Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Removing and replacing stucco.
5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Removing and replacing stucco.

I have a 100+ year old home in northern Wisconsin. The interior is primarily lath and plaster and the exterior is stucco. In order to properly insulate the house as well as update the electrical, I'm thinking about removing the stucco. In fact, I've already started in a porch area using a circular saw with carbide blade, hammers and prybars. This is extremely dusty and labor intensive.

2 questions: Any thoughts on how to effectively remove the stucco? And, in order to preserve the historic integrity of the house, I think it might be best to put some sort of stucco back on the exterior. What kind of stucco/alternatives (dryvit, e.g.)are available that are more user friendly and low maintenence for the exterior of the house?

Thanks for any input you can give to this situation.

Re: Removing and replacing stucco.

1- Using a right angle grinder with a diamond blade, cut the stucco into sections you can rip off and handle without getting a hernia or too much blood loss.

2- Check with local building suppliers to see what's available. Check with your insurance company to see what's permissible.

Re: Removing and replacing stucco.

Removing old stucco is one thing, but installing new stucco is completely different. Are you sure you want to do it yourself? it's not a job for one person.

We apply stucco in 3 stages, and each time it's like volume mixing, you need to have an ample supply of ready stucco. Preferably, you want to do each layer around the building at once, so you must have plenty of mixed stucco on hand, at the same time the ready stucco can't sit for too long.

Good luck.

Re: Removing and replacing stucco.

Both of the above post have very good points.
For volume removal try this only if the stucco is on metal lath.
Use scaffold only for this method make sure it is TIED OFF.
Start by removeing a section between studs using the saw method cut vertical between studs from bottom to top and horizonal at the top gravity should assist you at this point. Keep in mind stucco weight is approximately 8 to 12 pounds per Sq/Ft.
After this section is removed start at the top of the exposed studs prying the fasteners loose or use a sawsall to cut the fasteners,pry the stucco back to reach the next stud and repeat gravity will again assist you. Another tool to help is a good SDS drill used on hammer only with a wide spade bit to work between the studs and stucco.
Make sure you protect everythinh below working area.
As for replacementit may depend on what type substrate you have under the existing stucco.If you have to add sheathing over studs plus Synthetic stucco system you will be bumping out 1 3/4 inches this will affect your trim.If you select synthetic check with your termite bonding company as to what affect it may have on the bond.Go back with conventional stucco an contract with a good company that does stucco.
You may also think about having them do the removal.

Re: Removing and replacing stucco.

If you haven't gotten too far, I'd suggest that you remove the lath and plaster for a number of reasons. Lath and plaster have a higher U factor (lower R-value) so it conducts heat laterally about twice as fast as sheetrock. This is important once you insulate the walls because the plaster will absorb heat from the room, transmit it to the studs where it finds a lower higher U-factor (lower R-value) than the insulation.

This kind of short circuits the heat around the insulation. You have an opportunity to put 4x8 sheets of rigid foam board between the sheetrock and the studs to block this path. As little as a 1/2" of foam will block most of the lateral movement of the heat, increasing the effectiveness of the cavity insulation.

Working from the inside also insures a good vapor barrier on the inside of the cavity insulation. The absolute worse case that you could do is to install cavity insulation without a good vapor barrier on the inside and then cover it with synthetic stucco. Synthetic stucco does not breath well, not at all in fact. If there isn't some sort of exterior ventilation for the cavity, the walls will fill up with water and the framing will begin to rot away.

There was an episode of another PBS building show, Hometime, where they were adding a deck to a house they built a couple seasons earlier. When they cut a hole through the synthetic stucco wall, water poured out. Dean stood there and looked at that, then said that he would look into what happened and let us know. He never did get back, but on the next episode, the whole house was clad in lap siding. The stucco was gone.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.