Stucco in winter

gardengirl53October 24, 2009

We are building a new home and were suppose to be further along than this (whats new). We were suppose to have the stucco applied late October early NOvember. Well it looks like it won't happen until late November early December. We are having a heavy relief concrete stucco applied. The front half of the house will be over masonry and the back half over wood with the screening. I am VERY uncomfortable about doing the stucco in the winter even with them using a heater and draping it which will also cost me more money. I have heard this can cause uneven heating and cause problems. Optimal temperature application should be between 40 and 70 degrees. At this point I would rather wait until spring to make sure the stucco is done right. After all this is the entire exterior of my home. I wanted it done the best that it can be. My contractor of course doesn't want to wait until spring because he wants to finish up the job. We live in the Chicago are and it is already lousy weather! Rainy and cold. Do any of you have thoughts or knowledge about applying this in the winter. For the best job would we be best to wait until spring even if it means delaying the job? Any opinions appreciated :)

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Can you describe the substrate, underlayment, reinforcement, and type of stucco in specific terms?

Probably the biggest risk might be rushing between coats and improper curing.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 4:22PM
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All I know is the front portion of the house will have masonry block under the stucco. It will be an all concrete stucco with none of the new elastic stuff they put in stucco now. Like the old traditional stucco. The back of the house will have the regular framing with tyvek over it then an application of like metal sheathing of some type with the stucco over that. I can't be certain though. If the biggest risk is rushing between the coats and improper curing what would I need to make sure of to make sure that didn't happen?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 5:01PM
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You talk about stucco in winter; yet leave out the most important aspect; where on earth do you live?????

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 10:47PM
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I stated in my first post,Chicago.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 12:13AM
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My husband said if they drape and heat it you most likely will be fine. We live in Colorado at about 7000 feet in elevation. When we build out house in 2000, the stucco was applied in October or November. The cost was about $23,000. This is a ranch with a walkout basement - approx 4000 sq feet interior. The weather was too cold and the top coat froze. We could not tell until the stucco began falling off the house a year or so later. The stucco company came out and "patched" some areas. The color did not match and they said it would in time - it never did. The stucco company went out of business. We had large areas of base coat showing. My insurance company sent out an engineer who decided it was poor workmanship and not covered by them.
Last week we had a company scrape off the loose stucco and recoat the entire exterior - $7500. We had a bad snow storm move in that night. I hope that the stucco did not freeze again. Time will tell! (no, we did not have it draped either time)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 3:06AM
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Traditional stucco top coating in your area will more than likely have the same results as Daytona1 experienced. Even with draping/heating, traditional stucco is penetrable by moisture,(it's not waterproof), and with the incoming winter cold, will freeze and fail. Traditional stucco is meant to "breathe" which is what allows moisture in and is why painting over is not a good idea. It's the underlayments/flashings/drainage plane underneath that keeps the exterior dry. It should only be used in milder climates. Occasional flash or short term freezing, it will survive, but constant freezing temps lead to failure. You should get a consult from plaster/stucco contractors in your area about the use of an elasomeric or acrylic top coat that is less prone to moisture penetration and expands and contracts with the temperature differences.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 10:51AM
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