Stucco is a product you might not be familiar with, particularly if you are from northern parts of the country with considerable amounts of rain and snow. Here's what you need to know about stucco, including what it is, how it's made, and how to use it properly.
What is stucco?
Stucco is a type of plaster that you can use to coat the exterior of your house. It protects your home from the weather, and it can also add insulation. While builders use stucco in many parts of the world, it is commonly used in the southwestern United States.
What are the benefits of stucco?
There are many benefits to using stucco on your home, including:
- Low maintenance
- Fire resistant
- Energy efficient
Stucco is an attractive and unique choice for an exterior finish.
Are there different types of stucco?
While the word stucco is a colloquial term that people use to refer to all plaster and plaster-like finishes on the exterior of a home or building, there are actually two distinct types. Plaster, sometimes called Portland cement plaster, is the traditional form of stucco, while EIFS, or exterior insulation finishing system, is a newer option that features a synthetic mix.
How many layers of stucco are typically applied?
Stucco installation requires a base layer called a scratch coat. The rough surface allows subsequent layers to adhere correctly. A second coat, often called a brown coat, is applied on top of the scratch coat and could be the finished product. Some patterns need a third application to create the desired finish.
Are there different stucco finishes?
There are a variety of stucco finishes you can choose from, depending on the look you want to achieve. Smooth and sand finishes are common, but there are also textured finishes. In fact, there are so many different textured finishes that the Technical Services Information Bureau published a booklet detailing the key features of each one and cataloging their unique names, such as Rock-n-Roll, Tunnel Dash, Marblecrete, and Cat Faces.
Can you paint stucco?
Like a wood exterior, stucco can be painted, but you should consult a professional to see if your stucco needs to be sealed first. Sealing stucco can help it last longer and prevent cracking.
How do you maintain stucco?
Stucco is a low-maintenance exterior finish, but you should still check it regularly for cracks or other damage. It does not need to be power washed as the intense pressure can damage the stucco. Instead, you can use a hose to gently remove dirt and debris as needed.
If you live in an area with severe weather, you should also check your stucco after storms to ensure it is still in good condition.
How do you repair stucco?
You can patch small cracks yourself, but you should consult a professional if the cracks are large or if you see any other damage. They can help you match the color and texture of your stucco so that the repairs are barely noticeable.
Stucco is a popular and durable exterior finish, but it's important to understand what it is and how to take care of it. With a little maintenance, your stucco will continue to look great for years to come.
For additional information, contact a residential stucco service in your area.