How to Manage Exterior Stucco Bubbling

As one of the most durable and versatile materials, stucco is a construction material which is applied on the exterior of a building to protect the outer surface from natural calamities. While it is marked as a durable material, often due to weather change, the material wears & tears with time. You might notice cracks and holes which require occasional filling. If not fixed in the early stage, an entire portion can peel off the exterior of the building, diminishing the look of the building. As a homeowner, one should always look for moisture oozing out any area of the stucco exterior and get it sealed immediately to prevent further damage by doing it yourself or hiring stucco contractors to undertake this task for you.

Signs when your exterior stucco needs to get fixed

Following are the signs to look for:

  • Small or large cracks: If you find a small hairline crack within your stucco, you’ll need to fix it immediately. Cracking does not mean that the entire stucco is damaged, but it does mean that the crack should be patched as soon as possible.
  • Bubbles along the edges: Often caused by poor drainage systems, leakage of water from the stucco walls is a common issue in homes consisting of stucco exteriors. If you see bubbles oozing out of the stucco wall, it probably means the stucco wall is on the verge of getting damaged or is already damaged by an accumulation of moisture.
  • Cracking near the windows: One of the most common stucco moisture absorptions is seen near or around the house’s windows. In such a case, if you find cracking or dampness in the stucco near the window area, you might have to fix your window and have your stucco exterior inspected for moisture damage.

How to stop and fix exterior stucco bubbling?

While if the cracks are large and the pores are multiple, calling a professional stucco company will be the best and most prompt option, but if the bubbling is not so severe, you can easily fix it yourself with little to no problem and no assistance needed. There are certain tips and tricks that need to be followed to stop the bubbling and blisters from the stucco wall. But before getting into the steps to fix the bubbling issue, you need to first find out the root cause and get it fixed.

  • As most stucco bubbling issue is caused due to poor drainage system, you need to call a professional to improve the drainage system of the house and surrounding building.
  • Check for the space under floorboards to ensure easy evaporation of water (moisture) from the soil. The vapours need to pass through vents inside the walls easily.

Now let’s check out what are the steps to fix exterior stucco bubbling:

Step 1: Remove the loose stucco

With the help of a chisel or hammer, you need to scrap the damaged stucco or debris. Don’t forget to scrap off some of the areas around the damaged part to help the new layer stick well to the wall.

Step 2: Remove house wrap or lath

The house wrap needs to be cut off, and the lath needs to be removed under the damaged portion of the wall.

Step 3: Installing new lath and house wrap

As per the size of the area damaged, cut the house wrap accordingly and then secure it firmly with a staple gun. For installing a lath, you need to cut pieces of metal lath as per the size and staple them to the wall. Concerning smaller cracks and blisters, you can skip the removal and installation of house wrap and lath steps.

Step 4: Mix and apply the stucco coating

Now there are two kinds of stucco repair mix, one is the pre-mixed ready-to-use stucco finish, and the other is the conventional stucco product that you need to mix instantly before application. The pre-mixed one can be directly applied to the patched area with a trowel. For the conventional one, use a plastic tray or wheelbarrow and work as per the instruction of the bottle. Next, apply the first coat (scratch coat) and etch the surfaces with a knife/trowel to prepare for the next coat.

Once it dries up, apply the second coat by following the same process.

Step 5: Final finish

Once both the coats have dried up time for a final finish. Paint the wall with the colour matching the rest of the wall, and you are all good to go!