Stucco repair in Tucson

HI, Reggie, It is generous of you to offer additional info via email. I’ve read just enough on your website to scare myself The size of my repair isn’t bad, but if I can’t fix these areas myself, and I hire someone, I’m not sure how to ask the right questions about new over old, sealers, additives, wet-and-wait times. There are small areas of blistering and falling-away stucco as well as flaking latex paint on my backyard pillars. The pillars support my patio covers and a ramada. The pillars are 30 years old, and the damage seems to be accelerating after the pillars’ original color coat (I believe the original color was mixed into the stucco coat, I don’t think any paint was involved originally) was painted with first, elastomeric roof coating, then ordinary latex paint—about five years ago. Also, the worker sealed the bottom edges where the pillars meet the concrete (Baumite?) patio slab with silicone caulk, and those areas have crumbling and shedding areas.
Peeling stucco in Tuscon. Another view of peeling stucco in Tuscon.

The finish coat is loose and peeling at the bottom. The loose areas can be knocked off and filled in. This can be filled with a pre-mixed cement stucco finish, that is, white cement and sand pre-mixed in a bag, just add water. What we do with a patch like this is use an acrylic bonder, mixed half and half with water. We use flex-con, but other brands are available, such as Acryl-60. Some of these can be purchased in small quanities. The bonder is insurance the patch won't pop off, and one really doesn't need to wet the patch much, but it is helpful to wet the patch at least enopugh to knock off the dust. The mortar can be rubbed with a rubber float when it sets, or if a float isn't available, a sponge.

This patch can be painted to match.

What is going on is that water is soaking up by capillary action, and from the fact water penetrates the stucco, painted or unpainted, runs down and saturates the bottom.

Plan B: A more permanent solution would be to cut the stucco off at the bottom, and allow a gap by puin on a metal stop and patching in. This is a lot of work and probably not worth it, so just filling in like plan A should be fine and require very little effort. The caulking at the bottom did more harm than good by trapping water at the bottom.

Hope this helps.