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Gate Latch Loose in Stucco


handyman gate latchIf you have a gate on the side of your house and the latch is secured through the stucco, you should probably prepare yourself for some maintenance. If you have to choose which side of the gate to hang on the stucco, I guess the latch would be preferred because it is not as heavy as the gate itself. However, as the gate will tend to slam into the latch and overtime will tend to loosen.

There are a couple of ways to deal with this problem. Some folks would consider moving the latch, which would mean you also have to move the gate by the same amount. You could also use longer screws and make sure they enter some framing lumber in the wall. Along with that you can repair the broken out stucco. They make a product which is basically mortar in a caulking tube. You can load this in a caulking gun, cut the top off, and squeeze some into the void under the latch. You will want to position the latch where you want it to stay while the mortar dries. I would leave it that way overnight. The next day it should be rock hard with no movement…until people start slamming the gate again.

Stucco Repair After A Plumbing Leak


plumbing repair stuccoI had to cut into a wall yesterday to repair a plumbing leak. One of the kids pulled on a hose bib and it snapped the copper pipe inside the wall. Last night I repaired the leak and today I start working on the stucco patch. Since there is a good sized hole in the wall I will need to fill it with something so that the stucco won't just fall into the wall. When stucco is first applied, a stucco wire is used to help it stay in place as it goes on with the consistancy of concrete. I know people who fill the void with rocks or whatever is laying around. I used expanding foam because it will insulate the pipe as well as provide a backing for the stucco repair.

Once the foam is firm in about 8 hours, it can be trimmed. After that, mix up a batch of stucco by adding water and fill the hole until it is even with the surrounding surface using a rubber float. Some stucco has a "sand" finish which is flat and looks like sand. The other finish style is very rough. You can try a couple techniques to match a rough finish.

The first method is the splatter method. With the patch flat simply flick small amounts of stucco on the flat patch. You want a somewhat random splatter. You can do this with a brush, float, or even a paint stick depending on the size of the patch. The other method is to get a fairly loose, almost soupy mixture of stucco and apply this to the patch. It won't be as rough as the splatter method but it may be what you are looking for.

After the patch dries, paint the patch or the entire wall. The paint is the key to a good patch. You can have a bad looking patch, but if the paint is a dead-on match, the patch will appear good.

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