It's a fact of life that things get damaged, but what do you do when your exterior walls are dented or have a hole punched through them? In order to prevent water infiltration that can lead to mould growth, it's important to get the wall repair quickly. With EIFS ("synthetic stucco"), this is done by either re-coating the entire wall, or simply patching the one damaged area.
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 toronto stucco 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.
Most repairs on stucco under 10 years old are required because the stucco was done improperly the first time - don't risk having it done improperly a second time.
Repairing Stucco / EIFS
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.
Peeling or Crumbling Stucco Finish
A finish coat (the outer layer of stucco) that is crumbling or peeling can be caused by a number of factors - the finish coat may have been installed in frigid temperatures and frozen, there may have been dust or dirt on the wall, there may have been efflorescence, or water may have seeped behind it and frozen, pushing the finish coat off the wall. In any situation, the root cause needs to be addressed before attempting to fix the aesthetics, or it will just happen again.
Properly repairing peeling or crumbling finish coats involves first preparing the surface by removing any parts that may countinue to decay and fall apart. Installing a fresh coating over a crumbling coating can lead to the new coating needng to be replaced. After the surface has been prepared, the appropriate basecoat and/or finish coat need to be re-applied under the proper conditions - when the temperature will not drop to freezing, without dust/dirt on the wall, and not when it will rain at any point. Assuming this is all done properly, the new coating should last decades.
Just like repairing or patching stucco, you might end up with a patch if only a portion of the wall is done. Re-doing the wall from end-to-end (or at control joints) will ensure that the wall remains consistent.
Patching Stucco / EIFS
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!
Stucco Corner Repair
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.