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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    2

    Default can stucco over stone removed

    We are closing on a stone house built in 1860, it has stucco over stone. I dont care for stucco but really like stone. I do a lot of woodworking, finish work, flooring, renovating and furniture building but know nothing about masonry, so I have a few questions.
    Are there any reasons other than cosmetics or to cover up repairs in the stone to use stucco over stone?
    Can the stucco be removed without damaging the surface of the stone?
    Im assuming there may need to be some repointing done after.
    Will the mortar fail sooner or need more of it replaced to a different kind if it was built and repaired over the years with an assumption of being under stucco?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,203

    Default Re: can stucco over stone removed

    Anything is possible given enough time, money, and effort.

    You can't know what's underneath something until you open it up. It's possible the stucco was done for styling purposes though I'd be skeptical of believing that myself. When something as nice as stone is covered up the usual reason is to hide a degrading structure or to hide a poor repair job. Removing the stucco may turn into a nightmare so unless you have other options open or the price you're paying allows for this, you might do better to look somewhere else- close on this property at your own risk!

    Phil

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
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    6,736

    Default Re: can stucco over stone removed

    Stucco, due to its structural shape, is a hiding surface. It hides flaws, mistakes, discoloring and many others.

    So why do you want to labor and remove it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,699

    Default Re: can stucco over stone removed

    The stucco provides a water resistant finish to the stone. Removing it will likely cause other problems and allow water to penetrate the wall. In general, I wouldn't recommend it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: can stucco over stone removed

    Reasons to remove it are a matter of not likeing stucco as much as exposed stone. The area is in south east pa and has stucco on everything, id say a about half if not more stone homes have stucco and even a lot of wooden houses. not sure why its so popular there. The barn and out buildings are original and have exposed stone walls and it looks good to me at least, nothing loose or falling out, no large cracks. Im thinking of maybe just trimming out the exterior to break up the gleaming white of the stucco. If it serves a purpose such as water proofing id leave it on the outside. maybe just do a wall or two inside.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,699

    Default Re: can stucco over stone removed

    Don't forget that barns and outbuildings aren't generally heated and are open so that water evaporates without a lot of problems. Put some carpets in, close up the house and see if you like the musty barn smell in your living space.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: can stucco over stone removed

    Quote Originally Posted by ed21 View Post
    The stucco provides a water resistant finish to the stone. Removing it will likely cause other problems and allow water to penetrate the wall. In general, I wouldn't recommend it.
    The stucco that we use around here, and we use a lot, is not a water barrier. In fact, code requires 2 layers of moisture barrier - we use "60 minute jumbo paper" - under the stucco and the wire.

    Still, removing existing stucco will open a can of worms.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
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    Default Re: can stucco over stone removed

    Stucco is a water resistant barrier. Any felt under is additional protection.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: can stucco over stone removed

    ed, I see your choice of words.

    "water resistant barrier" is not the same as "waterproof". That's why we are required to put, not one but two layers of felt.

    Some water can sip in thru cracks, and stucco has cracks, even when it looks perfect.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: can stucco over stone removed

    When you say stone are you in refference to Field Stone ?
    An 1860 structure most likely has a Lime Mortar between the stones.
    The Stucco coating over a Lime mortar should be of the same mix as the mortar joints.
    If it is portland Cement it will cause the joints to fail.
    To remove it you would need to use a hammer & chisel.
    To clean the stucco from the stone face would require a Bushing hammer or a bushing tool used in a small air hammer. If air is used use low pressure.
    The stucco was mostly applied after the mortar joints started to errode.

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