Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2022-11-23T21:48:32-08:00

If you own a stucco home you are aware of the low-maintenance, sound-insulating benefits of this beautiful exterior material. If you don’t, then here are some frequently asked questions that can cover the basics. Most importantly on every page of this website is our telephone number. We are here to answer any of your questions – none are too simple or complicated – so call us and have a conversation with Blaine or Darren. Better yet, call and make an appointment and let us see your home or commercial project so we can answer your specific questions intelligently.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if your question is not listed below. We strive to fully inform our customers, and encourage you to contact us to learn more about your stucco project and how to protect your home or commercial building.

Can stucco be applied over painted walls?2022-11-24T10:30:20-08:00

Can stucco be applied over painted walls?

This is a common question that often arises when people are updating older construction. Stucco is a cost-effective finish, relatively easily installed, that improves the appearance and creates a water-resistant wall surface. A painted surface will not typically absorb water and, as such, is a substrate to which stucco will not bond—at least not uniformly.

There are two basic alternatives to covering a painted surface with a new coating of traditional cement stucco.

1) Pressure washing to remove the paint in its entirety, then direct apply a two coat system. It is essential to have a surface that is uniformly absorptive to accept the stucco. In addition, it may be necessary to use a bonding such as Weld-Crete with this approach.

2) Attach paper backed rib lath or install appropriate building paper between wall and attached metal lath to provide a moisture barrier and to serve as a bond breaker. Apply traditional three coat stucco to the metal lath and accessories. In this approach, the idea is to treat the plaster like a sheathed system, using metal lath to support the stucco on the substrate, while completely isolating the stucco layer from the backup with 2-ply 60 minute building paper. This prevents a partial bonding situation, which could set up undesirable stresses in the stucco and lead to stucco cracking.

As the key to stucco longevity is preparation, in this case we would recommend the application of an acrylic primer and synthetic stucco system after a thorough pressure washing.
What are common stucco finish textures?2022-11-24T10:27:30-08:00

The Technical Service Information Bureau (TSIB) is a trade group in southern California serving the needs of the wall and ceiling industry regarding lath, plaster, and drywall. They have an excellent online resource depicting stucco textures.

The 30 textures shown on the site are accompanied by suggested application procedures. This gives material (ingredient) advice, where appropriate, and methods of applying or finishing the stucco to achieve specific appearances. For instance, the sand float finishes are described as light, medium, or heavy, and the grain size of aggregate helps achieve the desired texture. All of the textures can be made with gray or white cement, with or without pigments.

Why do you recommend synthetic stucco?2016-10-21T08:51:14-08:00

EIFS today are one of the most tested and well researched claddings in the construction industry.  Research, conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and supported by the Department of Energy, has validated that EIFS are the “best performing cladding” in relation to thermal and moisture control when compared to brick, stucco, and cementitious fiberboard siding. In addition EIFS are in full compliance with modern building codes which emphasize energy conservation through the use of CI (continuous insulation) and a continuous air barrier. Both these components are built into today’s EIFS products to provide maximum energy savings, reduced environmental impact over the life of the structure, and improved IAQ, Indoor Air Quality. Along with these functional advantages come virtually unlimited color, texture, and decorative choices to enhance curb appeal and enjoyment of almost any home or structure.

EIFS before 2000 were barrier systems, meaning that the EIFS itself was the weather barrier. After 2000 the EIFS industry introduced the air/moisture barrier that resides behind the foam. In a study done by the Department Of Energy’s Office of Science in 2006 (Oak Ridge National Laboratory)  determined that EIFS “outperformed all other walls in terms of moisture protection while maintaining superior thermal performance.” The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has evaluated the five life cycle stages of the environmental impact of EIFS alongside brick, aluminum, stucco, vinyl, and cedar. Depending on a variety of site and project specific conditions, EIFS have the potential to save money in construction costs and contribute toward energy efficient operations and environmental responsibility when correctly designed and executed.

What are the benefits for using synthetic stucco?2016-10-21T08:51:14-08:00

Synthetic stucco siding was developed in post WWII Europe as a way to patch walls. When builders realized how energy efficient the material was, it was soon used as an alternative to traditional stucco.

Because of this, in the 1970s energy crisis it became widely popular with builders for both commercial and residential construction. Because of the multiple layering, EIFS is a better insulator than traditional stucco. Synthetic stucco is also more flexible, allowing ornate keystones, cornerstones and other building accents that could not be done with traditional stucco application.  This new building material opened up many exciting possibilities for architects and designers that combined energy efficiency and new design concepts.

How do you tell the difference between synthetic and traditional stucco?2016-10-21T08:51:14-08:00

If you have stucco walls and are unsure whether they are traditional or synthetic, it’s no surprise. They two look almost identical. The easiest way to see is to simply push on the wall. Traditional stucco will be rigid, while the synthetic will be a bit softer.

Also, if there is an opening in the wall like a light fixture, vent, or other hole in the wall (hopefully not made by accident or a handyman’s unfinished work), you will be able to see the layering. If there is wire mesh under the stucco, it is traditional stucco, if there is a layer of foam, it is synthetic stucco.

Trusted Partners

Nurse Stucco Inc. partners with the leading manufacturers of exterior stucco and Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS) products known for their high performance and quality, product innovation, and service to provide stucco solutions from scratch to finish.

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