Like all siding materials, stucco has pros and cons you should consider for your specific situation.
Advantages of Stucco
Durability: Unlike other siding materials, stucco has some serious staying power. When properly applied, it can last for decades without needing maintenance. When properly applied, stucco will have a useful service life of 100 years.
Appearance: Stucco offers unlimited customization. The finish can be anything from super smooth to highly textured. It works well with many architectural styles and other building materials, and can be tinted a range of colors.
Fire resistance: Stucco provides a strong firewall rating — one hour — which makes it appealing when you need to meet local fire codes.
Cost: Because applying stucco requires a high level of skill, the cost will vary regionally with labor costs.
Disadvantages of Stucco
Cracks: If applied correctly, stucco should perform well. Hairline cracks are normal with conventional stucco, and stress cracks can occur as homes settle. But the newer acrylic stucco products and crack suppression systems have greatly decreased cracking.
Insulation: Conventional stucco doesn’t provide much insulation value. But with new stucco insulation systems, you’ll get better performance.
Staining: If water runs down stucco, it will stain over time, and you could have larger issues with moisture damage. Use gutters and keep sprinklers away from stucco exteriors.
How To Apply Stucco
Stucco is applied over a base of house wrap or felt paper and lath. It’s typically done in three coats applied by hand with a trowel. Color and texture are added with the final coat.
Application of newer systems vary, based on the specific manufacturer’s product. A crack suppression system requires four coats, and insulating systems require several steps. They include a polystyrene foam board, followed by fiberglass mesh and an acrylic finish coat.
Can You DIY Stucco or Should You Hire Someone?
We don’t adding “Stucco Home” to your DIY to-do list.Very few homeowners would have the skill set required to apply stucco. There are other challenges, too, like the equipment and specialty tools needed that only professionals have.
Taking Care of Stucco
Cantor recommends the following:
Inspect stucco annually for cracks or damage and repair them as soon as possible so water doesn’t seep behind the stucco finish.
Stucco typically doesn’t need cleaning. If it’s particularly dirty, hose it off using mild pressure.
Use gutters and check them periodically to make sure they’re not clogged, damaged or leaking water onto the stucco. Repair gutters as soon as you spot issues to avoid damage or staining.
Over time, the color may fade. You can paint stucco to refresh it.
Trim trees and shrubs so they don’t rub against the stucco.
Don’t put planters that hold water, such as window boxes, against stucco.
Keep soil levels around the perimeter of the home below the stucco finish. Stucco is porous and can draw up moisture from any soil touching it.
Use drip irrigation systems around the perimeter of the home. Avoid sprinkling or spraying water onto the siding.
Cracked Brick and Stucco Repair from CDP Stucco
CDP Stucco has repaired cracked stucco for homeowners throughout Florida. If you are unsure if the cracks indicate foundation failure, a representative from CDP Stucco can provide an inspection to give you back peace of mind.
Contact us today for an inspection of your cracked stucco repair! If you are interested in Stucco Installation or Stucco Repair, call the experts at CDP Stucco now at 850-259-2283