Weather takes a toll on concrete porches

Secret revealed about construction material

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Q: I've seen a few concrete porches with stucco exteriors being rebuilt where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Can you discuss their construction and what goes bad requiring their repair? I have a concrete porch that is going to need a makeover soon. Are they built with a wooden frame with concrete poured over the wood? Also, the paint is blistering on my steps. How can I redo this so it won't happen again? A: There are tens of thousands of stucco bungalows in the Bay Area. Most of them were built in the 1930s and early 1940s. Virtually all of the porches were constructed with concrete decks. "Concrete porch" is a misnomer. Instead of solid concrete, the typical concrete porch deck is a poured concrete slab on a wooden substrate. The steps aren't solid concrete either. They're poured concrete, formed into steps over a wooden ramp. Stucco on the sides of the porch is applied over a standard 2-foot-by-4-foot wood-framed wall. The bulk of the structure is wood, not concrete. Water...