Stucco Failing

Eric asked 10 years ago

I’m a homeowner with a house built new in 2000. From the very first year, the standard product smooth-finish applied tinted stucco cracked. Patching was never a good looking match. It has become worse every year and now, areas are “peeling” off in sheets.

I know it has failed for sure, but am perplexed on whether repairs to the cracks with an acrylic stucco and then a masonry sealer followed by a qualified paint (elastomeric or otherwise)will work. Unfortunately,I have the leaching effect in areas that are obviously the salts etc you describe coming out due to water. I live in Southern Utah.

There’s also new stucco products – one I’ve heard about and seen called “Synergy”. I will do anything it takes but don’t know if there will be eventual adhesion failures in the future due to the peeling/leaching. The house is a southwest design with no complicated joints/corners/roof eaves. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

6 Answers
Crowder Painting answered.

The peeling is most likely the stucco color coat coming off. Just patching might work, if it is done right.

I don't recommend applying any product over the existing stucco without knowing exactly what is happening and why. I recommend contacting a stucco contractor for a full evaluation of your stucco. With the separation of the color coat and the leaching, some special treatments might be needed.

Crowder Painting answered.

Painting Stucco

After the stucco is stabilized and patched you could paint it with a flexible coating. There are many on the market that are designed for stucco and all are breathable. Another option is having a stucco contractor apply an acrylic color coat. This is very flexible, when compared to regular stucco.

Both are good options for cracking stucco. The key is having the stucco properly fixed. Any new coating will pull on the stucco and cause additional damage if it is still loose, just like a stuck rubber band that expands or contracts at a different rate than the stucco.

Your best bet is to have a qualified stucco contractor check it out and offer a good remedy. I think that painting will only cause more problems.

Anonymous answered.

Failing Stucco

I've seen stucco fail like this. Some causes is using old Portland Cement or having to much lime in the mix. The ingredients are mixed according to the environmental conditions and your region.

Anonymous answered.

Stucco Mix

The most likely cause of the stucco failure is the mix and the application of it: I don't remember the name of the technique, but the first color coat is solid, second was sort of patched on randomly in a way to give it a spotty-smooth look. It's not thick by any means, and it's the second color coat coming off as it loosens and water/wind does the rest.

I'm also convinced the cracking is a result of the house moving due to the extremes of cold/hot temps out here. We also have really heavy winds. Wish I had done more homework before this useless mix was used instead of something more qualified to withstand. I probably need a finish paint that "breathes" after something is used to "seal" the remaining stucco that hasn't become loose yet. Your website has given some great information.

Thank you again.

Anonymous answered.

Synergy is just a brand of stucco- and one of my least favorites. Any brand makes an elastomeric finish coat. This is the strongest and most flexible. I am a Colorado stucco contractor, and I would use the elastomeric for your patches/ recoat. They probably applied the color coat before the concrete coat had fully cured. Seen it dozens of times.