My home's exterior has one-coat stucco over wood framing. The previous owner made some of the typical stucco mistakes - sprinklers spraying directly onto stucco, little or no clearance between the weep screed and soil, etc. I've corrected these issues, but there is minor damage around the bottom of most of the walls, so I've been patching and painting as needed.

The walls use the "J-weep" style of screed:

J-weep style screed

From what I've read, J-weep is considered a less effective screed because the lip prevents moisture from draining out the front of the screed, leaving the weep holes as the only exit route for moisture. My understanding is that code doesn't allow it as screed for a traditional three-coat application, but it can be used in one-coat applications. It's probably not ideal, but it's what I've got, it doesn't rain often here, and there are no signs of moisture issues beyond the mostly cosmetic damage caused by the sprinklers.

In some places the stucco is chipped or eroded just above the weep screed from sprinkler damage. I started slapping patch over these spots, then started wondering if I was making a mistake.

Corner of a wall with damaged stucco and some patching

Here you can see where I patched over the front edge of the J-weep screed on the right side of the image. On the left side, the original finish leaves a hairline gap between the stucco and the screed.

Will patching over the hairline gap at the front edge of the J-weep affect how moisture drains from the wall? Should I cut a new hairline gap in the places I've patched over?


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