Choosing stucco for your Colorado Springs home is a sound choice. Stucco homes stand out. When you’re looking around the neighborhood or shopping for a new home, you will notice these houses. with their seamless walls and subtle colors. As one of the oldest building materials around, stucco gets plenty of attention.
What is stucco?
Stucco is a wall coating like plaster. In fact “plaster siding” is another name for stucco. It is commonly used to cover frame construction on the outside. But you will occasionally see stucco finishes for interior walls, as well.
For exterior stucco, the traditional application includes up to 4 layers. The dash (base) coat, scratch coat, brown coat, and finish coat, although newer methods need only 1 or 2 coats.
What is stucco made of?
Each coat contains the same substances:
- Portland cement
- Hydrated lime
- Fine builder’s sand
- Fiber, for greater strength
- Polymers, for increased flexibility.
Yet, the amount of each ingredient varies with the type of coat. Mineral oxide pigment goes into to the finish coat, for colored stucco homes. Synthetic stucco is also available. But some home improvement professionals say this material leads to increased moisture problems.
Interior stucco finishes come as special premeasured, powdered mixes. You add water and spray the mixture on.
Advantages of stucco homes
Durability. Stucco is resistant to fire, rot, mold, impact, and termite infestation. The finish on stucco homes can last up to 100 years.
Sustainability. The ingredients for stucco finishes come from local, sustainable sources.
Sound resistance. Stucco siding buffers sound coming from outside your home. This is a major advantage if you live near a busy street, airport or railroad.
Color retention. The long-lasting pigment blended into stucco finishes eliminates the need to repaint your house every few years. That benefit alone makes it worth the investment.
Texture. Stuccos finishes are made up of different textures to give your home a unique, seamless look.
How to paint a stucco wall
”How do you paint a stucco wall?” is a trick question. The best answer is: “You don’t.”
New stucco installations are not painted. Instead pigment and colorful aggregate get mixed into the finish coat. The color will continue to look great for years, while still allowing the stucco to breathe.
If the hue needs to change, apply a thin “fog coat” of Portland cement, water, and pigment.
Once painted, you’ve got a problem on your hands. You will not be able to reapply stucco over the paint, or even make minor repairs unless you remove the paint.
Removing paint from stucco
To remove paint from stucco, you must sandblast it off. Then a new coat of stucco gets added to the surface.
Maintenance of stucco finishes
Stucco will need some maintenance to keep it in good shape. This is quite simple and is easily tackled as a DIY project. Follow these steps:
- Inspect stucco finish.
- Fill any holes or cracks quickly, so they don’t worsen. Use masonry-compatible caulking.
- Although you may clean stucco homes with a garden hose, avoid pressure washing. The strong spray can damage the surface.
Repair of Stucco
Stucco is one of the toughest building materials out there. But like most building materials, stucco can also get damaged from the elements. Cracks and holes develop, and chipping can happen with time. This happens both due to the elements and the building settling.
Cracking stucco can be a normal process due to building’s aging. But at times, it can be a sign of more serious problem. When holes and cracks seem to be more serious, call us immediate for stucco repair. Water can enter the structure from the holes and cracks and lead to moisture and damage in the building.
Repairing stucco yourself can be difficult. Especially if you have to match the color and texture of the stucco with existing building material. This is where professional contractors come in handy. A professional will help waterproof the stucco (in foundation). And repair the damaged area with perfection and attention detail.
Greg Unseth is a proud masonry service with stucco repair and restoration work in many residential and commercial building structures in Colorado. This includes some of the oldest homes in Colorado Springs. If you need professional assistance, call Greg Unseth Painting and Exteriors for your next stucco project.