Newbie needs help with concrete/stucco repair

Discussion in 'Bricks, Masonry and Concrete' started by bluebutterfly, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. Apr 22, 2014 #1

    bluebutterfly

    bluebutterfly

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    Hello all,

    I'm a newbie DIY'er when it comes to concrete/stucco work, so am looking for a few tips. Attached are three pics showing the repair needed so you can get an idea of what it is and the size. This is on a typical 1960's ranch house. The previous owner left various types of concrete/stucco repair stuff in the garage but I have no idea if any of it is the right thing to use. Do I just mix it up and trowel it in? It's a somewhat indented area where the exterior has deteriorated down there at the bottom of the wall. This is part of the exterior of a detached garage wall. I'm sure it's a pretty basic repair and would like to fix it before it erodes more .....trying to avoid hiring someone for a job that is probably a basic fix. Thanks again for the assistance!

    wall.jpg

    wall1.jpg

    wall2.jpg
     
  2. Apr 23, 2014 #2

    beachguy005

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    You can get premixed stucco patch and just hand tool the profile to match.
     
  3. Apr 23, 2014 #3

    bluebutterfly

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    thanks for the info - should I prep the surface in any way beforehand? and what type of tool is best? a basic trowel? is there a particular brand of stucco patch you think is best? the prior homeowner has several different types in his garage....thanks again for further info!
     
  4. Apr 23, 2014 #4

    nealtw

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    How about listing what you have, someone might help you sort out what's usable.
     
  5. Apr 23, 2014 #5

    bluebutterfly

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    I just now opened several containers of what's in the garage, including DAP ready mixed stucco repair and another brand of stucco repair and all are dried up, unless water can be added to make them usable. So, looks like I'll have to buy some. I was reading up on DAP online and several people didn't like it, it was too "stretchy" and didn't seem to bond well, so may skip that brand. Any other suggestions as to what you use and have liked for the type of repair I'm doing would be appreciated. As you can see, the area is somewhat deep, not terribly deep but will require several layers gradually. Should I apply some type of bonding agent on the surface before? Or just tool it in directly on the surface as is....I'll be sure to clean it first and make sure there's no crumbling areas.....thanks again!
     
  6. Apr 23, 2014 #6

    nealtw

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    Others that know more than I do should be along soon.
     
  7. Apr 24, 2014 #7

    beachguy005

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    You'll want to use a product that can be applied from your max depth, looks like 1/2 inch or so, to feathered. Some products require a bonding agent and some don't. Follow the directions.
    You'll just remove any loose bits, apply the filler and tool it to match. I would use a putty knife. Whatever you use will become more workable as it sets up.
    Frankly, I have a stucco on block house and had a chip on a corner I repaired. I just picked up a pint container of premixed stucco patch at HD, slapped it on and formed it with a putty knife. No mixing, no bonding agent, worked great.
     
  8. Apr 24, 2014 #8

    bluebutterfly

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    thanks very much, yes, it is about 1/2 inch or a bit more at certain points here and there, so it will require a bit of filling...thanks for the putty knife advice...i was going to use a small trowel but putty knife is much better.
    I'll probably just pick up some standard pre-mix stucco patch at HD also...once I do the job I'll post pics and show how good or bad I did lol...thanks again!
     
  9. Apr 25, 2014 #9

    CallMeVilla

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    Tools are what we live for, right? Every trade has specialty tools, including cement. I would want you to have a margin trowel and a triangular trowel (brick) or a finishing trowel. Mix the patch material and press it into the repair hard with the margin trowel. Smooth it with the brick trowel or the finishing trowel.

    I prefer the QuikCrete products for consistency and performance. Do not mix too wet, trowel it smooth. Sets up fast and is >3,500 psi when done.

