It's a fact of life that things become damaged, but what do you do when your exterior walls become dented or have a hold punched through them? In order to prevent water infiltration that can lead to mould growth, it's important to get the wall repair as quickly as possible. With EIFS ("synthetic stucco"), this is done by either re-coating the entire wall, or simply patching the one damaged area.
A hole or dent in your wall is an indication that the original contractor did not have your best interests at heart. EIFS (synthetic stucco) should be reinforced with a heavy-duty (sometimes known as "Panzer") mesh on the first 6 feet from ground level. While this is not a requirement for proper synthetic stucco installations, we recommend it to all our clients to prevent having to pay for expensive repairs.
Stucco repairs and patches are not charged on a square-foot basis. This is because the cost to repair stucco involves far more time than it does material, and a 7ft x 7ft section - while only 49 square feet - will require the contractor to return at least once, probably twice to complete because they have to let the material dry between coats. Any contractor who completes a repair in a single day risks having the coating delaminating, making the entire repair a waste of time because it needs to be re-done.
Depending on the location and size of damage, it can cost the same to repair as it can to patch. A repair involves cutting a clean circle or square into the wall that can be filled with an equally sized piece of cut styrofoam. The entire wall up to control joints or corners is then re-coated with the basecoat and fibreglass mesh, allowed to dry for 24hours then the finish coat is applied. Going the repair route should ensure that there is no evidence that there was ever any damage.
If your wall was damaged by something, what are the odds that it can get hit or bumped again? Ask about using heavy-duty mesh and extra base coat when doing the repair. The thicker mesh and additional cement can literally double or triple the impact resistance. It might cost a couple hundred dollars extra, but will save you from another $1,000+ repair.
The less attractive option (and sometimes less expensive) is to patch EIFS. Patching EIFS begins the same as a repair - cutting a clean circle or square around the damage area that can be properly filled with a matching piece of insulation. What then happens is the contractor will attempt to install mesh with base coat over the patch and slightly onto the damaged wall, following up with the finish coat the next day. The problem is two fold: The patch is a patch - it is lumpy. The finish coat never matches.
Regardless of the skill or experience of the contractor, a patch will always be noticeable. It is impossible to properly bridge a hole to an existing wall without overlaping the existing wall, and if you don't overlap the existing wall with mesh you risk having it crack. While the finish coat retains it's colour extremely well, it will nevertheless change slightly with time and the newly applied finish coat will look different than the older finish coat.
Check out Sto's (a major EIFS manufacturer) video of the patching process. While the process seems easy and quick, any experienced contractor will tell you it's never that seamless, and never looks that exact. That's the magic of computers though.
The difference between repairing the entire wall and patching the damage can be negligible. The reason is that most walls should be installed with control joints, making the total area to be covered not-so-large. Re-doing the entire section of the wall can be done quickly, while patching requires intricate detail.
In some situations, a patch may very well be less expensive. The only way to know is to get a quote from us!
If the damage is isolated to the corner of a building or home, adding Quoins may be a viable alternative to repairing the wall. Quoins are pieces of decor that look like concrete blocks, and can be placed directly over top of stucco. You will need to add quoins to the other corner on your home for it to look right, but it may very well be a much less expensive solution, and will actually make the home look nicer.