Your home’s stucco siding can create a beautiful exterior that serves a purpose, too. Stucco is stunning and enduring and a vital part of the structure and safety of your home. But what happens if the stucco is damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced?
We all know there are some home improvement projects that can be tackled by the average homeowner and some that require the help of professionals. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between those types of jobs, and stucco probably falls into that tough category.
Before we talk about repairing stucco siding, let’s explain a bit about what stucco siding is.
Purpose of siding
Siding, also called cladding, is the protective layer on the exterior of a building that prevents damage from the elements, such as water, wind, heat, etc. It particularly prevents water damage by creating a barrier around the outside of the house and sealing the construction materials underneath the siding that make up the structure of the building.
Many types of siding lend themselves to different styles and appearances. Depending on the climate and region you live in, your price budget, and the neighboring homes, you might prefer one material over another. Vinyl, wood, and cement siding all serve the same purpose, albeit with different pros and cons.
What is stucco?
Stucco is a type of cement siding that has been used for centuries. Historically, stucco was a defining characteristic of Spanish or Mediterranean homes but is now used as siding for homes and buildings worldwide.
At its basic level, stucco is made up of Portland cement, sand, water, and lime. Portland cement is a cement mix that does not have the iron or manganese that gives cement the grey color. More modern stucco can also have polymers or other additives to increase flexibility and durability.
Most stucco has a 20-year warranty, but some buildings are a hundred years old and still protect stucco.
Another positive characteristic of stucco is the ability to create almost any color by adding pigments to the mixture when wet. The stucco itself will dry to be very light, but you can add any color to personalize the recipe and the aesthetic of your home.
Of course, you can also paint stucco, but many prefer to have the color mixed in with the other ingredients and applied directly to the outside of the building. If you choose to paint over the stucco, be sure to use the correct exterior paint that will increase the protection of your stucco and not require a lot of additional maintenance or upkeep.
Like the other siding options, stucco also creates a layer of insulation around your home. In the winter, siding prevents the warm air from leaving your home and the blustery cold wair from getting in. Similarly, insulation helps cool your home in the summer by keeping the cool air in and the hot air out.
This insulation can lower your energy bill and make your home more comfortable when applied and maintained.
Of course, there are some disadvantages of stucco. While it is a durable and versatile material, it may not be the best choice for all climates. Stucco is prone to cracking if the building foundation shifts, and it can chip or have pieces fall away.
The most challenging part of using stucco siding on your home is the repair process if the stucco becomes damaged. When other siding materials are damaged, you can usually repair them by replacing just the damaged piece. However, stucco requires a more time-consuming process and skill set.
Because the stucco is applied to the entire exterior and dries as a whole, repairing damages like cracks or chips means reapplying the stucco in multiple layers and matching the section to the rest of the exterior.
In addition to the need for color matching, the stucco must have the same texture and finish as the rest of the building. The texture and finish of stucco are created through a specific combination of ingredients and the correct application, usually done in multiple, separate layers.
Each layer needs to be set between applications, but it is essential not to let the stucco dry entirely until the final layer. This ensures that all layers dry into one whole instead of separating into each layer over time. The patch job will be very obvious if you cannot recreate the original installation and application process.
This is the main reason most homeowners turn to professionals to repair their home’s stucco siding. This is not to say that an excited DIY-er wouldn’t be able to repair stucco on their own. Some repairs are pretty easy to fix.
If you notice a white coating or discoloration of the stucco on your home, there might be mold growing on, in, or under the stucco. This can be resolved with a powerwash or the application of a non-chlorine bleach solution.
However, suppose the underlying issue of water leaking between the stucco and the layers underneath is not resolved. In that case, the mold will probably return and cause even more damage to your home.
Another common issue with damaged stucco often overlooked by DIY repairers is gaps, bubbles, or cracks in the stucco and caulk around windows. Not only can these types of damages leave your home open to water damage, but it also decreases the insulation and security of your home. These damages must be repaired early to avoid critical issues to the building.
Mountain States Windows & Siding
If you have questions about repairing your home’s stucco siding, contact the Mountain States Window & Siding experts. We offer a variety of products and services to remodel your house to create the home of your dreams.
Mountain States Window & Siding stands behind our work with a guarantee to provide professional and transparent service to clients throughout Salt Lake and Utah counties.
From summer decor ideas to a new window or siding installation, Mountain States can help improve your home’s curb appeal and increase your home’s value.