    Trowel 2.jpg

    Trowel 1.jpg

    Trowel 3.jpg

    STUCCO.jpg
     
  10. Apr 26, 2014 #10

    bluebutterfly

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    Thanks so much for this info....I'm sure your advice is excellent on this. I was at Home Depot yesterday (it was on my way so that's where I went ) and the only pre-mixed stucco I could find was DAP so I got that. I think the person who owned my home before has some QuikCrete left but it's not premixed, but I may try that as per your advice rather than the DAP, as I wonder if the DAP will do as well or hold the patch long-term. I want the repair to last and not have to redo it again. I did look at some of the other tools you mention, not knowing what they were for or how they were used....the prices put me off tho....since this is probably a one-time type of repair of this sort, I somehow couldn't justify paying what they wanted, especially for trowels, which all seemed to be around $18+. I also looked at Harbor Freight which has a great store in my area and they only had putty knives of various sizes....they had no trowels, although they may have had a margin type of trowel and I didn't know what it was. So, I ended up with basically a couple of sizes of putty knives and the DAP yesterday....wasn't too confident that I had what it takes to do the job right. Maybe I can find another tool around here that will accomplish the same thing, pushing the DAP (or Quikcrete) into the repair area to make sure it sticks and fills it in. Thanks again very much for your advice, it definitely is all about the right tool and the right patching compound!
     
  11. Apr 26, 2014 #11

    CallMeVilla

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    Not sure where you live but Craigslist is your best friend here. Used tools all the time for all manner of jobs. How long can a cement trowel last? A lifetime, really. You can get away with some cheesy putty knife but the smoothing process with require care.

    I prefer to use unmixed cement because I can mix it thinner or harder for the job.

    Start building your tool inventory with the basics then acquire as you think your projects in the future might require. You can find EVERYTHING on Craigslist for a lot cheaper than new. Only my specialty tools are new. Save BIG MONEY doing this ...
     
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  12. Apr 27, 2014 #12

    bluebutterfly

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    Thanks again for your advice. I never thought about looking on Craigslist for smaller tools, but you're absolutely right, I just looked at my local CL and there's various handiman tool yard sales going on and I bet I could've gotten a decent enough trowel for way less than new $18-20 , so will definitely do that. About the Quikcrete, I'm sure it's got a lot of advantages over pre-mixed - my main concern is that as a newbie at this, if the mixture isn't right, I might make a mess of it and end up having a bigger problem than I started with. On the other hand, I'm not convinced the DAP will do a great permanent fix on the problem either. So, I'll think about the Quikcrete, maybe I can mix up a small batch and experiment in an area in the garage or a wall where it won't matter and I can learn to work with it. Thanks again for all your help!
     
  13. Apr 28, 2014 #13

    beachguy005

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    With all due respect....you're really over thinking it. Just get the premixed, pack it in, get a stiff piece of cardboard and cut out the profile of finished wall and use it as a screed to match the existing.
     
  14. Apr 28, 2014 #14

    BridgeMan

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    A margin trowel is your friend for this project, as the offset in its handle will allow you to apply more pressure against the fluid repair product as you try to force it into the repair area. Putty knives aren't designed for that, and will not be nearly as effective.

    Are you really quibbling over spending $18 on a tool that will enable you to do the job properly? The peace of mind knowing that a job is being done properly would be worth far more than that, in my opinion.

    And besides, it doesn't eat anything, so once purchased, it's not costing you anything. And having it available for future projects is an added bonus.
     
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  15. Apr 28, 2014 #15

    bluebutterfly

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    Yeah, I'll probably go ahead and use the DAP that I bought because I don't quite feel ready to deal with the quickrete, even though it may be the better patch. The DAP directions say to paint the area to be patched with a high quality paint, I presume to make a better surface for the DAP to adhere to. As you can see in the photo, the surface is fairly rough and rocky/uneven, with crumbling areas, although I'm doing my best to clean it and get it as good a surface as possible. I'm not sure I understand your cardboard screed directions, but I think you're saying to use it to assist with packing the DAP in, getting it smooth and level with the existing sides and margins.....?
     
