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Proper exterior choice - Help please


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[:-angel] I have a 1952 house that was originally built from cinder block and cement. The front is beautiful field stone, but the sides was just cement and the previous owner had an elastometric type of paint with some texture sprayed over I suppose to hide the cracks. There was ivy that became quite invasive that I pulled off because it became too difficult to maintain although it looked quite charming. Unfortunately the little devil sucker roots clung on so tight that it has pulled the paint job in pieces, so things are looking a bit shabby. I am trying to make an important decision as to what is the proper thing to do here. Do I cover it up with stucco or another elastometric paint or some new thing that looks like stucco but it is an adhesive bond acrylic agent? I am confused as what is the right thing to do and would appreciate any advice from professionals. Thank you.

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Reason I ask, is painting masonry buildings can work fine, or not. Putting a big rubber on the building in the form of elastomerics is a recipe for a mess. Other finishes with established perm rates would be a better choice.

It depends on the local climate.

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Thanks for some immediate replies...yes cost wise I am leaning towards painting which will require a strong power washer to get all the roots clinging on for dear life (even though they are dead).....after that some severe peeling of paint and I am sure exposure to many cracks that lie beneath. Stucco is out. But I am very interested in this "sto" brand.

I am VERY curious about this new stucco imitation which several contractors have showed me. Quite honestly it looks great (will hide cracks). The name of the brand is "sto"...it's from Germany. It is a 2 step process where some bonding material (not real - something like superglue fast drying look alike cement) is put on with a fiberglass mesh and then a textured type of material after that. If any of you guys (and gals) are familiar with this product and its performance please let me know. I need to make decision next week before it gets too cold to do anything.

Thanks again........I will try for photo's this weekend (dark when I get home now).

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It sounds like they are offering her a Sto E.I.F.S lamina covering. STO does E.I.F.S. too. The E.I.F.S will work well bonded to concrete block. I'd never use it over wood framing though.

If it's a factory-trained applicator they should know what they are doing and be able to stay out of trouble. If the contractor isn't factory trained I'd stay away from him/her. Too many painters and plasterers going around calling themselves E.I.F.S. contractors who have no idea what the hell they are doing.

If it were me though, I'd want to be absolutely sure that if I put E.I.F.S. over the block it wasn't going to get in; so I'd take it right down to the raw cement block, wet the wall down and coat it with an application of crystaline waterproofing material (Xypex). Then when they put the E.I.F.S. system on; even if they do screw up the drainage plane in the underlayment the water still can't get into my concrete wall because the CWM will keep it out.

Make sure they show you detailed drawings of how they intend to flash every penetration in that E.I.F.S. lamina. There needs to be head flashings over windows and doors, the lamina needs to be completely back-wrapped with fiberglass that's properly imbedded and there needs to be a weep termination above those flashings and at the base of the wall so that any water that does get behind that lamina can get out.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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It's a terrarium. Every one of these I've ever been in is under 1000 SF and given optimal conditions, they're damp.

Probably 15 years ago I replaced all of the doors and windows in 800 SF ranch of this vintage, brick veneer out and plaster in, 4" CMUs. The only way to keep the windows from fogging up in spring and fall was to leave them unlocked (roughly doubling the air infiltration rate).

I still think she can paint the exterior and let vapor drive handle the moisture load just like it has for the last 60 years. If it's too musty for her comfort, timers to manage the exhaust fans should be enough to handle that and they're cheap. If she wants to cover it in an elastomer she will likely need to invest in an HRV.

Personally, I'd be a lot more comfortable with 1952 building science than what passes for expertise today.

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