Complications of Stucco Plaster

Stucco is the Italian word for plaster. These are both the same material comprising portland cement, sand, lime and water. Artisans often apply this rendering over a frame to support it while it is is drying. However, this has nothing to do with the complications of stucco plaster and making it stick!

The trades like to distinguish between plaster for interior walls, and stucco for exterior ones. Inside walls covered with plaster are traditionally smooth. While outside ones, and some ceilings, may have their stucco applied in swirling patterns some folk find highly attractive.

So Much For Stucco Theory, What Are the Complications?

There is an art to applying stucco over wooden lathes, or wire mesh that takes a while to learn. However, once it hardens it could be up there for decades, as an attractive, low-maintenance fire-proof solution that may only need occasional painting.

But that’s only assuming everything works out. In reality, there are several complications of stucco plaster every home-owner should know, if they have stucco on their exterior walls.

Stucco Needs To Be Correctly Applied

There are three stages to applying stucco correctly, with time allowed for curing between these layers:

  • ‘Scratch coat’ that binds to the underlying surface.
  • ‘Brown coat’ of un-tinted material to add a smooth finish.
  • “Top coat’ that is usually tinted, and may have a decorative effect.

Even stucco correctly applied this way may develop hairline-cracks as the moisture dries out, although the home-owner may not notice these.

There May Be Complications If Stucco Cracks

The plaster work can develop wider cracks if incorrectly applied. These complications of stucco plaster are most likely to be the result of one of these errors:

  • The material was not moist enough when applied.
  • The contractor skimped on the amount of portland cement.
  • The stucco was not firmly pressed into the the lathes or mesh.
  • The entire area was not plastered as one continuous job.

Attaching Eavestroughing to Stucco-Coated Walls

We usually have to drill into exterior walls when hanging eavestroughing. We work with stucco-coated surfaces fairly often, and know the complications of stucco plaster we may encounter.

If the rendering was correctly applied in the first place, then we seldom encounter issues. But we are unlikely to know if the adhesion is weak by examining the surface, because we can’t see what is underneath.

Parts of stucco may break away as we drill, if the plasterer did not apply the three stages correctly. If this happens we do our best to add a matching patch, but we can’t guarantee that.

We believe in playing the ball straight, and being open and honest at Valiant Exteriors in Calgary. We are dedicated to giving our customers the very best experience from start to finish, and that includes you too!

More Information

Can I Install Eavestroughs on Stucco?

Stucco, Ancient Art with Exciting Future

Artisan Applying a Top Coat of Stucco