Repairing stucco soffit/eave


Old 04-10-17, 07:47 PM
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Repairing stucco soffit/eave

I have a roof overhang area where the underside is stucco with a "curved" front.

Is it cracking from moisture penetration from roof leaks. Right now I am repairing the cracked stucco and rotted rafter tails in two spots in preparation of a reroof. The roofer will replace the rotted sections of the roof deck, but I am going to do the framing support repair and the stucco repair from below.

I have opened up two holes with my grinder using a diamond blade, and I can see how they did the curved stucco. Basically they have strips of furring running across the bottom of the rafters, then they have a sheet of rib lath bent and stapled to the furring, and the stucco is applied over that.

A few more pictures.

(1) You can see some horizontal crack lines on the stucco. Do I need to chase the crack lines until there is no more, then cut out a large rectangular section, put on a sheet of rib lath, then stucco over the area? Or can I only repair the badly cracked section, but caulk the areas with minor damaged by caulking a few long cracks?

(2) The existing stucco in there is about 3/4" to 1". How many coats do I need to put on? Do I need to use different products for the base coat versus the finish coat, or can I use the standard stucco for all coats?

(3) Once the framing is repaired, should I do the roof first, then do the stucco last? Or should I do the stucco, then the roof? I am concerned when they redo the roof they will be hammering nailing banging on the roof and if that would cause the new stucco to crack?
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Old 04-11-17, 11:44 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Wait for the roofers.
And seriously think about using a plasterer. Stuccoing soffits takes spells and incantations.
Also I would think pretty hard about taking the rest of the cracked stucco off. It can be repaired but new work will look better.
Also I can't tell from the picture but maybe the lath was upside down, hence the cracks along the ribs.
The point of the rib goes to the framing. The open "V" groove goes down. The ribs touch the framing, they are not there to provide a depth gauge or screed for the stucco. As I said, I can't tell but if you redo this do it with the point of the ribs to the joist. Nail at the ribs only not in between. To nail in between the ribs will make it seem like you are getting a tighter grip but will make a dent in the lath which will make it harder for the mortar to hang.
And you asked about what material to use. It looks to me like the finish is relatively smooth or maybe has a fine sand float finish. If so you can use the same material. If it is really smooth you might consider a material made for a smooth finish. Around here it is called EMF or mission finish.
maybe your lath was not galvanized. It should be. If it was not it is probably pretty rusted through and may not hold much.
Somewhere there should be a drip. There is one at the edge of the roof flashing apron but whatever water does not drip from that edge and clear the curve of the soffit is going to run right across the bottom of the soffit and down the wall. I don't know just how you would install a drip but someone should.

Last edited by tightcoat; 04-11-17 at 12:00 PM.
Old 04-11-17, 06:28 PM
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The bottom of the soffit is not flat, the inside (at the wall) is higher then the outside, so the curved front is the low spot.

This is from the 1950s, so whatever lath they used looks different from what we have now. I am planning to use the high rib lath and yes like you said with the "V" facing out.

Here is the other side of the house where I also have a trouble leaking spot. Here I cut away all the cracked stucco and reinforced the framing, and you can see where the 1950 stucco soffit connects a 2004 addition and the addition used standard wood soffit and fascia. The return area on the roof leaked and I am fixing the underside framing and soffit as well, then the roofer will take care of the rotted deck above. This side is almost done, and I have stucco work here as well.

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