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However problems can arise with this weather resistant Masonry shell, usually Stucco is a great material to use because it has maximum durability. This being said, it still had to be maintained to be able to keep its beauty. One of the ways that Stucco was maintained in the past was to white wash it but this had to be done every year and was quite time consuming. Now days we have several methods to maintain Stucco, one of the best ways is to use a Masonry base paint, the best part of that is you don’t have to use white it can be any color that you want. There are some rule that you should know when painting Stucco especially if we are talking about new Stucco. Before painting brush off any deposit, flaking or efflorescence, then prepare a weak muriatic acid solution to bath the wall in. Next rinse the wall with clean clear water, and for Stucco that has cured for less then 30 days use a alkali- resistant primer and a 100 % acrylic latex exterior coat. If you do a good job of painting your Stucco it should last quite a long time. One thing to remember is that fresh masonry will contain alkaline in it, that can burn through paint, the alkaline will neutralize with time by reacting with the carbon dioxide that is in the air. Depending on the weather a complete curing process may take a year.

Sometimes your Stucco will need more then just paint to maintain it. Over time, water and winter freeze can turn a minor crack into a major problem. So lets talk about some ways of repairing your Stucco. Even a small crack can cause a problem, one of the main ways that this can happen is when water gets in through the crack and expands in a freeze thaw cycle. Now what you have is a large crack or a hole in your Stucco. Worse yet if the water sets behind the Stucco for any amount of time it will rot the under structure. The area that seem to crack the most are the area around the windows and doors. At the first sight of a crack take a brush and clean it out good, and then seal it with a flexible exterior caulk, such as 100% silicone base caulk. If the damage is a little bit larger then just a crack, you may be missing a part of the Stucco. In this case you will need to patch the hole in the Stucco. This is done by preparing the area to be patched, start by clearing away any loose material that is in the area to be repaired, next make sure that the mesh is fastened well to the backing material. Apply a coat of bonder to the edges of the hole you are patching, You then can take a trowel and place a scratch coat over the wire mesh, letting it dry several hour and then apply a finish coat. Depending on the type of texture or finish that you are trying to match, there are several ways to finish the Stucco. finally, cure the patch by covering it over with a piece of plastic and let it cure for 48 hours. Stucco can be difficult to match even if you know what color was used to begin with,as time and weather has a way of changing what was there. The best way of achieving a professional looking job is to paint the hole wall after all the patches have been made. To create a good Stucco repair the surface that you are applying the Stucco to must be clean and free of dust, dirt, grease and efflorescence. One of the best ways to check the surface that you preparing to apply Stucco to, is to spray it with water, if the water is absorbed by the surface then the Stucco will bond well. But if the water beads up in little droplets the Stucco will not bond well.

Here are some of the tools that you will need to work with when applying Stucco over a wood wall. I like using gloves on my hands as they protect your hands from the Cement and lime that can burn your skin, as well as a good pair of safety glasses to protect your eyes. Next you will need some tools of the trade, like a hammer, stapler, utility knife, hand shears, chalk box, raking tool, mortar hawk, hoe & shovel. If you don’t have a mortar mixer then you can mix your Stucco in a wheelbarrow. One way to minimize the loss of material when applying Stucco is to use a mortar hawk and trowel, while holding the hawk against the wall with one hand you can spread the Stucco with the trowel in the other hand. As you work your way up and down the wall, excess material will fall back in to the mortar hawk and you can reuse it. The most common method of applying Stucco is over wood, to start you need to apply a good grade of felt paper, at least a 6 pound felt. Making sure to wrap around corners and over lap courses of felt by at least 6 inches, after you have covered the wall with felt its time to install a base bead around the bottom of your wall, start by snapping a chalk line to guide your base bead and follow it around the bottom of the wall. Next secure the base bead with roofing nails flange side up. With the felt paper and bottom base in place start applying the explained metal lath, this can be done with roofing nails or staples making sure of a continuous layers of support. After the metal lath install the corner bead, this will create a neat edge between wall surfaces. Stucco is applied in 3 coats, starting with the scratch coat that you apply over the metal lath with your trowel and hawk. After the scratch coat you will apply the Brown Coat using a long trowel or float to spread out the brown coat in even layers. Last we come to the finish coat, if you want you can add a powdered colorant to the finish coat of stucco, and add color to the wall. this last coat of stucco should be apply in a thin coat of about 1/8 of a inch thick. Its best if you can to choose a overcast day to Stucco on, excessive heat can dry out the Stucco prematurely, which could cause shrinking and cracking. The ideal temperature to apply Stucco is about 65 to 70 degrees. As always never mix up more stucco then you can use before it sets up.

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