05.7 - don't patch or paint your stucco

Understanding the Pitfalls of Patching and Painting Stucco: A Guide for Homeowners

Stucco exteriors lend homes a distinct charm and lasting durability, making them a popular choice among homeowners. However, the common practice of patching or painting over stucco damage as a quick fix can lead to serious consequences in the long run.

At CMB Wayne Stucco & EIFS, we advocate for informed decisions that prioritize the structural integrity and longevity of stucco surfaces.

The Illusion of Temporary Solution

While patching and painting might seem like viable solutions for stucco damage, they often mask underlying issues and fail to provide a lasting remedy. It’s essential to recognize that these quick fixes don’t address the root causes of stucco problems, and their consequences can be detrimental for your property.

Reason #1 – Subpar Construction and Workmanship

Our extensive experience in construction and remodeling industry has revealed a hard truth: the quality of construction methods isn’t necessarily improving—it’s declining. Many contractors prioritize speed and budget over quality and longevity, leading to shortcuts that compromise the integrity of stucco homes.

Year after year, we encounter stucco homes and buildings failing prematurely, often before their tenth year. The use of inexpensive materials, rushed installations, and inexperienced labor contribute to these failures. Particularly during freezing conditions in the winter and fall, subpar construction practices exacerbate the problem.

Reason #2 – Freeze/Thaw Climate

Each regions has its own weather conditions, with some that is characterized by extreme freeze and thaw cycles, which can pose challenges to stucco surfaces. While stucco is designed to absorb and drain water after rainfall or snowmelt, areas with extreme climates and rapid temperature fluctuations hinder this process.

Unlike in milder climates, the freezing temperature prevent the water absorbed by stucco from evaporating and draining effectively. As a result, the repeated freeze and thaw cycles cause stucco damage. Deep cracks can develop across the stucco’s surface, or delamination may lead to the stucco coming apart.

The Inside-Out Stucco Failures

It’s crucial to understand that the majority of stucco failures occur from the inside out. When water freezes, it expands, exacerbating existing damage. Applying patches or paint over these problems won’t provide a lasting solution. The water will find its way behind the patch or paint, pushing it out and leading to the recurrence of the original issues. These approaches are merely “concealment” or “band-aid” fixes that fail to address the root causes.

Avoid Patching! Avoid Painting!

Stucco cracks are inevitable, but in harsh weather conditions, they are more prone to deepening and widening due to freeze and thaw cycles. Superficial attempts like caulking or patching stucco worsen the problem by failing to address the underlying issues. As cracks spread and sections of stucco separate, the stucco’s appearance deteriorates, resembling a “road map.”

Painting stucco is equally problematic. Despite promises from painters that elastomeric paint can solve stucco issues, the truth is that most paint manufacturers offer no warranties for stucco applications. Applying elastomeric or rubberized paints can seal in water, preventing proper evaporation and causing the stucco to deteriorate further.

Moreover, the sun’s intense UV index could cause elastomeric paints to break down, leading to hardening and cracking.

Prioritize Lasting Solutions

For a lasting solution to stucco problems, prioritize comprehensive strategies over quick fixes. CMB Wayne Stucco & EIFS approach involves:

  • Thorough Inspections: Begin with a detailed stucco inspection to accurately assess the damage and underlying issues.
  • Targeted Repairs: Address identified issues with precision to prevent further deterioration.
  • Moisture Management: Implement effective drainage systems to prevent moisture accumulation.
  • Expert Restoration: Engage professionals experienced in stucco restoration for quality repairs.
  • Prevention and Maintenance: Regular inspections and maintenance prevent future stucco problems.

Investing in proper stucco solutions is vital for the long-term integrity of your property. Avoid the allure of quick fixes through patching or painting, as they fail to address the root causes of stucco problems. Choose informed solutions that ensure the longevity, aesthetics, and value of your home. At CMB Wayne Stucco & EIFS, we are committed to preserving and enhancing your stucco’s condition through comprehensive restoration practices.

To learn more about our services, we offer a complimentary stucco inspection and detailed report. Contact us so you can transform your stucco into a beautiful and trusted feature of your home.