What to Expect During the Stucco Removal Process

The removal of stucco from interior and exterior walls is a major undertaking. Therefore, it is best to address it earlier in your home’s renovation process rather than waiting until the end. Additionally, suppose that you are removing stucco due to an underlying issue. In that case, it is best to address it as soon as possible, as, depending on the problem, allowing it to go unchecked can only make things more costly.

To prepare you for having the stucco removed from your home or place of business, here is what to expect during the stucco removal process:

Stucco Removal 101

When it comes to stucco removal, it helps to know what causes problems with stucco in the first place. That way, you can pay attention during the removal process and take proper precautions to ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future.

Stucco Concerns: Causes and Effects

Stucco problems are often related to improper installations. When stucco is first installed, it is imperative that the installer gives it an appropriate amount of time to dry between coats. Should they fail to do so, the stucco will not set properly, and problems will ensue.

Additionally, homes are sometimes wrapped in weather-proofing materials, which, if not installed correctly, can attract mold and other filth that will put your home’s foundation in danger. If left untreated, these issues can become perilous, not to mention very expensive.

What Is Stucco Removal?

Stucco Remediation

Stucco removal is a straightforward process that involves stripping old layers of stucco from a building. In some cases, it is done because a property owner wants to update the look of their home or commercial building. In others, it’s necessary to prevent damage from spreading to the structure.

In either case, the process of removing stucco from a wall is the same. First, workers will use a hammer to loosen a small area of the stucco, which can then be removed with the help of a chisel or pried away with a crowbar.

The goal is to create a medium-sized hole for a circular saw to then be used. Once the hole is the right size, the saw is brought in to carve off larger chunks of siding, speeding up the job’s completion time and making cleanup that much easier.

Exterior Walls and Stucco Removal

Some signs that your exterior walls might need to undergo stucco removal include the following. For the best stucco removal results, make sure you contact a reputable professional.


Stucco can be ruined by high accumulations of moisture. Therefore, if you live in an area with particularly high humidity and other sources of excess moisture, your stucco could be at risk of developing mold. If you notice your stucco is discolored, it could be a sign of mold.


Always check your windows and door frames for tiny gaps. These spaces are the perfect receptacle for water and any other unwanted materials, which can wreak havoc on your walls and cause all manner of problems.


Cracking is a natural process and should be expected, especially if a considerable amount of time has passed since the stucco was installed, but if the cracks are starting to look concerningly large, you may need to talk to someone about stucco removal. When cracks get too wide, they can interconnect and spread across your walls and ceilings, leaving them vulnerable to a host of problems.

Removing Stucco from Brick

The stucco removal process is a little more difficult for a brick building covered in stucco compared to removing it from a more traditional surface. But, an experienced team of stucco contractors can get the job done.

First, workers will prepare the worksite. This involves laying out tarps to contain debris and erecting scaffolding where necessary. From there, they will use a hammer to make a small hole in the siding. As with traditional stucco installations, once the hole is made, a hammer and chisel or crowbar are used to remove any loosened pieces.

At this point, there may be mesh underneath the stucco, and if that’s the case, the contractor will need to reassess the problem. Mesh is placed between brick and stucco as a means of holding the stucco to the brick. Therefore, if you remove everything, you’ll be left with nail-ridden brick that will also need to be removed.

On the other hand, if there is no mesh wiring, then the laborer will repeat the original process and use a wire brush to remove any extra stucco. You will notice that they are very purposeful in how they apply the brush to the brick to avoid damage.

The Cost of Stucco Removal

Hydes Maryland Stucco Remediation 4

The cost of stucco removal is based on three main factors, which include the total square footage of the siding that needs to be removed, the need for any extra tools, and how complex the project is.

Here is a more succinct breakdown of each factor:

Square Footage

The amount of square footage involved is the main factor that will determine the total cost of the project. After all, the amount of square footage that needs to be removed will dictate the amount of time it takes the team to remove all the stucco.

Extra Tools

Depending on the factors involved, such as the kind of foundation the stucco is being removed from, there may be extra tools required. Talk to your contractor if you have concerns or want to know more information about the specific tools they’ll use in their stucco removal process.

Project Complexity

Anyone who has ever engaged in any kind of renovation or construction process knows that some projects are far more complicated than others, and projects with added complexity often incur additional costs. Still, these costs are well worth it, as they preserve the safety of the contractor and your property.

For instance, if the surface beneath the scaffolding is fragile or easily prone to damage, that could change the way the contractor goes about their job, as they will have to take extra precautions to avoid damage. 

Another factor that could make a project more complex is whether the siding that needs to be removed is difficult to reach and thus requires extra equipment.

Need Stucco Removal? Contact Friel Plastering

Through this article, you’ve learned about what to expect during the stucco removal process, including the specifics as to how stucco is removed and how distinct factors can influence the overall cost of the process.

If you need new stucco, stucco remediation, or stucco removal, contact Friel Plastering today. We have decades of experience working on commercial and residential properties, and we would love to hear more about your project so we can help.