What is the most neglected aspect of your home? Most people will guess various areas inside their home, but what about the exterior? And we aren't talking landscaping! When was the last time that you truly accessed the actual exterior of your home? Whether it is stucco, brick or siding, this exterior layer protects your home from the elements. Like any other part of your home, the stucco exterior requires homeowner care and maintenance.
What is stucco?
Stucco is a cement-based coating that is typically done as a two or three-coat application system. In a three-coat application waterproof paper is used then covered with metal lath or wire mesh. A scratch coat (or first coat) is applied followed by a brown coat (or second coat) of stucco mix, followed by a finish coat (or third coat). The finish coat is applied with the desired texture and finish. A two-coat application is more commonly used when applying directly to concrete or masonry. It does not require the use of lath or wire mesh, and thus the brown coat is no longer necessary for added thickness either. Once cured and ready to proceed, the newly applied stucco does need to be painted or sealed to complete the protection process.
What causes stucco deterioration?
Many factors can contribute to stucco deterioration. Most commonly the age of your home, weather, and lack of regular maintenance can all be to blame. Shifting soil under the foundation of your home can cause cracking to occur. When damage causes voids in the coating, such as cracks or holes, it is important to have it repaired. Voids provide direct access for water penetration and moisture to enter your home putting you at risk for mold growth and deterioration. Making necessary stucco repairs on a regular basis will help you avoid the higher cost associated with water damage or mold remediation.
Why is it important to use a professional?
Stucco is 3-dimensional and unique with an organic look. It is best repaired by a skilled craftsman and stucco contractor largely due to the varying application methods and textures requiring a certain level of artistry to match. If not done correctly or quality materials used it could cause additional damage, not adhere properly or cause flaking.
What are the benefits of stucco?
Not only does stucco provide protection for your home from wind and other weather elements when properly maintained, it has other benefits as well. With varying application methods, stucco texture can add to the style of your home. A Santa Fe finish will look drastically different than if applied with a sand finish. Many homes have adopted multiple textures to be used in order to add an architectural touch. One example of this would be to have the main wall planes of the home done in a typical finish such as Lace or Monterey, while the pop-outs over the windows and doors are completed with a sand finish to make them stand out more. Noise reduction, being less flammable and its ability to act as an insulator to help in making your home run more efficiently are other notable benefits of stucco when compared to vinyl siding.
Other common stucco projects to consider:
Stucco is a durable material that can be applied directly over wood, masonry and metal lath. With that being said, it can be used in other projects besides the exterior walls of your home. Built-in barbeque and bar areas, pony walls, decorative planters and the perimeter fencing around your property are just a few project ideas that you can have coated with stucco to match your home.
If you are looking for a Phoenix stucco contractor, we would recommend contacting Todd Whittaker Drywall Inc. They have been a leader in the drywall, painting and stucco services industry since 1996. Being a general contractor in Peoria, they are centrally located and prepared to handle all of your stucco projects. Check out their website at www.twdaz.com to learn more about stucco and the other services they offer then give them a call at (623) 544-1211 to schedule your free consultation!