Can New Stucco Get Wet? [And How To Repair Water Damage When It Happens]

Stucco is a great option for home exteriors because it is both durable and versatile. If installed and taken care of properly, stucco can last for more than 50 years. For those who are considering a stucco exterior, you may be wondering if new stucco can get wet. After all, you don't want anything to ruin your new exterior. We've done the research to answer this question.

Wetting stucco is a vital part of the installation process and is necessary for stucco to cure properly. Stucco needs to be kept wet for at least 48 hours after installation.

Stucco can last for more than 50 years if it is installed and cared for properly. It is essential to know how to wet stucco so that it cures properly. But can you wet new stucco too much? And how do you repair stucco that has been damaged by water?  For the answers to these questions and more, continue reading.

A close-up of a textured Stucco wall, Can New Stucco Get Wet? [And How To Repair Water Damage When It Happens]

Why Is It Necessary To Wet Stucco When Installing It?

Close-up of a textured wall

When installing a new stucco exterior, water is necessary for all parts of the installation process. Stucco is made of a mixture of sand, cement, and lime and must be mixed with water to turn it into a paste. A paste-like consistency is necessary for application.

Water helps to create a paste by coating the particles that make up the stucco mixture. Once the paste cools, it should be applied at a thickness of at least ⅜ of an inch. If it is applied too thinly, it won't harden properly.

After application, water will dissolve some of the stucco particles. This will cause the temperature of the stucco to increase and the particles to join together. When the particles join together, the stucco will start to harden. This is known as "curing."

Once the stucco is applied, it is necessary to keep it wet for at least 48 hours to allow the curing to continue. If the stucco is not kept wet, it will remain soft and won't dry properly. So as you can see, wetting new stucco is not only okay but is a necessary step in the installation process.

You May Also Like 7 Types Of Stucco Finishes.

How Often Should You Wet New Stucco?

On average, you should wet new stucco twice a day to keep it moist for the required minimum of 48 hours after installation. However, depending on weather conditions and where you live, it may be necessary to wet stucco more than twice a day.

For example, if you live in a very hot area, you will need to wet stucco more than twice a day because it will dry out faster. The same is true for areas with low humidity because there will be less moisture in the air.

When wetting stucco twice a day, the best times to wet stucco is in the morning before the surface has had time to warm up and in the evening after the surface has had time to cool down. If you wet the surface while it is hot, the water will dry faster.

How Long Does Stucco Need To Dry Before It Rains?

Rain fall on the ground in rainy season

Stucco needs to dry for at least 48 hours before it rains. Depending on what stage of the installation process you're at, rain can affect the drying process by causing the mixture to become too wet and slide off the wall or alter the stucco's appearance when it does dry.

If rain is forecast unexpectedly, you can protect newly applied stucco by covering the thick plastic or tarp walls. If you install stucco a couple of days before it rains, you can also add an accelerator to the mixture to speed up drying time.

Why Does My Stucco Look Wet?

It is normal for stucco to look wet while it is drying or right after it rains. But if your stucco still looks wet a few days after it should have dried, it could be a sign of water infiltration. Water infiltration is usually caused by one or a combination of four issues:

  • The stucco is poorly made.
  • It wasn't installed properly.
  • It wasn't properly sealed around windows and doors.
  • There is no drainage system.

In addition to looking wet, other signs could indicate water infiltration. These signs are:

  • Chips
  • Cracks
  • Gaps around windows
  • Interior drywall feels soft
  • Missing chunks
  • Moisture in the basement

If water has infiltrated your stucco, the walls can begin to leak. Leaking walls can cause serious problems, including rotting and mold. It is important to have any leaks or water infiltration repaired as soon as possible.

How To Repair Water Damaged Stucco?

Damaged facade of the house or building with cracked plaster and hole in the exterior wall

If you notice any signs of water damage, you need to act fast to fix them and prevent any more damage from being done. Leaving it alone will only cause the damage to get worse, and you could have problems selling your house if you ever decide to.

Before we discuss how to repair water damage, it's important to note that if you have major or widespread water damage that has damaged the interior and mold has started to grow, you should get help from a professional to fix it. But as long as you pay attention to the signs and catch it early, it is likely that the damage will only be minor, and you can repair it yourself.

Materials and Steps

Here is what you'll need:

  • Chisel
  • Putty Knife
  • Stucco Patch 
  • Exterior Paint

Follow these steps to repair minor exterior damage to stucco:

  1. Use the chisel to remove the damaged area of stucco.
  2. Patch the area with the stucco patch, using the putty knife to apply it.
  3. Allow the area to dry.
  4. Apply two more coats of stucco, letting it dry between each coat.
  5. If the stucco patch doesn't match the rest of your exterior, buy exterior paint in a matching color and paint over the repair.

Click here to check out this stucco patch on Amazon.

Click here to see this putty knife on Amazon.

See More: Can You Paint A Stucco Exterior?

Can You Waterproof Stucco?  

Yes, you can waterproof stucco. Waterproofing stucco is essential for preventing water damage. The most effective way to prevent water damage is to have a waterproof barrier installed underneath the stucco, and a sealant applied on top. But this can only be done when applying stucco for the first time.

If your stucco exterior is older, you can still apply a sealant on top. This is the best way to keep water out and is especially necessary if you have recently repaired water damage. When choosing a sealant, you have a few options.

Stucco Sealer

This type of sealant is made for waterproofing stucco. It works on both painted and unpainted stucco and prevents water damage and salt damage. It is an excellent choice if you live in a coastal environment.

Click here to see this stucco sealer on Amazon.

Silane/Siloxane Sealer

If you can't find a sealer made specifically for stucco, silane/siloxane sealer works just as well. Water will form beads on the surface but isn't able to penetrate the stucco. It also helps to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Click here to view this silane/siloxane sealer on Amazon.

Masonry Sealer

Masonry sealer is a type of sealant made specifically for use on brick surfaces. But masonry sealer can also be used on stone and stucco surfaces as well. It usually only requires one coat.

Click here to check out this masonry sealer on Amazon.

In Closing 

We hope this article answered all of your questions about keeping new stucco wet and repairing damaged stucco. It is important to keep the new stucco wet for 48 hours, and if it does become water damaged, remember that you need to repair it as soon as possible to keep it from getting worse, or call in a professional to do it for you. Thanks for reading!

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