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Ten Useful Questions To Ask Your Stucco Contractor

Stucco is a plastering material used for exterior and interior finishing. Unlike regular plasters, properly finished ones are durable, beautiful to look at, and easy to preserve. However, it can result in severe rotting, bulging, moisture leakage, and cracking if applied poorly.

This is why stucco application is better left to professional stucco contractors. Take Stucco Contractors Santa Fe as an example. We have the skills, resources, and knowledge to provide you with high-quality stucco and plastering services. ​

In the meantime, we gathered ten questions you should ask stucco contractors or companies if you are planning on hiring one. Ask these before you engage!

Where is your headquarters located? says that you should ask this to your potential stucco contractor first. Inquiring about the company’s location assists you in determining whether or not they are the finest hire. 

To ensure easy transportation and operations, hire top-rated providers near your location. For example, if you are in Santa Fe, you might want to look for stucco installers in or near Santa Fe.

Do you have any references?

Client references can assist you in gaining an impression of a stucco installer’s quality of work. By speaking with others who have worked with the contractor you have chosen, you will determine whether or not the contractor embodies the proper skillset you are looking for.

Does your service come with a warranty?

When stucco repair or installation is done correctly, it provides a long-term remedy. Therefore, a professional and confident stucco contractor does not hesitate to offer a warranty on their work. 

Are you licensed?

You must verify that the contractor you intend to employ has a valid license and insurance policy. This ensures that you will not be deemed responsible for the consequences when something goes wrong during the project.

What vendors do you work with?

It is just as vital to inquire about suppliers’ references as to inquire about clients’ references. This also assures that you are dealing with a reputable stucco contractor.

How long have you been working in the industry?

Working with a professional stucco contractor is more secure than engaging with a rookie because stucco repair and upkeep need precision and expertise. So remember to inquire about a contractor’s background in the industry.

How do you handle payments?

Before the project starts, you must verify that you have a thorough understanding of the payment procedures. In the event of a larger project, your contractor may even want a deposit. Contractors frequently divide the total cost into portions during the process.

How does your stucco repair process work?

Ask about your contractor’s basic approach for stucco repair and upkeep, so you have a good understanding of what to expect. If you are unclear about a step, do not be afraid to ask for clarification.

Will your work affect our daily routine and activities in our house?

Every stucco installation project can become filthy. It may even get loud at times. So have your stucco contractor alert you when these happen for you to prepare beforehand.

What kind of problems normally occur during a stucco repair?

A seasoned contractor can provide insight into potential issues that may arise throughout the repair process and how they tackle them.

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​Stucco work is best left to professionals. So, trust Stucco Contractors Santa Fe to complete the job for you! We have the experience to do even the most complex design. So, call us today to have your questions answered. Our line is always open for you!

The Difference Between EIFS and Traditional Stucco

There is a lot of allure in stucco.  It has a classic look, with an ornate, intricate texture that has defined the American Southwest for decades.  It’s also a durable, easy to maintain coating that provides a lot of protection to your property from the elements.  The materials it’s made out provides a great shield against the heat of the sun, and, if properly maintained, it can last for over 50 years, with little stucco repair.

However, while it all pretty much looks the same, with its telltale contours, and rustic finish, when you hire a stucco contractor, they’re going to ask if you want traditional, or EIFS, also known as synthetic.

What is Traditional?

At its core, it is a mixture of Portland cement, lime, sand, and water. Sometimes gypsum is added as well.  When mixedit forms a plaster-ish material that can be applied to interior and exterior walls, ceilings, and other appropriate surfaces.  It’s a very common substance, with a tried and true history.  And because of this, there are many skilled stucco contractors out there.

What is EIFS Synthetic?

EIFS stands for External Insulation and Finishing Systems.  While the traditional stuff is applied more liberally, EIFS added in layers.  At first, a polystyrene board is fixed to the surface, which a layer of EIFS is applied to.  Next, a fiberglass mesh is added, which a finishing coat of synthetic is then added.  Some property owners will go the extra mile, and add a water resistant barrier, or additional layers for increased protection.  It’s hard to tell the difference between the two upon a cursory look.

