It seems as if old man winter arrived early and decided to stay. We went from 50 and 60 degree temperatures right down to the 20’s and 30’s shortly after Thanksgiving. Any stucco remediation contractor trying to button up or finish any project got caught off guard. Problem is, you can’t put on stucco below 40 degrees, the key is to keep it from freezing during the curing process. It’s funny, every year I still hear of people adding or wanting to add anti-freeze to the stucco mix. Not a good idea that’s been addressed in previous posts.
We got lucky two weeks back when the temperatures stayed above freezing for a very short two day period. We were able to get our scratch coat on this building so that it could be left protected throughout the winter. Stucco needs to be installed in three coats for a total thickness of 7/8?. The first coat should be 3/8? and the second coat 3/8? with the finish coat an 1/8?. You need 48 hours of curing time without letting it freeze for the scratch (first) coat and the brown (second) coat.
When the temperature drops and you have to get stucco on you’re forced to tent and heat. This consists of draping tarp over your scaffolding and securing it to the structure. Running propane heaters will keep the stucco mix from freezing and not curing properly. The downside to performing stucco remediation this way is the expense. You’ll go through 7 pounds of propane per hour on each salamander (heater) and have to have staff on site 24/7 as a fire watch. This process can add 3 to 4 thousand an elevation to a stucco repair project.
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