Integrity Of The Stucco System

The Integrity Of The Stucco System: Ways How To Protect Your Home

Several basic steps must be followed when applying stucco to a new or existing building. These steps ensure the integrity of the stucco system and protect your home.

The first step involves the installation of a secondary drainage plane. This barrier helps control water penetration and minimizes the risk of water damage to your stucco.


Preparation is a crucial step for proper stucco installation Houston TX. It includes removing any obstructions on the walls and ensuring that the wall is clean.

Stucco is very durable but can develop cracks and holes over time due to settling and impact damage. It is why taking action when cracks or holes begin developing is essential.

The stucco process starts with the scratch coat, a mixture of cement and sand applied in lines. The scratch coat needs to cure properly before the brown coat is applied.

The sand in the mix is essential for a good bond with the substrate. It also determines the color of the finished stucco.

Scratch Coat

Before any rendering can be applied, the wall surface must be adequately scratched to create a uniform surface. It helps the render stick to the wall and prevents it from peeling away during the application.

Scratch coats also help prevent water from penetrating the brick and causing it to rot, which can lead to expensive repair costs down the road. Many homeowners often overlook this step, but it’s important to consider!

Another way to protect your walls from moisture is to use a rain screen over the stucco. Adding this protection layer helps keep water from entering the building through the roof.

Brown Coat

A proper base coat is essential. It helps ensure that the poly prep or color coat will adhere to the surface properly.

A good base coat can also prevent cracks in the finished stucco. It should be applied in a 3/8-inch thickness and leveled with a straight board or darby, as shown in this photo.

The base coat is made of a mixture of sand and cement. The mix should be at least 1 part cement material (including lime) to 2 1/4 to 4 parts sand.

The scratch coat is a rougher mix than the base coat and is applied in lines to prepare the surface for the brown coat. The scratch coat must cure before the brown coat is applied to minimize cracking in the final stucco.

Finish Coat

Stucco is an exterior cement-based plaster formulated to mimic masonry and stone surfaces. The finish coat can be textured or painted to create specialty naturalistic environmental effects that integrate building design with nature’s elements and features.

Achieving a quality finish can take time and patience. Weather and other factors can also affect the duration of the stucco process.

To avoid moisture infiltration, ensure your home has a solid foundation and well-draining grading of the surrounding soil. Installing downspouts, gutters, and other means of directing water away from the structure and foundation can prevent damage to the stucco and its substrate.

If you’re looking for new stucco, think about a method that employs a base coat that has already been blended and is then covered in a color coat made of a heavy-bodied acrylic elastomer. This type of system is more water- and stain-resistant than traditional cement stucco. It’s also less prone to cracking, but it does require a 24- to 48-hour moist cure and then a few days of drying before the top coat can be applied.

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