A Brief History of Plaster and Stucco

Posted by on Nov 1, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on A Brief History of Plaster and Stucco

Lime based wall finishes have been used for thousands of years. From the tombs of the pyramids of Giza to the Sistine Chapel, lime stucco has been a key ingredient in great architecture on six continents.

The earliest plasters known to us were lime-based. Around 7500 BC, the people of ‘Ain Ghazal in Jordan used lime mixed with unheated crushed limestone to make plaster which was used on a large scale for covering walls, floors, and hearths in their homes.

Stucco often contained substantial amounts of mud or clay, marble or brick dust, or even sawdust. An array of other additives ranged from animal blood or urine, cow dung, animal hair, eggs, keratin or gluesize (animal hooves and horns), varnish, wheat paste, sugar, salt, sodium silicate, alum, tallow, linseed oil, beeswax, and wine, beer, or rye whiskey. Additives, or admixtures, were usually added to enhance or modify characteristics such as curing time, plasticity, color, or volatility.

In ancient India and China, renders in clay and gypsum plasters were used to produce a smooth surface over rough stone or mud brick walls. In early Egyptian tombs, walls were coated with lime and gypsum plaster and the finished surface was often painted or decorated. Mottled stucco was employed throughout the Roman Empire. The Romans used mixtures of lime and sand to build up preparatory layers over which finer applications of gypsum, lime, sand and marble dust were applied. Pozzolanic materials were sometimes added to produce a more rapid set. In the Renaissance, the addition of marble dust to plaster allowed the production of fine detail and a hard, smooth finish in hand-modelled and molded decoration. Around the 4th century B.C., the Romans discovered the principles of the hydraulic set of lime, where the addition of highly reactive forms of silica and alumina, such as volcanic earths, could solidify rapidly even under water. There was little use of hydraulic mortar after the Roman period until the 18th century.

Plaster decoration was widely used in Europe in the Middle Ages where, from the mid-13th century, gypsum was used for internal and external plaster. Hair was employed as reinforcement, with additives to assist setting or plasticity including malt, urine, beer, milk and eggs. In the 14th century, decorative trowelled plaster, called pargeting was being used in South-East England to decorate the exterior of timber-framed buildings. This is a form of incised, molded or modelled ornament, executed in lime putty or mixtures of lime and gypsum plaster. During this same period, terracotta was reintroduced into Europe and was widely used for the production of ornament. In the mid-15th century, skilled Venetian workers developed a new type of external facing, called Marmorino made by applying lime directly onto masonry.

plaster and stucco

Want to build your home with a material that’s durable, versatile, long-lasting, and affordable? Learn more about the benefits of stucco here.


Tell Us About Your Experience

Posted by on Oct 18, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on Tell Us About Your Experience

We love hearing from our customers and wouldn’t want to miss the chance to improve our services. The process is simple and it only takes a few minutes of your time. Click Here to leave a review in Customer Lobby for Worldgate Plaster & Stucco and tell us a little bit about your experience. We would appreciate your feedback!


Is It Better To Repair Or Replace Your Home’s Stucco and Plaster?

Posted by on Oct 4, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on Is It Better To Repair Or Replace Your Home’s Stucco and Plaster?

repair or replace stuccoWe love that great look the texture of stucco and plaster can give your home, and no one can argue that it adds a lot of character to any house, but one of the most important reasons we like this kind of surface is that it has some very practical advantages. Stucco and plaster can create a surface that’s seamless, mold-resistant, fire-resistant, and even noise proof! But, every material needs to be cared for over time, and if your plaster or stucco is beginning to crack, it’s time to take action.

Freehand plastering takes a lot of technical skill, but repairs can be just as tricky. Plaster and stucco are often laid on over-complex wall structures (usually plaster on the inside walls and stucco on the outside) that are very hard for an amateur to tackle without damaging something along the way – and the victim often ends up being the plaster or stucco itself. This only makes the whole process more time-consuming and expensive. Not to mention, each wall is usually different, meaning you’ll need to take a different approach every time. Even if you think you know what you’re doing, your walls can surprise you . . . in a very expensive way.

Stucco also lends unique texture to exterior walls.

Repairing Stucco Saves You Money

If you already have plaster or stucco on your walls, removing it entirely can actually be more costly than simply calling in the professionals for repair. Even after you take off the surface layer, you’re then faced with the cost of installing an entirely new interior surface. If your home already has plaster or stucco, quality care and upkeep are investments that just make sense.

There are clearly plenty of reasons to have and keep up plaster and stucco walls, but repairing old or damaged surfaces takes the touch of a skilled craftsman. So what can you do? Call in the pros, of course. Homeowners can avoid messes and mistakes by having an experienced professional handle their repair. Our team can assess the current state of your walls to answer questions like:

  • How well is your plaster or stucco attached to its lath (meaning the wooden slats that attach it to the wall’s framework)?
  • Is it salvageable at all?
  • How is the surface quality?

