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You often use a variety of materials for your buildings. Stucco is one that you may have used or seen before. So, what exactly is it? Here is all you need to know about stucco.
What Is Stucco?
Stucco is a type of finish you use on your walls. It creates texture and adds a sense of style to your siding. Stucco consists of cement, sand, water, and lime. Since various options are available, you can find the right color to match your home’s look.
Stucco also comes in two different finish options, such as cement and acrylic. The cement finish is mixed with sand and water before adding color. You can choose the color you want from a chart or have one custom-made.
Acrylic is similar but incorporates crushed stone to add more texture. You can select colors the same way, but these colors are more vibrant.
What Are the Benefits of Stucco?
One of the popular perks of using stucco is its fire resistance. This is beneficial in drier climates that are more susceptible to wildfires.
The material also gives your home a unique and appealing look. Since it comes with plenty of color options, stucco can be very versatile. Another benefit of stucco is that it provides insulation. This way, you use less energy to heat your home while reducing your bills.
If you’re looking for low maintenance and easy installation, stucco is a good option. Once installed, it is long-lasting and even reduces noise pollution through sound absorption.
What to Consider Before Using Stucco?
Stucco isn’t the most cost-effective option compared to other materials. Yet, the price balances out in the long run due to its longer lifespan. If you live in an area with higher moisture levels, the material can become oversaturated. It can also form hairline cracks if the ground shifts. So, stucco may not be the best option for areas prone to earthquakes.
The material can also showcase dirt and stains more clearly than other types of siding.
How Much Will It Cost?
How Is Stucco Applied?
When applying the stucco, you can choose a one-coat or two-coat system. A two-coat system consists of paper material, a scratch layer, a brown layer, and a finish. If you’re looking for a more durable option, this is a good choice. The one-coat system consists of Portland cement and fibers. It’s the more cost-effective option.
Here the steps to take when applying stucco to your walls:
- Hang up a double layer of building paper.
- Install the trim accessories and the galvanized metal lath.
- Apply a scratch coat.
- Spread the brown coat.
- Finish by adding the color coat.
How Do You Maintain Stucco?
Once you apply the stucco, here are some tips to keep it in tip-top shape.
Keep Your Foundation Stable
To help reduce foundation settling, try to limit your soil movement. Install quality gutters and downspouts. Also, ensure your yard slopes away from your foundation.
Keep It Clean
You want the material to stay looking fresh. Consider doing regular upkeep. Use a bristle brush to get rid of any accumulated dirt or debris. To remove any mold, use a solution of chlorine bleach and water. Apply it to the stains using a sponge or brush. Let it soak in before rinsing off with water.
Efflorescence is a white-colored stain that appears due to prolonged exposure to moisture. You can get rid of it with white vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. If you didn’t entirely remove the stain the first time, you might need to retreat it.
If you want to freshen up your home, consider repainting the stucco. You can choose to do it yourself or hire a professional.
If you choose to do it yourself, follow these steps:
- Lay out old sheets or tarps on the floor and furniture of the surrounding area.
- Clean off dust and dirt from surfaces.
- Cover up any small cracks with masonry caulk.
- Use an acrylic primer to coat the wall.
- Add the paint to the wall.
How Do You Repair Stucco?
Stucco is long-lasting, but it can wear down over time. If you notice cracks in the structure, you will want to get it repaired right away. Before you start working, take safety precautions. Some of the ingredients in wet cement can cause burns. Wear gloves and touch the material only with your tools.
Here are the steps to repairing stucco effectively:
- Break off loose stucco.
- Chip away to smooth the edges.
- Cover the exposed lath.
- Add the mesh.
- Mix the stucco.
- Sling and scratch the material.
- Apply the second coat.
- Add the finish coat.
- Wait for a week before adding the paint.
Understanding the Basics of Stucco
Stucco is used in buildings to add texture and style to the walls. The material has many benefits, from its durability to fire resistance. However, it isn’t the best for moist climates and those prone to earthquakes. Now that you know all about stucco, consider if it’s right for your next remodeling project or new home construction.