Question: ”Our house has natural piles, but has been painted over and over again and is now peeling off very badly. Our dilemma is whether the pages should be repainted, new siding added, or perhaps stacked again, so we have several questions.
If we repaint, what kind of prep work and paint is needed for the stucco? In general, how many more days to draw in this kind of climate?
If we can go with vinyl siding first, then first, is it a good idea to put vinyl on top of the steno? I am concerned about the increase in moisture between vinyl and stucco over time. What better time of year to do this than to protect the home? I assume it will be in the summer months.
After all, if we were to stutter again, would any reputable company be able to do that? The color of the stucco has now become ugly and faded.”
Our answer: You can’t say how old your house is, but I’m assuming it’s probably “painted” which was probably built between 1920 and 1940. In this era, piles were a popular extrinsic finishing material. It was applied in layers and contained a mixture of Portland cement, sand, and hydrated lime. Stucco was applied on top of either wood or metal lath or blank clay tiles. Sometimes it was sold as a new siding material (“You never have to paint again”) and it was applied to existing wooden clapboard siding, trim, etc.
If the initial structure of the house is strong and the foundation is not subject to disposal, the hole usually lasts a significant amount. Most homes built in the early twentieth century still have their original stucco cladding. Many have never been painted.
However, there are some cases where the stucco can get worse over time. Disposal and water intrusion are usually the main culprits if stucco fails. If the foundation is stable, it can put pressure on the fragile pile to crack. Water intrusion from ice-binding or through joints and stress cracks around windows, doors can also cause failure.
Just because the stucco is crunchy, it won’t necessarily need to be replaced. Cracking of the second surface may not affect the integrity of the stucco. If you use your fist and gently bang on the stucco, you can usually tell how great it is. If it has any harsh sound, it is probably good. On the other hand, if it has a blank note (which indicates that it has lost its bond with the stack or lath below the stucco) or is bullying, or the pieces are missing, it probably needs to be repaired.
There are qualified plaster. The stucco professionals can spot-repair the stucco. They will also match the texture of the existing material. This needs to be done when the weather is icy. Although work should not be done in direct sun on hot days, the Landmark Society (585-546-7029 and www.landmarkociversity.org) can often direct older homeowners to contractors who are particularly sensitive to older homes.
However, given what you told me it seems like your home may just need a new color palette. Most stock houses have been painted with good results in most cases. The paint can help to seal cracks on the surface of the stucco. I was very lucky to use a colored 100 percent acrylic primer and then an acrylic topcoat. But a few caveats: if the stucco is new, let the last age at least a few weeks before priming and painting Also, I recommend that the surface be cleaned with a stiff brush and then washed to remove dust and other debris.
With existing painted surfaces, loose and/or flaking paint should be carefully removed and disposed of (and I press “carefully” if there is a possibility of lead in the paint). As with new stucco, it is advisable to brush and wash the surface. Avoid power washing, because, with the wrong hand, the power washer can damage the stucco. I will then prime and paint using top quality acrylic paints.
How long should the paintwork last, our stucco was repainted about 10 years ago and still looks great. But each house is different, and if the exterior walls have problems with moisture, poor quality paint, poor surface preparation, etc., the results can vary greatly.
As far as living goes, I urge you not to do that. One, such as a Tudor recovery house covered with a kind of plastic, doesn’t stick to anything like a throat thumb. It just looks wrong. Two, covering the masonry finish can hide other problems that are once seen.
Therefore, my recommendation is to repair the stucco as needed, after which a new, suitable paint should be applied.