The Advantages of Traditional

It’s quicker to add to your surface, requiring less layering.  Additionally, since it’s been around for a while, most contractors who do cement can work with the traditional stuff.  It’s also cheaper than EIFS since it’s just Portland cement, plus some common minerals, plywood. and mesh.

It also hardens really fast, it’s easier to repair due to its availability, and when it’s time to do stucco repair, it’s more available.  Additionally, if you’re looking to do decorative stucco, it’s easier to work with since it is essentially just globs of cement and not a complex substrate like EIFS.

The Advantages of EIFS

People opt in for EIFS because it’s more durable.  By using a polystyrene backing, multiple layers, and fiberglass frame, it creates a more insulating layer that seals better against the elements, such as water.  This also makes it more flexible, allowing it to move as your house naturally shifts due to movement in the earth, or as the temperature changes outside. Additionally, due to its flexibility, when you need stucco repair, you may not require as much construction, as it may be as simple as replacing a panel, instead of removing an entire wall.

Cons of Traditional Stucco

When a restucco is necessary, many times it requires the entire surface it’s on to be replaced.  This is because it’s easier for water to get in, which spreads throughout the entire surface, and degrades the material from the inside out.

Additionally, it’s more prone to damage from fluctuating temperature changes and erosion.  This can make it difficult to maintain in certain climates, such as in Santa Fe, where it can go from hot to cold relatively quickly.

Cons of EIFS

Since everything is done in layers and sections, using multiple, specialized materials, EIFS installation has a more painstaking installation process. Because of this, it is more expensive than simple, traditional stucco.  Also, there are less stucco contractors who work with the synthetic material. Due to supply, and demand, this allows them to charge a more exorbitant price.

Does your Stucco need refreshing?

Are you tired of your outdated and weather beaten stucco?  There is a way to freshen the appearance and have your home looking like new.  Stucco repair is one of the best ways to give your home a brand new look. And though stucco can last for literally a hundred years, that doesn’t mean it can’t be affected by the outside elements.

The good news is you can do the repairs yourself if you have the patients. With that being said, here are the 9 steps you need to take to spruce up your stucco.

Step #1 – Get Rid of The Loose Stucco

The first thing you need to do is go around your home and identify the areas you need to re-stucco. Then take a hammer and get rid of the loose stucco. Be careful as you don’t want to damage the material underneath.

Step #2 – Cover The Lath

Once you have removed the loose stucco, the lath will be exposed. Using grade-D builder’s paper, cover the exposed area. Make sure it fits tightly along the boundary.

Step #3 – Add Mesh

Mesh is just galvanized metal. It will need to be placed against the edge of the stucco. To make this job a little easier, it is a good idea to invest in a pair of snips. Use roofing nails to ensure the mesh is firmly in place.

Step #4 – Mix The Stucco

Now the real hard work begins. Use a wheelbarrow to start mixing up the first batch of stucco.

Step #5 – Apply The First Coat

Before applying, be sure to wet the edge of the old stucco. Now take a fist-sized scoop and sling it up against the mesh. You want to make sure it is completely covered, and then smooth it out.

Step #6 – Score The Surface

Score the surface of the first coat so that it is easier for the second coat to stick to it. This can be done using a brick trowel. Now place a plastic sheet over the area to keep it from drying out.

Step #7 – Apply The Second Coat

Before applying the second coat, you will need to wait about 7 days. After 7 days, remove the plastic and mist the area with water. Mix up the second batch of stucco. Be sure to follow the recipe you are given.

Starting from the bottom and working your way up, apply a second coat of stucco. This coat should be 3/8-inches thick. Pack down the edges and wait. Once the wet sheen disappears, use the trowel to smooth it out.

Get a plastic sheet and cover the area again.

