After a thunderstorm last year caused hail damage to the parapets of their home in Placitas, Jim and Harriet Neal needed to find a company that could perform the immediate necessary repairs, along with a quote for re-stuccoing the home’s exterior walls.
They called Professional Coatings, an Albuquerque-based company that for the past 36 years has been specializing in complete stucco restorations as well as stucco repairs of homes and commercial properties. Right away Professional Coatings repaired the parapets for the Neal’s home, then after the winter months went to work on the stucco repairs.
“From the very first contact we had with the service manager at Professional Coatings, every communication has been clear and left nothing unexpected regarding costs, timing and what to expect when the work would commence,” says Jim. “When they started work on re-stuccoing our home, Mario Perez (company president and co-owner) briefed us on what to expect. He and his crew covered all the services and vegetation so that minimal stucco was left in unwanted places.”
Neal says the entire job took only 10 days, noting that with the size of the project the work would have taken a lot longer if it weren’t for the diligence, early on-job arrival and careful planning by Professional Coatings. “They produced a high-quality finished product,” he explains. “The uniformity of stucco application as compared with other homes is evident upon comparison, as many homes in our neighborhood exhibit blotchiness. The courtesy shown by the entire crew was something we seldom observe and the overall professionalism by this company was amazing.”
Stucco is a mixture of marble in powder form, glue and dehydrated lime that provides weather-resistant coating on homes. From a distance, a stucco exterior may seem like a typical Southwestern style of housing, but stucco also offers several practical benefits to homes in a desert climate, including energy-efficiency, great durability, and multiple color and texture options, notes Mario, who, along with his brother Luciano Perez, purchased Professional Coatings in 2016. “Our customers love the tradition of living in a stucco home because it’s natural to the environment in New Mexico,” he says. “For hundreds of years, stucco has been the way to go.”
A majority of the homes built in Albuquerque have a stucco façade, notes Mario, adding that there are two basic types of stucco: traditional and synthetic.
Traditional stucco is made of natural cement, lime, sand and water. It’s typically installed over a wood lath or wire mesh. It’s also generally hard and will sound solid when you knock on it.
Synthetic stucco, on the other hand, is a little more expensive than traditional stucco, but it can be a better insulator. The stucco is made of acrylic resins and is then applied to insulation boards. In order to prevent water damage and structural
damage to your home, it may be necessary to add a drainage system. When tapped, it will sound hollow, as opposed to the more solid, traditional variety.
Professional Coatings uses top of the line materials for each stucco project, with a focus on the appropriate stucco system. For traditional stucco jobs, they use El Rey stucco and stucco-
related materials. For synthetic stucco jobs, they use LaHabra and Senergy brands. They also offer multiple colors of stucco to suit the customer’s needs.
Before acquiring Professional Coatings, Mario and Luciano spent 25 years as crew leaders of the company’s stucco restorations. As owners, they are involved with every project taken on by the company, inspecting each phase to ensure the highest level of overlapping quality control, and perform a final walk-through to make sure each job is completed in a timely and professional manner.
Luciano says the key to developing a great relationship with a customer is communication. “We thrive as a company when our customers are 100 percent satisfied,” he says. “Our reputation has been built through high-quality craftsmanship, prompt customer service, honest business practices and over 30 years of exceptional service.”
Kara Cortazzo agrees. She hired Professional Coatings to re-stucco the walls of her home in the Northeast Heights, after she was referred to the company by her sister, who’s also a customer. “Not only is their work of the highest quality, I never had an issue with any of the workers they used,” she says. “They provided me with a lot of great ideas about how to stucco my home.”
Professional Coatings offers up to 15 years on a warranty for traditional stucco and up to 20 years on synthetic stucco. Aesthetics aside, homeowners should think about what goes underneath the veneer of a stucco project, notes Mario. “Over the past few years, some new application methods — such as fiberglass mesh over vertical walls — aren’t very effective because they don’t build a strong foundation for the stucco,” he says.
Mario says Professional Coatings prefers the old-
fashioned method of applying stucco — with a hand trowel. “Though the process is labor intensive, hand troweling provides the tightest bond between the stucco and substrate in contrast to other methods, such as spraying,” he explains. “These other methods also allow the thinning and stretching of stucco. Our company exceeds New Mexico state codes and manufacturers’ highest application specifications. An unskilled framing job, sloppy electrical, HVAC or plumbing system can all be hidden away. Interior repairs or construction are not immediately noticed unlike the exterior of your home or building.”
While some stucco companies focus mainly on the bid, notes Luciano, Professional Coatings chooses to take a consultative approach, spending enough time on-site to make an assessment and consult with the client. “We won’t just tell you what you want to hear,” he says. “We propose what is needed for a lasting re-stucco.”
Most restoration projects by Professional Coatings are completed between 10-14 days. In almost all cases, warranties are transferable to the next homeowner. Provided there is proper drainage around the building, a re-stucco job typically should last 15 to 20 years or more if done properly, says Mario.
Professional Coatings has earned an A-plus rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received mostly positive reviews from customers on Angie’s List. Professional Coatings is also the only stucco company in the metro area to have donated 100 percent of the stucco labor and materials used to construct two homes by the Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity, including the stucco used for the 100th home built by the organization.
If you’re in the market for a stucco restoration, call 294-4744 to schedule your free estimate with Professional Coatings. Customers are also encouraged to check out their website at www.procoatingscorp.com. Make sure to ask them about discounts for veterans, active military members and first-
“Avoid the stress and expense of repairing or redoing unskilled work and don’t leave the desirability of your home or business in the hands of anyone less than an expert,” says Mario.