Weep screed is the first thing to be installed on a stucco system and it is located right at the bottom of the wall underneath the finish coats, base coats, wire and paper so repairing or replacing it will take more work than most people think. Let's see what's involved in the process!
Replacing or Repairing The Weep:
Whether you plan on replacing an entire 10' stick of weep screed or repairing a smaller 6" section, the process will essentially be the same, it just comes down to how much stucco must be removed.
CAD Tutorial: This tutorial is made using a simulated scenario. The repair process is exact, as far as the procedure goes. If I get a chance to do a "real life" repair with this exact scenario, I will update the images in this post. Thanks for stopping by!
Here is a brief overview of the process, so you know what to expect:
- Remove stucco starting from bottom edge of weep screed and work your way up, breaking out about 5" of stucco.
- Remove all staples, nails, etc. that are holding the wire and weep screed in place. Cut wire and paper to allow access to weep.
- Remove the weep screed (full length piece) or cut out the section that you are going to replace.
- Install new piece and fasten to wall.
- Then reattach paper and wire to wall, as well.
- Apply the base coat(s) and wait a day or two for the material to harden up and cure a bit.
- Then apply finish coat(s) that match existing texture.
- Paint to match color, if needed.
1. Break Out Stucco Around Weep Screed:
The best way to break out the stucco is to use a hammer because this will leave the paper and wire intact underneath the base coats and finish coats. Just make sure you break out about 5" or so above the bottom of the weep screed edge because the flange of the weep screed is usually about 3 1/2" tall.
2. Remove Fasteners & Cut Wire/Paper
The next thing you want to do is remove all of the nails and staples that are attached to the wire, paper and weep screed. Then you will make a cut in the wire using tin snips of some sort and a utility knife for the paper, leaving about 2" (roughly) on either side and the top edge, so we can overlap both materials later on in the repair process.
Then fold the wire and paper up and out of your way. A tip here would be to use some tape to hold the paper to the wall in the upright position, giving you access to the weep.
3. Cut Out The Section That Needs To Be Replaced:
The next step is to cut the bad area out of the weep screed. This can be achieved using tin snips or an angle grinder with a metal cutoff blade. Just be sure to wear eye and hand protection as the sharp bits of the metal can be very sharp and hot if using the angle grinder.
4. Replace Piece Of Missing Weep:
Now we are going to replace the piece of weep that we took out but we are going to make it a bit longer to allow for a little bit of overlap. Measure the gap that you have at the front lip area and then add 2" to that measurement, which will give us 1" of overlap on each side. In this example, my gap measured 16", so I am going to cut a piece that is 18" long to replace it.
5. Reattach Paper & Wire:
After you have the new piece in place and nailed off in two spots, you will then want to install new paper and wire. We will start with the paper first. You will need 2 pieces in total and they will be strategically placed and sized.
You will cut two pieces large enough so they will overlap our existing paper and is shown by the dotted red line in the image above. It will need to be installed behind the existing paper on both the top and side pieces, where we made our cuts. The same method applies to both sides, even though I am only showing one side.
You will want to apply caulk where the cut edges of the old paper meet the new paper. You will want to apply enough under the old paper and on top of the two new pieces we just installed, so that when we fold the paper back down (next immediate step) the caulking will fuse together the cut areas with the new paper pieces. This step will also be done on both sides.
6. Apply Base Coat or Coats:
Now that the lath portion of the project is all finished up, we can move on to the "mud" portions, which will usually consist of one or two base coats and one or two finish coats, depending on the stucco system and finish texture.
The first thing you want to do is to mix up some base coat material and the premixed bags are always a good idea for smaller patches like this, all you have to do is add water.
Make sure the base coat is mixed up fairly stiff so it will hang on the wall. Then apply it to the area. Keep building it up until you are slightly thicker than the stucco wall around the patch. Then use a trowel to smooth the material to the same depth as the surrounding stucco and weep screed.
Helpful Tip: I would recommend using a gloved hand to throw the base coat material on the wall to fill the voids first and rubbing the material around in different directions to make sure you "key in" to all of the different voids and gaps. Then throw more on top until you get to the required depth you need to trowel smooth.
After you have the patch leveled out with the trowel, you will need to wait a few minutes to an hour or two, depending on the material you used, outside temps, etc. You want to wait until the base coat is setup enough to put a finger on it without making an indention.
This will take some patience and will require your constant attention if you are unfamiliar with cement or concrete materials. Float the base coat material into the old stucco a little bit, about 1" or 2", so it will blend better.
A green float or grout sponge will work if you don't have a neoprene float handy.
7. Apply Finish Coat(s)
The next step is to apply the finish coat or coats, depending on your existing finish. In this example, we have a lace texture, so it will take two coats to get the desired effect we are after. The finish coat is also a preblended finish material that only requires water. Color is optional.
You will apply the finish coat using a trowel to get it roughly 1/16-1/8" thick on the patch. Then I will use a green float to bring the sand to the surface and make a more uniform finish, applying the material past the finished edge, about an inch or so, like we did for the base coat materials.
I will then let it setup awhile before texturing. After the finish material is slightly set up, I will add small amounts of texture and try to match the existing texture as closely as possible.
8. Paint, If Needed
If you need to match the color of your existing stucco, then painting is always a lot easier than trying to get an exact color match with the finish material and is recommended for most DIYers.