Step #8 – Apply The Final Coat

This time around, you will only need to wait three days. Start by removing the plastic and misting the area with water. Now mix up the final fresh batch of stucco. Again, be sure to follow the appropriate recipe.

This step requires that you understand stucco and the different techniques. The crucial part is to make sure you match the walls original finish. Start by applying small globs to the area. If you aren’t sure how to match the walls original finish, it may be best to hire a professional stucco repair company.

Step #9 – Let It Cure

Chances are you will need to paint the stucco for it to match the rest of the home. However, you will need to let it cure first. Wait about a week before you do any painting. The goal is to make sure the patch is invisible. This can be done using a coat of heavy-bodied acrylic elastomer.

​Need help with stucco repair? Give us a call today for a free no-obligation quote. 

Plaster VS. Stucco

Choosing Stucco Vs. Plaster
Plaster and stucco have a similar appearance and process, but they’re quite different. It’s essential to understand how, when, and where to use them, especially in renovations.
The differences between the two are not readily evident as both are applied in the same way with the same thickness and texture. But the main elements in each are what make them different from one another. Also, it’s the homeowner who selects which one is best for his/her house. Installation of both requires professionals with experience and training. For each, it’s a smart idea to hire a stucco contractor or a plaster contractor.
Stucco Vs. Plaster: Key Differences
As mentioned earlier, it’s the ingredients that make them different from one another. Both of them are made up of some kind of aggregate, usually sand of various textures and sizes. They require water to stir and mix everything together and start the curing process. 
Another big difference is the binder. It’s the binder that holds everything together and rehabilitates into its thick consistency. However, stucco will stand out more than plaster, is low maintenance, and will last as long if one takes care of it.
There will be two types of binders depending on the kind  – gypsum or lime.
You may have heard of Plaster of Paris. Well, that’s only gypsum plaster. Ever wondered where it got the nickname? In the 1700s, Paris was built on top of the largest gypsum deposits in the world. Most of the plaster came from Paris, so the name stuck. Gypsum cures fast and sets even faster, which is why it’s used for broken limbs. Also, it doesn’t require horsehair to strengthen it.
These are the interior plasters which aren’t typically meant for exterior use because they tend to deteriorate abruptly if exposed to water repeatedly.
Lime was the principal binder in any plaster.  Lime plaster is a strenuous mixture of water and lime. Once it’s thoroughly mixed, we have to wait for the lime to get saturated before the sand is added. It also requires horsehair or a similar synthetic material to help strengthen the walls. Lime plaster takes a lot of time to cure fully, sometimes up to a whole year before the walls can be painted.
It’s a render of Portland cement, water, and sand used for exterior coating. Occasionally lime is added for durability. It’s low maintenance and can appear alluring for years when taken care of. Hiring stucco contractors to perform a stucco service has the following advantages.
1. Covers stains 
You might have noticed water and rust stains in vertical lines on walls or beneath the window panes. Hence, by painting stucco, it’ll cover and block such stains, so they won’t reappear for years.
2. Seals out moisture
After it rains, concrete absorbs water and becomes darker until dry. When you paint concrete with it, it completely seals the material so moisture won’t penetrate it. This will allow the color to remain bright even after heavy rainfall.
3. Resistance from UV rays
If you live in a sunny climate, there’s a possibility that UV rays might reduce the durability of your exterior concrete. This will lead to structural damage and cracks in brickwork. Thus, by painting over it with this material, it’ll keep the outer part of walls insulated and protected from UV rays. Occasionally this may require some stucco repair, however, this is way less laborious than repairing concrete.
4. Fills cracks
It will become a huge problem quickly if you have lots of cracks in your concrete. When left unpainted, small pieces of concrete will pop out and will require costly repairs. Thus, repainting with high-quality stucco can fill up these cracks naturally.
How Often Stucco Requires Painting
This material requires painting periodically. This is a necessary step in stucco repair. Its longevity depends on the environment, but if applied correctly, it can last over twenty years without blistering or peeling. Examine your exterior every couple of years to determine when it requires repainting.