After much deliberation, you decided to go with stucco as the siding for your home, or perhaps you may wonder how long your current stucco siding will last. Whatever the reason, it is essential to know the stucco’s durability before installing it as the siding to your home.
What is stucco siding?
Stucco has been around for centuries and is used in homes across the country. Why? Because stucco is incredibly resilient and has low maintenance costs.
What is stucco siding? Stucco is a natural material that is cement-like. Stucco typically contains Portland cement, lime, sand, and water. The difference between stucco and cement is that stucco allows moisture to evaporate, eliminating rot.
Stucco can be one of three types:
- One coat combines portland cement, sand, fibers, chemicals, and water. This mixture requires only one application and is applied over a rigid foam board and lath to provide durability.
- Two coat is a traditional stucco mix made for concrete and block walls application.
- Three-coat stucco uses a mixture of cement, sand, fiberglass, acrylic additives, and water. This type is the most durable and requires less maintenance. It includes agents that increase stucco flexibility, allowing it to move with surface movements.
How Long Does Stucco Last?
When a homeowner asks about siding options, one of the first questions is how long until it will need repair. The excellent news is stucco is one of the most durable siding options. The typical life span ranges from 50-80 years. Most stucco warranties extend 20 years. Therefore, newly placed stucco siding for houses can last a lifetime. The great thing about stucco is that maintenance is simple and usually only done periodically.
Does Climate Affect Stucco’s Longevity?
While stucco should be applied and able to cure in warm weather, it is left relatively unscathed in cold weather.
When properly installed, stucco will not be affected by the cold. However, the cold becomes a problem when damage to the siding occurs. Stucco is a porous material which means it is vulnerable to moisture. A crack creates an opportunity for water to become trapped. Trapped moisture can cause mold and mildew to build up behind the stucco.
Additionally, In cold climates, moisture within a crack can freeze. The ice will expand the gap then, as the outdoor temperature heats, the water contracts and exacerbates the previously minor crack.
Climate only poses an issue when damage is present. A well-maintained stucco can withstand climate variability.
Ways to Maintain Stucco to Increase its Durability
A homeowner might choose stucco as a siding option because it is low maintenance. Typically maintenance is easy and inexpensive. There is periodic maintenance you should be doing to ensure your stucco retains durability and lives up to the 70-year average lifespan:
Inspect yearly for holes, cracks, or separations.
Hairline cracks are not typically something to worry about immediately but need repair to avoid further damage. When you notice these minor imperfections, the repair is relatively simple. Most home improvement stores sell products like this stucco patch. This pre-mix stucco is applied over the crack or hole using a putty knife. This repair is best for minor damage or, in other words, cracks less than ⅛ in.
Clean off the build-up of dirt and debris when you notice it.
Cleaning stucco is relatively easy. To clean, you can use a mild cleaner and water. To clean, use a pressure washer set at a low-pressure setting. If you do not have a pressure washer, you can still effectively clean your stucco using a garden hose with a jet nozzle. Be careful not to stand too close to the stucco siding, as it can cause damage.
Use the appropriate materials when hanging things on a stucco wall
It is possible to grab a hammer and nail into the wall. However, only if you have a one-coat system. Hammering becomes more complicated if your home has a three-coat stucco system. In these circumstances, you will need to find the proper materials, pre-drill, and appropriate lengths of nails, screws, or other fasteners.
Consider consulting a professional to ensure you use the proper materials when placing something into your stucco siding.
Repaint and Caulk Minor Imperfections
Use acrylic-based paint for small areas where a touch-up is required. As well as select a masonry caulk to use around windows and doors where the caulking has become damaged.
When to call a professional for repair or replacement
If, during one of your routine inspections, you begin to notice an increased amount of damage. How do you know when the repairs are beyond what you can fix?
If you see large cracks, indentations, or chipping in the stucco, it is time to seek a professional. If cracks appear larger and more jagged and if there is crumbling, this may be a sign of moisture buildup. At any presence of moisture, a professional must inspect and repair it to ensure your home is safe from mold and mildew.
Additionally, the discoloration can be a sign that moisture is trapped. You want to address the discolorations by yourself. However, a discolored spot should only be painted over after inspection for water damage by a professional.
Another time to consider calling a professional is if the overall color of the stucco is fading. At this time, a professional will look for potential flaws causing the discoloration. Then, they will decide if improvements are needed and ensure they repaint your home using the best material and methods for your situation.
Improve Your Stucco Siding with Mountain States Window and Siding
Stucco siding for houses is a durable, cost-effective siding option. If you need a professional for repair or a new application, consider using Mountain States Window and Sidings. Our expert technicians serve homes from Spanish Fork to Salt Lake City with all their siding needs and kitchen and bath improvements. We are ready to ready to help. Contact us today for a quote or to ask any further questions you might have about stucco.