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Stucco consists of four major application steps. The first application is the moisture barrier / water management system.  The moisture barrier prevents moisture intrusion to the substrate and framing of the wall. Then lath is applied after the moisture barrier and is composed of either woven wire or expanded metal.  Woven wire (chicken wire) is typically used on stucco applications under 5/8-inch thickness and expanded metal is applied for heavier systems from 5/8” to 1”, as well as synthetic stone.  The lath supports the base coat; base coat application typically ranges from 3/8 of an inch to 1 inch.  Most of the stucco applications on Colorado’s newer homes are 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick and are called HCS or hard coat stucco.  Structural systems 5/8” to 1 inch are not usually necessary in Colorado; building code in Colorado requires sheer standards to be built into the structure (carpentry).  The last application is the finish coat, this is the application you see: color and texture.  The most popular finish materials used in Colorado are usually synthetic as opposed to portland-cement based finishes.

Bill H. Moore
Rhino Systems, Inc.
Stucco & General Remodel

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