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Can Old Stucco Be Repaired?

The answer to this question depends on the cause of deterioration. It’s most often an issue that involves moisture penetration into the space between the outer layer of stucco and the inner framework of the walls.

In these cases, remediation is usually necessary. However, there are situations where a less-skilled repair job can be carried out.

Repairing Old Stucco

Stucco is a beautiful, durable exterior wall material that comes in a variety of textures. It’s also an easy material to colour so it can be customized to fit the needs of homeowners who want to make their homes unique. However, like many materials, stucco can become damaged over time and need to be repaired.

The first step is to determine whether the damage is surface level or if there are underlying issues that need to be addressed. This can be done by an experienced stucco contractor who can check out the problem and advise on what needs to be done.

For example, if you notice a crack in the stucco, it’s probably a sign that moisture is seeping into the wall system underneath. Unless this is resolved, the cracks will keep reappearing and eventually cause further damage to the stucco.

It’s not uncommon to see mold growing on a stucco exterior, which is another sign of moisture intrusion below the surface. Often, this mold is found near windows or in areas where water is seeping beneath the stucco.

Once the mold is found, it will need to be removed. If this is not possible, the area will need to be patched with a new layer of stucco.

Depending on the texture of your stucco, different techniques will be needed for patching it. For this project, DiSilva scooped small globs of wet mix on his brick trowel and flicked them against the old stucco. The stucco patch should then be pressed against the wall and let dry for about a week before it’s painted.

If you’re repairing cracks in old stucco, be sure to press your palms firmly against both sides of the crack or hole until you feel solidly adhered stucco. Do not pull at the patch or press too forcefully, as this can tear the stucco from its lath.

Stucco is a durable exterior wall material that can last for decades if it’s cared for properly. But it can be damaged by several factors including moisture, settling, and lack of gutters.

Repairing Cracks

Stucco is a popular material on the exterior of homes because it’s durable and weather-resistant. However, over time, it can crack due to a number of factors. It may be caused by foundation settling, repeated hot/cold cycles or by moisture infiltrating behind the stucco.

The good news is that there are ways to repair old stucco without compromising the integrity of the material. In fact, repairing cracked stucco is easier than you might think.

To begin, remove all the damaged stucco and debris from the area. This can be done by chiseling or using a hammer and cold chisel. It’s important to take care not to damage the underlying wood lath supports underneath.

Once the damaged area is clean, mix a stucco patching material that’s formulated for masonry repairs. For example, Quikrete makes a stucco patching material that’s ready to trowel on and works well for repairing small cracks (such as the ones left by bolts).

For more information on patching materials, see our articles on Is Drywall Mud Better Than Spackle? and Is It Better to Patch or Replace Drywall?

You can apply the stucco mix in a single layer in about 20 minutes. Spread no more than a 1/4-inch layer into the crack and work from the bottom up to the top. This will blend the repaired area into the existing texture. Once the stucco patch is set, apply a coat of paint or caulk over it to match the color of the existing stucco.

Next, cut a piece of metal lath that matches the size of the damaged area. You can use a pre-mixed stucco patch or a conventional stucco repair mix, but either one will require you to mix the materials in a wheelbarrow following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Make sure the mixture cures quickly. If it doesn’t, the stucco patch will be hard to remove from the lath and might come off if you try to apply a new coating of stucco over it.

Lastly, be sure to wear gloves and eye protection when you repair the stucco. This is because fresh stucco is made with alkalis that can irritate your skin and eyes.

It’s best to repair stucco cracks before the sun goes down and before temperatures rise too high. This is because it will keep the material from drying out.

Repairing Holes

When a hole forms in the stucco of your home, it can be very frustrating. You may think that it can’t be repaired, or that you’ll have to spend a lot of money hiring a professional to do the job for you.

However, repairing a hole in your stucco can be done by the average homeowner with a few simple steps. Learn more about patching and repairing in our articles Is Spackling the Same as Drywall Repair? and What Is the Life Expectancy of Drywall?

The process involves removing the damaged stucco, affixing a patch, and then painting the finished product.

Once the repair has been completed, it’s important to make sure that the patch is properly sealed. This is to prevent moisture from getting into the hole and damaging your home.

You can do this with caulking or another sealant, but you’ll need to find the right one for your particular type of stucco. It’s also helpful to find a patch that is designed to be painted to ensure that it matches the color of the rest of your stucco.

Next, apply a finishing product to the hole in order to give it a smooth look and blend it into the area around it. You can use pre-mixed patch compounds, sanded caulking, or stucco finish material (acrylic-based or traditional-based).

Apply a small amount of the finishing product with your finger and spread it around the hole and into the surrounding areas to blend them together. You’ll probably only need to swipe this product a few times to get the hole to blend into the area around it and not be noticeable.

In some cases, you can add a bit of coloring pigment to your patch mix in order to make it more likely to match the color of your stucco. This can be done by mixing small batches and trying different amounts of pigment until you’re able to find the perfect match for your home.

Typically, a repair of this size is much cheaper than you may think and requires less skill than many people imagine. It is also a great way to do some basic repairs on your own and save some money on a professional stucco contractor.

Repairing Stained Areas

If you have a stained area on your stucco, there are several options for repair. These include scrubbing, washing, and refinishing the stucco.


To clean a stain on stucco, wash the area with water and mild detergent. You may need to repeat the process a few times to remove all the dirt and stains.

Then, rinse the area with clean water and dry it thoroughly. This will remove any remaining residue and help the stucco look fresh again.

You can also try to remove the stain with a bleach solution. However, this can be very damaging to the surface of your stucco if you use too much. Make sure you always use good quality bleach that is specifically for white stucco walls and not for anything else.

Another option is to use a spray-on cleaning product. These are often available at home improvement stores.

These products typically work well on stucco that has mildew, mold, or algae stains. They are also a good option for removing rust stains from your exterior stucco.

If you have a very large stain, or the stains are on areas of the stucco that are not in easy reach of your home’s washing machine, you may need to use a pressure washer. If this is the case, be sure to use a low-pressure setting and work in areas that are protected from heat.

Once the stains have been removed, you can then paint the area to match the rest of the exterior. For more information on painting, see our article on When Painting, Should You Paint Trim or Walls First?

You can use concrete paint, a spray-on acrylic elastomer, or other pigmented coatings.

You might also consider using a protective coating that can prevent stains from forming on the stucco again. For example, you can use a color-matched exterior acrylic caulk that is sold at most home improvement stores.

Sealing Cracks and Chips

If you notice any small cracks or chips in your stucco, fix them with a color-matched exterior acrylic caulk. This will not only fix the blemish, but it will also prevent it from being exposed again to moisture and air.

Depending on the severity of the cracks, you can either DIY or hire a professional to do the repairs for you. To learn more about other sealing options, check out our articles on What Is Epoxy Coating Used For? and How Long Does Epoxy Coating Last?

Either way, you’ll be happy with the results!

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