We will then decide exactly what the best technique is to reattach your layer of stucco or plaster to the lath, repair surface damage, and repaint it to get the exact look you want.

We always look at the size and shape of the cracks since they are a good indicator of what the problem is. Minor stress cracks usually happen because of the typical expanding and contracting that we all know happens with our drastic weather changes. These can be filled in with a strong mesh fabric that expands and contracts with the wall. Larger cracks tend to run diagonally in the middle of a wall and could be as long as three to five feet. Cracks like this generally mean that your surface is pulling away from the lath, sometimes because the lath has warped over the years. We fix this by putting in what’s known as a “plaster button,” a type of washer that can be run through the plaster to secure it to the lath.

If your surface is really starting to crumble away, we might need to pull it completely off and replace the rotting lath before we apply new plaster or stucco.

Recently though, especially for plaster interiors, we’ve found that many homeowners choose to attach a piece of sheetrock to the wall and lay plaster on in a thinner layer over the sheetrock, instead of completely rebuilding the lath. It’s a good, workable option for a quicker fix.

Whichever approach is the right one for your walls, after we’ve built a strong, solid base, the next step is adding primer to the surface, and then voilà, ready for painting.

Call The Experts Worldgate Plaster & Stucco For Stucco and Plaster Repair


Like Us On Facebook

Posted by on Sep 20, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on Like Us On Facebook

At Worldgate Plaster & Stucco, we appreciate your patronage and like to share our knowledge of the industry with our audience on social media, especially Facebook!

To keep updated with the latest news, specials and happy home tips, please visit our Facebook page and give us a like by CLICKING HERE and hitting the thumbs up!

Thank you for your loyalty and continued business! And for those just joining us, Welcome to the Worldgate Plaster & Stucco community!

plaster & stucco, facebook likes

Plaster Repair and Replacement | Worldgate Plaster & Stucco Ashburn VA

Posted by on Sep 6, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on Plaster Repair and Replacement | Worldgate Plaster & Stucco Ashburn VA

plaster repairMost homes have been plastered at one time or another. Plaster repair in Ashburn, VA can help you to restore or replace your home’s plaster to its former glory and in so doing even improve the value of your property. If your home has marks or holes in the wall, it is nothing that some good plaster won’t be able to fix.

Plaster can also develop cracks after a number of years. A temporary solution for plaster cracks is latex paint. However, it is only temporarily a solution to this as in a short amount of time the cracks will start showing again. The plan of action to take is to actually enlarge the crack, fixing it all together for once and for all. While it might seem strange to enlarge the damage, the thing to remember is that it is always easier fixing a large crack than it is fixing a smaller one.

If you are looking for plaster repair and replacement in Ashburn, VA, then contact Worldgate Plaster & Stucco for professional and experienced service.

Contact us for Plaster repair today! (703) 283-6886

Stucco Project #3 | Worldgate Plaster & Stucco Ashburn VA

Posted by on Aug 23, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on Stucco Project #3 | Worldgate Plaster & Stucco Ashburn VA

Stucco exteriors must be maintained. It does not take a very big crack to allow water intrusion. In fact, a crack as small as 1/16” of an inch wide can permit water to enter behind the stucco, especially with a stucco system that has no moisture barrier. All cracks 1/16” wide or larger and all damaged areas of stucco should be properly repaired. Any penetration through the stucco that is left unsealed will allow entry of moisture.

“Over 30 years of experience serving Northern Virginia and the surrounding areas, we are sure to exceed your expectations. “

Worldgate Plaster & Stucco proudly services Northern VA and the surrounding area.
– Fairfax County, VA
– Loudoun County, VA
– Prince William County, VA
– Montgomery County, MD

Call Now! 703-283-6886

All You Need to Know About Stucco Homes

Posted by on Aug 9, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on All You Need to Know About Stucco Homes

Not just for the southwest anymore, this distinctive exterior is catching on across the country. Find out if it’s right for your home.

Stucco siding, a type of hand-troweled masonry plaster consisting of cement, water, and sand, is a definitive feature of Spanish and Mediterranean architecture. These stucco homes feature exteriors in a variety of textures from pebbled to sweeping swirls to virtually smooth, depending on application technique, and provide durable protection against the elements. But this type of masonry does have its downsides, and it isn’t appropriate for every property. So whether your house-hunting has drawn you to this particular look, you’re considering re-siding your home in stucco, or you want to maintain the stucco exterior you’ve already got, read on for a crash course.


The earliest stucco contained lime instead of cement, and because its ingredients are easily found in nature, it’s one of the oldest natural types of siding around, dating back to ancient Greece. Spaniards are thought to have introduced stucco to Mexico and the American southwest, creating rock-hard walls by applying the mixture over stick-, stone-, or timber-framing.

