In the House & QUIKRETE

Project House & StuccoProject House & Stucco – Part I
Coming up on In the House, we’ll be talking with Guest Expert, Marshall Bross, the QUIKRETE Stucco Sales Representative for Florida.
QUIKRETE is a great show sponsor and a reputable manufacturer of blended cement products. Their products include concrete mix & concrete restoration, mortars, sealers, stains – anything in the concrete or cementitious world, they are probably involved with. They’ve got over a hundred manufacturing facilities across the country and several right here in the state of Florida.
Offering quality products for commercial and residential use, QUIKRETE began with the production of a full line of do-it-yourself and homeowner-related products, manufacturing pre-blended materials that don’t require mixing in the field like a contractor would, and that are easy to use and homeowner-oriented.
This week, we’ll be talking about how we’re using QUIKRETE on our current Project House. Here the original stucco was done so well that to remove it and change to a different siding material would have been impractical ― the labor alone would have been in the tens of thousands of dollars. Luckily for us, when we spoke with QUIKRETE’S regional sales manager about our unique needs, he said, “We have this great product that you could use!”
Watch the VIDEO of Ken and Jared at the Project House!
Project House & Stucco – Part II
Jared: Welcome to In the House. In this show segment we’re going to talk to Marshall Bross with QUIKRETE. Marshall, how are you this morning?
Marshall: I’m doing really well. Thanks for having me on.
Jared: Thanks for calling, I appreciate it for sure. We’ve had a relationship and friendship with QUIKRETE for a number of years. QUIKRETE makes so many materials and products that, as a do-it-yourselfer and a contractor – and for anybody who does work around their house – you’re going to at some point use a QUIKRETE product at your home. We have a project house going on right now. This is a remodel… I say it’s a remodel; it was practically a rebuild, taking an existing home and doing a bunch of different stuff to it. We’re in the middle of that project right now.
One of the items was an addition and remodel, so we were going to take a portion of the stucco off an area of the home as we were doing a remodel and an addition. As we got into it, we discovered that there was a lot of water intrusion and wood rot, so we ended up having to remove most of the stucco from the entire home. We’re about to restart the process of re-stuccoing, and of course QUIKRETE stepped up to the plate and is assisting in that.  Thank you for that. It’s been an exciting project, for sure.
Marshall: We’re excited to be a part of it with you.
Jared: The thing with stucco that most people don’t realize, is that the stucco is not water-proof by itself. People just see the stucco on the outside of the home, they’re like, “Okay, that’s good. That’s all you need.” You don’t really focus on the foundation of it, and they don’t really focus on the surface that goes on the outside of it.  That is really a key element isn’t it?
Marshall: Definitely. Those are the critical things that you really want to plan for your project to really make the longevity of the stucco perform over time, the whole cladding, performing as a system.
Jared: Great. What we did here is we used one of the fiber reinforced stuccos just because it holds together better. Tell us about that.
Marshall: The fiber reinforced stucco utilized on this project is essentially a stucco and sand pre-blended together in a product along with a synthetic fiber and other proprietary additives that really make an outstanding, workable, and good strength stucco. Pre-blended stucco has a lot of benefits. One of the biggest is really getting the consistency in the mix out of every single bag.
Jared: Yeah. The thing is that so many times what we see with stucco is there’s a mixture problem where there’s too much sand, or water or there’s too much of the different components; then it weakens how the stucco is. That’s one of the advantages of the pre-blended products is, it’s already blended.
Marshall: Oh absolutely. When you really think about it, sand makes most of what stucco is. To have a really good performing stucco using good, dry plaster sand mixed at the proper ratios is critical. With the fiber reinforced stucco that’s used here, an owner or the contractor will know that out of every bag they’re going to get the same thing. They’re going to get wat they planned for at the beginning of the project on the wall.
Jared: That’s right. What are the consequences, Marshall, with a stucco material if it has too much sand or isn’t mixed just right?
Marshall: One thing that I would challenge everybody to think about is, when you change the ratio to how much sand and cement is put into your mix, you’re really changing the entire characteristic of the product. Pre-blending the product provides a lot of beneficial quality controls that are inherent from the technology that’s utilized in our manufacturing process. Compare that to the guesswork that’s typically found in field mixed stucco, it really rivals it. For us, we think that’s important because, again, the longevity and the performance of the stucco is critical, and it’s directly derived from how it’s mixed.
Jared: Right. We are seeing, just throughout the state of Florida, a number of cases where the stucco was done wrong. What most people don’t realize is that when stucco goes over the top of block it’s fine. It actually is fairly water-proof by itself once you have the paint on it. But over the top of a wood frame, we know that water is going to get behind that stucco, so there has to be a secondary water barrier. There has to be what’s called a drainage plane, so that that way as the water gets through the stucco there’s a secondary water barrier to actually stop that water. As it drains down, there’s got to be an area for water to get out.
With so much of the stucco that has been done here over the last 10 to 15 years, either the drainage plane and flashing systems were not correct, or what you just described a moment ago where, when it’s an onsite mix – whoever’s taking that wheelbarrow of sand – doesn’t measure it correctly, loses some, or dumps half of it over on the way to the mix; they’re like, “Well I don’t want to go back so okay, I guess this is good enough.” The ratios just aren’t right.
We have so many stucco defect issues going on in Florida right now. In fact I’m involved in numerous projects where we’re having to take all the stucco off and do it over. That’s one of the advantages of the QUIKRETE material is that it’s pre-blended where you don’t have to worry about the mixture.
Marshall: Sure. It’s even beneficial for the guy putting it on the wall. You’ve got to think about the other benefits of pre-blended stucco. It essentially eliminates the wasted time and labor expense of actually shoveling sand into a mixer all day long. Essentially the mixing stations on a stucco crew become more productive and safe. Beyond the consistency and the benefit, I think it can definitely make a crew a lot more productive, and that’s always a good thing in construction.
Jared: Marshall thank you so much for spending some time with us this morning. Again, Marshall with QUIKRETE. For more information go to, and I know we’ll chat with you again.
Marshall: Thanks for having us on. We really appreciate being here.
Listen Saturday mornings to “In the House with Ken & Jared”. Get more Home Tips and show info at the In the House website. For a free estimate on your next Home Improvement Project, visit Universal Roof & Contracting or call now. Orlando: 407-295-7403 Jacksonville: 904-647-3907