wire mesh for exterior stucco on block

dmpecorelliApril 2, 2009

Can someone please tell be how do I install wire mesh (or other material) to exterior block walls. I have a tri-level and would like to apply wire mesh and then a product called structo-lite (base coat) to make it into a spanish stucco. I have been told that if I use wire, I can hide the mortar lines. Any help? Thanks

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sierraeast

We always used rib lath instead of wire mesh. You can fasten it with tapcon screws and galvanized fender washers.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 9:50PM
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fixizin

Do you have links to good pics of this process?

Live and learn... here in So-Fla, the "S" in CBS is done withOUT any mesh or lathe, but the homes are only 1 or 2 stories. Not sure how they do it on 4+ story commercial structures... hmmm...

Typically a 2-layer process, each layer is more than thick enough to cover and fill in mortar lines. In fact the late 1950s and early 1960s CBS I'm familiar with has a total stucco thickness of 3/8" to 7/16", yepper! Even thicker in areas where it's formed into faux-brick!

Don't know how it "stays put", but it does. It's quite waterproof too... unless the underlying block shifts/settles, and causes cracks. :(

Note to self: learn more about the art and science of stucco... take beers to appropriate construction site... ;')

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 10:15PM
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ventupete

You really don't need wire mesh on block. Mix up some spec mix mortar and trowel it directly on the walls (assuming that they haven't been painted) with whatever finish texture you want the final stucco to have. If you're not experienced with texturing techniques, you may want to practice on a scrap piece of plywood or equivalent. It's not hard just takes some practice. After it sets you can then apply the stucco color coat (which comes in various finishes ranging from smooth to very rough). I've done this on several block walls going back 10 years and have never had any problems with peeling or cracking. The only time this method does not work well on block walls if it's a retaining wall where you could have moisture coming through from the other side that could weaken the bond between the block and mortar.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 6:18PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

Structolite is not the same as stucco mix. It is for interior only (at least where I live on the eastern US) It will not be frostproof anyway. It is a gypsum basecoat plaster, BTW.
You can buy premixed stucco mix in bags like sackcrete.
gree that no wire is necessary if the block is sound and not painted or coated. Pressure wash to remove atmospheric and splashed dirt. If there are cracked joints, repair them because they will reappear in the stucco.
Casey

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 12:16PM
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sierraeast

"If there are cracked joints, repair them because they will reappear in the stucco"

Why we always used rib lath although we are in seismic country!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 2:48PM
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fixizin

Turning into a great INFORMATIVE thread. So I'm guessing that using any kind of epoxy-based patching or sealer on the underlying CMU/block would be BAD for stucco adhesion?

I ask because I'm seeing some really bad bricklaying these days, with deep voids in the mortar lines here and there... can't see daylight through them, but I wouldn't feel right stucco'ing over such poorly filled joints without first filling them in with SOMETHING...

"If there are cracked joints, repair them because they will reappear in the stucco"

Why we always used rib lath although we are in seismic country!

Ahh-so!... makes sense. That's one natural disaster we're spared in So-Fla, and why we can get away with the "brittle" CBS-on-slab construction.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 10:03PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

You can always spray the previously-sealed block with a bonding agent, which is a diluted PVA glue kind of thing.
Casey

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 6:46PM
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