Applying stucco in cold weather

bommaiJanuary 8, 2010

I am building a new house in Melbourne, Florida. While it is not as frigid as most of the country, it did get cold here (nights were around 30 degrees). My builder is doing stucco over wire lath in the second story and over concrete blocks in the first story. I thought stucco needs > 40 degrees for 48 hours. My builder told me not to worry and that it will be fine. Should I be worried?

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from what i hear it's best to let stucco sit, the longer the better. You want the first coat to sit and crack if necessary that way the second or final coat goes up and fills those gaps. Also i think the cold weather helps it dry slower which is also a good thing.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 2:06AM
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Cement stucco cures by a chemical reaction that is slowed down in cold weather so if the temperature is below 40 degrees the materials should be heated or the building heated and covered. Obviously it can't be allowed to freeze.

Acrylic stucco has polymers that will dry slowly and fail to form the proper bonds below 40 degrees.

Ask your contractor (in writing if possible) what precautions he plans to take if the temperature drops below 40 degrees.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 7:48AM
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Traditional three coat stucco applications over wire lath should not be applied below 45 degrees. The first coat is the scratch coat followed by the brown coat which can be applied the next day after the scratch when 45 degrees or warmer. The scratch/brown coat then must set for a minimum of thirty days before top/color coating with the base stucco coat. As Iamsum states, this is to let the scratch/brown coats crack as much as they are going to before top coating. If you are in an area with freezing periodic temperatures, you are not going to want to use the traditional top/base color coat stucco, but rather an acrylic or elastomeric top/ color coat that remains flexible with temperature changes and it's other advantage is that it remains virtually crack free. Ask your contractor what he is using as a top coat, especially over the block.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 10:18AM
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