  16. Apr 28, 2014 #16

    bluebutterfly

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    Yeah, I can certainly see the putty knife isn't designed to truly handle this patch so that it looks good and really lasts. I'm sort of kicking myself now for not having gone ahead and bought the $18 trowel, even though most likely I won't have THAT many more projects I can do with it myself around here, but as you say, it'll last forever!
     
  17. Apr 28, 2014 #17

    beachguy005

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    What I meant by the screed is because of the profile of your patch. I couldn't really tell if the patch is to be as flat as the wall above it or if it is rounded like a piece of shoe mold. Doesn't matter. You just want to match it to the surrounding area as best you can.

    Did the Dap say paint it before the fill or after?

    As for the "right tool"...all that means is having the tool that allows you to satisfactorily complete the job. I've used a piece of cardboard to finish an edge on concrete. A chunk of granite as a sledge hammer and a bent nail as a screwdriver and they all did those jobs perfectly.

    Don't kid yourself into believing you need the "right tool' and only the right tool to get anything done.
    If you can afford to buy all of them...great. I do believe you can never have too many tools.

    But by the same token, why spend 18 bucks on a tool may never use again vs a couple bucks on a tool you'll probably use all the time.

    If you can't fill, smooth and tool that small patch with a 1.5 inch putty knife.....I don't know what else to tell you.
     
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  18. Apr 29, 2014 #18

    CallMeVilla

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    My point exactly. You SHOULD mix a small amount for the size of your damaged area. Since QuikCrete sets up quickly a large amount would be a mistake. Mix it to the consistency of thick peanut butter, so it can cling to the vertical surface. You can use a one gallon plastic milk jug with the top cut off to mix it. Put some cement in the jug then add water slowly to get the right consistency. You can always mix more cement if needed ...

    Wet the damaged area first with a little water. Use the margin trowel to apply the QuikCrete to the area, pushing it into the surface. You might be able to use it to smooth the repair using a light hand. As it starts to go off (harden) you can still work it slightly to get the best finish.

    It will NOT exactly match the old cement. Work carefully, do your best. You can repaint the foundation to blend everything.

    Best of luck! :D
     
  19. Apr 29, 2014 #19

    bluebutterfly

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    The DAP directions say to paint the surface BEFORE, using a high quality paint. All I have on hand is some white primer paint that I use for various touch-ups on things, not sure if that would seal it well enough. I realize I will also have to paint it afterwards, too, to match the existing exterior paint. So, makes me wonder if DAP has a problem adhering to cement/crumbling irregular type surfaces unless it can bond to a painted surface, since the directions say to paint it first. Thanks for your clarification about the cardboard screed, etc. I will try to do that. I also agree that just about anything can be used as a tool. My dad certainly did it a lot over the years, if he could "make do" ,he did. Not that it isn't also a good idea to use the precise right tool for the job, but it's also nice to keep money in the bank these days, too, esp, if it's a one or two-time use with a trowel. Some people may indeed use a trowel a lot....I probably won't be, because such jobs are a bit outside my capability. My main goal in doing the current patch job is to prevent further erosion. It started out as a small area of crumbling and obviously as you can see, it got bigger and bigger. So, before it's completely across all along the bottom of the foundation there, I'm trying to do a patch job. I noted other areas where the previous owner clearly used DAP or a DAP product to patch the stucco around the garage door frame, etc. I may still try to use the Quickcrete, but if it sets up fast, I may not be skilled enough to work it into the crack fast enough before I can get it smooth or whatnot. Thanks to everyone who took the time to weigh in on this repair job :) All have made good points on both sides!
     
  20. Apr 29, 2014 #20

    bluebutterfly

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    Thanks so much for all the tips. I'm still weighing the pros and cons of quickcrete vs. dap and may play around as I said with the quickcrete in some out of the way wall area to get a feel for how fast it sets up. If I feel confident about trying it, I may do so. I guess the worst thing that can happen is I'd have to chip it out and redo the patch with the DAP. I'd see pretty fast if I'm able to make it work out okay and mix the right consistency. Thanks again to all!
     

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