Lathing is the first step of a new stucco project. Lathing not only protects against moisture intrusion to the framing of the house, it also ensures a sturdy support system for new stucco or hardscape work. The lathing process itself includes several steps. These steps include: installing weep screeds, asphalt coated waterproofing paper, lath (pronounced like “bath”) wire, expansion joints, milcore, plaster stops, corner aids and arch aids as needed. Below you will find a quick overview of each step and product used.
Weep screed is a lath accessory that aids in expelling moisture at the bottom of a wall as well as prevent water from wicking up the wall. The weep screed is installed at the foundation line along the house, a minimum of 2” above paved or 4” above graded surface. Weep screed comes in a variety of metals, including copper, galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum and zinc.
Asphalt-Coated Waterproofing Paper
Also known as 60-minute paper, this is a needed barrier between the framing of the house and any outside moisture. The 60-minute paper is highly resistant to water. It is installed against the exterior framing of the house in a layered fashion, from the bottom of a wall to the top, creating a trickle down for water or moisture.
Lath wire is simply the chicken wire that holds up stucco. The wire comes in several different gauges and styles. Typically, a 17-guage hexagonal, furred, wire is used for a stucco system. Furred refers to the wire protruding slightly from the wall to allow for the stucco grab easier. Lath wire also comes in a diamond pattern, square pattern, and even a special design for ceilings and overhangs. The lath wire is installed using galvanized nails, dog ear nails, and/or staples.
Corner aids are use to give strength to the corner of an area and to allow for the stucco to grab onto the area with greater ease. They come in a bullnose or straight corner. Arch aids help keep the form of an arch while applying new stucco.
Expansion joints are an optional accessory to the lathing process and provide a separation from a large area of stucco. These joints are believed to relieve stress on the stucco, minimizing cracking.
Milcore and Plaster Stops are installed at areas where the stucco is intended to stop. Commonly, these are installed around doors and windows. Milcore and Plaster Stops are installed against the framework and create a straight, seamless edge for the stucco to stop.
The lathing process is a very important step in installing new stucco. If done correctly, it will give your house decades of water protection and strength. If you are looking to have some lath work, or stucco work, feel free to give Stucco Boy a call at (877) 410-3408 or fill out our form to set up a free estimate today!