Assessing The Damage
Most historical home stucco deterioration is the result of water infiltration into the building structure through the roof, around chimneys, window and door openings, or excessive ground water or moisture penetrating through or splashing up from the building foundation. Potential causes of deterioration include: ground or building settlement, inadequate or leaking gutters and downspouts, intrusive vegetation, moisture migration within walls due to interior condensation and humidity, and rising damp resulting from excessive ground water and poor drainage around the foundation. Water infiltration will cause wood lath to rot, and metal lath and nails to rust, which eventually will cause stucco to lose its bond and pull away from its substrate.
Previous repairs inexpertly carried out over the years may have caused additional deterioration, particularly if executed in portland cement, which tends to be very rigid, and therefore incompatible with early, mostly soft lime-based stucco that is more “flexible.” Incompatible repairs, as well as external vibration caused by traffic or construction, or building settlement can also result in cracks which permit the entrance of water and cause the stucco to fail.
After the cause of deterioration has been identified, any necessary repairs to the historical building’s structure should be made first before repairing the stucco. Such work is likely to include repairs designed to keep excessive water away from the stucco, such as roof, gutter, downspout and flashing repairs, improving drainage, and redirecting rainwater runoff and splash-back away from the building.
Consult the Stucco Repair Experts!
Before beginning any historical building stucco repairs, an assessment of the stucco should be undertaken to determine the extent of the damage, and how much of the existing stucco must be replaced or repaired.