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Saturated, Surface Dry Method (SSD)

Application Bulletin

Download Saturated, Surface Dry Method (SSD) Spec Sheet

When using SUPERIOR STUCCO Products it is important to ensure that the moisture level of the substrate is correct, to achieve the optimum bond strength.

  • An excessively dry substrate may absorb too much water from the repair material, possibly resulting in excessive shrinkage.
  • Excessive moisture in the substrate may clog the pores and prevent absorption of the repair material.

Saturated, Surface Dry :

In order to achieve a proper Saturated, Surface Dry condition it is critical to achieve a substrate that is clearly damp below the immediate surface, has no standing water and has a surface that is showing no signs of a “film” of water on the surface. Ideally the concrete or cementitious substrate will be clearly damp (typically much darker than dry cement) but the surface will have no water present and will be showing “signs” of drying.

Most concrete surfaces can be soaked quite quickly as they are usually very absorptive to water. Typically the Substrate can be made quite damp with a solid application of water with a brush or hose. In all but the driest conditions the concrete will remain damp for quite some time. The surface needs to show “signs” of drying throughout the entire repair procedure, yet not become completely “dry” (same color as the dry cement). Keep in mind that temperature and humidity will influence how quickly the substrate becomes saturated and remains saturated. Extreme heat and dry conditions may require a much longer time to become properly saturated.

Typical Procedure :

Specific jobsite water availability varies; however, generally installers will use a hose or bucket of water with a mortar brush to dampen the repair substrate for a few minutes. They will then use the mortar brush to help remove excess water from low spots in the substrate. Once the surface shows signs of drying, but is not completely dry, the mortar application is ready to begin. Keep extra water and a mortar brush on hand to dampen un-repaired areas as needed if the substrate begins to dry too quickly.

Alternative Methods :

Alternately, installers can use an approved bonding agent from the SUPERIOR STUCCO product line.

*Follow all application instructions from Stucco Supply for any of the SUPERIOR STUCCO products for priming
concrete or cementitious substrates.

*If using other bonding agents DO NOT USE the Saturated, Surface Dry (SSD) technique unless specified.


The above statement, recommendation, suggestions and technical data are based on the best knowledge to Stucco Supply and is given as information only, without any responsibility for their use. Stucco Supply makes no warranties or guarantees to this product, either expressed or implied with respect to merchantability or fitness for particular use of said product. Handling and use of product are out of the control of Stucco Supply, so no warranty is given.

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