With the mass production of dry cement in the early 1900s, stucco siding entered a new era. Cement increased the workability of stucco, with longer drying times allowing builders greater freedom. Yet the southwest remained the perfect place for stucco, thanks to arid conditions and high sand content that made the soil stable.

Attempts at installing traditional stucco in climates farther north and east met with mixed results. In regions where the soil moved, causing house foundations to settle, cracks appeared in the stucco that allowed rain to penetrate and loosen the siding from its sheathing. Today, the addition of polymers and other agents for increased flexibility, along with refined application techniques, have improved stucco’s resilience, making it a growing choice throughout the United States.


Like Us On Facebook

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on Like Us On Facebook

At Worldgate Plaster & Stucco, we appreciate your patronage and like to share our knowledge of the industry with our audience on social media, especially Facebook!

To keep updated with the latest news, specials and happy home tips, please visit our Facebook page and give us a like by CLICKING HERE and hitting the thumbs up!

Thank you for your loyalty and continued business! And for those just joining us, Welcome to the Worldgate Plaster & Stucco community!

plaster & stucco, facebook likes

Stucco Water Damage: Causes & Solutions

Posted by on Jul 12, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on Stucco Water Damage: Causes & Solutions

A house clad entirely in stucco is a thing of beauty. There’s no doubt about that.

Many homeowners prefer cloaking their houses with this type of exterior because of its benefits. For one, stucco’s top-notch quality makes it last for a long time.

It is also excellent in hiding flaws, is fungi-resistant, and is naturally equipped with thermo-regulating properties – the house will stay cool during summer and warm come winter season.

Apart from that, stucco resists moisture and is water-resistant. The latter is not an absolute, by the way. Stucco can be susceptible to water damage, too.

Bumps on the surface is an early sign of water damage. If not treated early the delamination will cause parts of it to fall off.

The first step in determining whether there’s a brooding water damage is by asking an expert to perform a moisture test. The stucco expert will then be able to filter out the root cause before performing a treatment.


Stucco Water Damage Causes

Improper stucco composition

The durability of the stucco will come from a well-balanced mixture of Portland cement, sand, and water.

Each ingredient should conform to the standard specification set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology of the Department of Commerce. Apart from that, the mixture should be cured well to prevent it from cracking.

Faulty stucco installation

No matter how great the quality of the stucco is, if it’s not installed right, the outcome will still be mediocre.

A break in the three-coat stucco (scratch coat, brown coat, and the finish coat) application, for instance, will cause a big problem later on. Same is true for installing stucco directly on a wooden lath.

Unsuitable use of flashing

Flashing acts as a protective barrier between the water and the seams of the house. Aluminum is favored because it’s lightweight and inexpensive. But the possibility of corrosion overrides those benefits. Once it decays, water will easily ooze through the holes.


Stress cracks are caused by a lot of factors including earthquakes, direct impact, expansion, or strong winds.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a hairline crack or a wide pattern crack. The water will still seep through on both.

Stucco Water Damage Solutions

The restoration service company who will provide a solution to your stucco problem should be an expert in stucco water management.

Such company will repair the cause, and not just the symptoms. The latter will only have a Band-Aid effect. A superficial solution will cost you more eventually.

Here are some of the solutions for a water-damaged stucco:

  • Applying a drainage plane material to prevent water from entering the wall
  • Preventing the migration of vapor by applying a vapor barrier
  • Applying a patching compound to the areas of the wall where the loose stucco has fallen away
  • Modification of weep screeds to guarantee the proper drainage of water
  • Application or improvement of sealants

Stucco water damage restoration cost will vary per case. This will depend on the extent of the damage and the materials that will be used.

Does homeowners insurance cover stucco damage?

The silver lining is that the repair may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Typically, whether or not the damage to your stucco is covered depends on the exact cause. Rain and flood damage aren’t covered in many policies, but damage caused by interior water sources, such as a leaking washing machine, are.

We can help you navigate through your insurance policy by working with your insurance company. Talk to one of our stucco restoration experts today! (703) 283-6886


Five Star Stucco Repair Reviews Ashburn VA

Posted by on Jun 28, 2018 in blog | Comments Off on Five Star Stucco Repair Reviews Ashburn VA

Matt J.

Fairfax Station, VA


“Great Service Completed

This was my first time using Worldgate Plaster & Stucco. I hired the company to repair some holes and cracks that I had in my synthetic stucco. They did a great job and I appreciate that they cleaned up the work when they finished the job. I have no complaints about the service or the results. I would give them five stars all around. I would recommend them to other potential customers. I would also use them again in a heartbeat! Thanks for the high-quality work.”

five star stucco repair reviews