After having an outside back yard pool removed, and also an outdoor pavilion that offered shade along the side of the pool, it was a shock to see that a pavilion beam had been bolted to the back yard house wall. What was shocking was viewing the huge number of varying size holes left after the beam was removed from the wall. There were a LOT of holes! I counted 114 small holes and 19 large holes in the stucco wall. The stucco wall that held the wood beams was painted a dark color prior to the pavilion being installed and a light color after the beam was mounted to the wall. It was difficult to see what was dirt, where the beam was attached and what was paint as seen in the image below.
After experiencing a variety of outside vendors perform home improvements, I have come away with the belief that quite a few of these businesses can make significant mistakes. I would never allow any business to attach anything to a home that I have control over without approving the mounting method. The example shown here is simply dreadful and a mistake.
Next image shows the problem of holes in the stucco, the wall being painted prior and dirt collected behind the prior wood beam. This article will try to solve these problems.
NOTE: The method and products shown here is only to offer you a singular view into a solution that might not be the best for you. I am sure that there are other solutions. This article reveals some products that were used for this project. Please do not accept our termite solution as it has not been tested for your health and safety.
I used the following wet solutions to clean the dirt on the stucco and applied the chemicals with a stiff plastic brush:
- Bleach and warm water. (I was not impressed with this method.)
- Simple Green. (This may have worked but not sure. I really was looking for a faster and clear winner method)
- Tide, Heavy Duty. I had a Home Dept employee suggest this method. Not sure but I think this method may have been good enough.
- I came to realize that the brush movement was very important. I used a soft upward and hard downward stroke.
After trying to clean the wall, which never seemed to be clean, I shot a termite killing foam into each hole. The reason for this is that plugging the holes with new stucco patch took some time before this project started. Termites could have entered those holes. The holes in the wall were under the second floor and above the first floor ceiling so the chemicals were confined and I assumed safe to apply. I did detect the second floor was creaking a bit more and think this was due to termites getting into the holes.
I next needed to find a solution for plugging the holes before I applied stucco patch. Some of the holes were so large that I was afraid that the stucco patch would not properly fill in the holes and collapse some time in the future. A Home Depot employee recommend a very good product. It is Loctite Tite Foam.
I had no idea of how to use this product but I soon devised my own method. I shot the foam into the larger holes. Immediately, I found out that the foam expands in all directions including coming back out the hole I shot the product into! Yikes! It was obvious that I had to cut the excess foam off the part that was in the wall. I decided to cut the foam bubble back just behind the normal stucco surface a little bit, maybe a quarter inch or more. You obviously do NOT want the foam to show but must be covered by a layer of stucco. I totally had to guess how much foam to push back from the opening. I did find out that I could push the foam back into the hole to any depth I wanted! I quickly came to love this product. I just had to figure out the needed simple solutions to small problems with using it.
When I first shot this product into my first stucco hole I was a bit shocked to see this expand right out the hole that I shot this stuff into. It was obvious that I had to cut this foam bubble away. There is NO hurry for you to rush to cut this foam excess. I personally, like to wait for the foam to age a few minutes. Just make sure it stops expanding. The foam appears to not change consistency much as a few minutes pass so I reasoned that is is much better to wait for the foam to finish its expanding action. I think at least five minutes is enough time.
I found that a very sharp knife blade that is pushed into the bubble worked way better than trying to cut with a slicing sliding action around the large bubble. For some reason the knife had a problem slicing but worked perfectly pushing the blade into the bubble. Maybe it was because the knife was not that sharp.
I still used the knife to pick away at the remaining foam after the large bubble was removed. I think the whole task of making a proper foam cut out and scraping the excess foam away took no longer than two minutes for each hole.
I found that a paint can opener worked perfectly for pressing the foam back into the wall just enough so a new stucco patch could easily fit in and match the existing stucco wall. I used the paint can opener scraper side to remove any foam from either side of the hole. This tool was perfect for this.
The image above shows the large hole is now ready for stucco patch to be applied. Note that the small holes, I reasoned, should not be a problem. I will apply stucco patch to large and small holes. I used a putty knife to apply the patch and used the putty knife to wipe any patch that was sticking beyond the surface. I then scratched the surface with a real stiff wire brush to add some roughness to the patch to possibly match the rest of the wall texture.
In the image below, a different part of the wall, it shows the patch hole completion.
The wall is now ready for painting.