowel or other tools to create a smooth or textured surface.

Traditional stucco is applied in a three-coat process to wood-frame exterior walls, starting with a “scratch coat” spread over a metal lath attached to the sheathing. The scratch coat is then followed by a “brown coat” that adds strength and a base for the “finish coat.”

Whether you’re installing stucco over poured concrete, cement block or another substrate, you must take the time to prepare your surface for stucco installation properly. This will ensure the stucco is applied correctly and creates a beautiful finish.

Installing a weather-resistant barrier or secondary drainage plane is the first step to preventing water from penetrating the exterior walls and damaging the structure. This can be done with a cement-based primer or vapor-permeable weather barrier such as an asphalt-saturated paper or manufactured plastic sheeting.

Once the weather barrier is installed, you can begin to apply the base coat. The base coat will consist of a mixture of Portland cement, lime or a plasticizer with plaster sand.

The lathing process is one of the most important aspects of a stucco installation. It not only protects the framing of a house from moisture intrusion, it provides a strong support system for the stucco to adhere to.

It is a layer of water resistant paper (sometimes eps foam) and wire that makes up the frame for the next coat to adhere to. It also acts as a foundation for the stucco to be installed over.

The lath comes in several gauges and styles to suit different needs. The 17-guage hexagonal furred wire is most common but there are special designs for ceilings and overhangs as well.

Scratch coats are a vital part of the stucco installation process. Without them, the first coat (render) won’t stick to the wall properly and you’ll end up with a wall that isn’t waterproof!

Typically, the scratch coat is applied over lath (paper and wire fastened to the wall) but can be used over cement based substrates as well.

After the scratch coat has been troweled flat, scrape it with a darby or a raking tool to produce horizontal grooves. The total thickness should be 3/8 inch.

Next, apply a layer of the brown coat directly over the scratch coat to a depth of 3/8 inch. Allow the material to stiffen for a few minutes, then scrape it flat with a darby or a masonry float.

The brown coat is the next layer of stucco to be applied on the wall. It is made of 3/8-thick layers of cement spread evenly on the surface.

The process of applying the brown coat varies depending on the type of finish that is needed. For example, if the brown coat is a sand-finish texture, it only needs to be floated with a hard rubber float.

Stucco professionals embed fiberglass reinforcing mesh into the brown coat for a more durable finish that will not be prone to cracking. This will increase the tensile and flexural strength of the stucco base, reducing movement stress-related cracking.

Stucco is the textured finish that we often see on the outside of buildings. There are a variety of different textures that can be used to make a building look beautiful.

But to make stucco work, layers must be below it to give the surface a solid base and enhance durability. One such layer is the scratch coat, which provides a cement-type base for the stucco.

On concrete masonry, little more than a scratch coat is needed; on wood-sheathed buildings, a self-furring metal lath must be installed before the stucco can be applied. In both cases, applying a brown coat after the scratch coat is done is important.

Stucco repair refers to fixing damaged or deteriorating stucco on the exterior or interior walls. Stucco is a type of plaster made from a mixture of cement, sand, and water, and it is commonly used as a decorative and protective finish on buildings. Over time, stucco can develop cracks, holes, or other types of damage due to exposure to weather elements, building settling, or other factors.