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The Pros and Cons of Choosing Stucco

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Stucco siding is truly a classic as it has been used for years, long before modern day sidings like vinyl were developed.  This fact alone affords both positives and negatives to this popular choice of siding. Stucco homes will all be similar in appearance as they use the same material yet are customized in many different colors.  Stucco is comprised of 4 layers: the dash coat, scratch coal, brown coat, and finish coat all forming the seamless beauty that stucco provides.  Continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons of this traditional siding option.

Consider the Pros

Stucco siding remains popular due to its many wonderful benefits.  For those concerned with the environmental impact of more modern siding options, stucco is a great choice.  The components used to make stucco are easy to acquire and are sustainable.  These ingredients are purchased from local sources to help support small businesses and the local economy.

One of stucco’s best-selling points is its long-lasting durability.  Stucco stands the test of time, often enduring nearly 100 years (give or take) depending on the climate.  Not to mention, it boasts of many hardy properties like fire resistance, sturdy material that does not easily rot or attract pests like terminates.

If you hate painting or quickly fading siding, stucco may be the perfect choice.  Since the pigments are stirred directly into the stucco mixture, they will not wear away or fade over time.  This means for the life of your stucco. You will not be tasked with unsightly fading or the need to repaint.

If you are looking for insulation from road noise, pesky neighbors, or animal sounds, stucco can be a great choice.  Stucco boasts of properties known to reduce external noise, so your quiet indoor haven remains undisturbed.

Who doesn’t enjoy the ability to customize their own home?  In addition to choosing just the right pigment, stucco siding also allows you to customize the texture of your siding.

Consider the Cons

As with all things, nothing is ever 100% perfect including beautiful stucco.

Most siding requires some sort of maintenance; however, stucco is one siding you can’t afford to ignore.  It is important to conduct annual or biannual inspections of your stucco and immediately address any cracks that may have formed.  You must then take care to fix these cracks and clean any areas where mold or mildew has developed.  This is crucial to avoid water damage from occurring due to these vulnerable points.

Stucco is an investment as it requires the professionals at a stucco installation company to do the job right.  It is a long, tedious process leading to increased installation costs. Although, due to its long-lasting durability the initial investment is often worth it.

Stucco can be vulnerable to cracking since it lacks flexibility.  Thus, ground shifts and temperature changes can lead to cracking.  Stucco technology has come a long way in recent years, and this is less an issue than it once was.  Stucco companies now utilize polymer as a component in the stucco mixture to increase its flexibility.

The more porous it is the more vulnerable it is to water retention and subsequent damage. After considering the pros and cons of stucco, could this wonderful siding option be right for you?

Wonders of Stucco Siding

While the composition has changed drastically over the years, it remains a classic staple in home siding. Stucco offers timeless beauty, as well as durability. It is generally comprised of sand, lime/gypsum, and Portland cement. Continue reading to learn more about why so many homeowners choose stucco siding!
How It Works

Stucco can be put over a variety of surface materials, including concreate block, wood, and fieldstone. However, when dealing with wood, lathe must be applied first so there is a surface for the mixture to stick to.

Stucco requires several steps. First of all, a coat must be put on top of the surface structure to provide a quality bond with the building. Following the scratch coat, the contractor will put down a second layer or brown coat that functions to even out the surface. The process is completed with an additional coat that determines the color, texture, and style of stucco on the structure.

This process must be completed in steps, all the while maintaining moisture on the surface that the new layer of stucco is adhering to. It is imperative that the stucco dries correctly, so it is durable for years to come. Thus, it is best to add new stucco in the late afternoon.

Versatility

When most people think of stucco, they immediately picture Spanish style architecture. While many stucco homes do favor this style, it is a misconception to think all stucco is the same. It is one of the most versatile options in siding available on the market today. You can go for a traditional whitewashed style or get creative with texture and color to create your own custom look. Did you know it is possible to use stucco to mimic limestone, wood, brick, granite, and even metal siding? With so many innovative and unique finishes, stucco can create nearly any look you desire and compliment any type of architecture.
Stucco or Not

The cost of installing stucco will be higher than some other options due to its labor-intensive nature; however, it more than pays for itself in longevity and durability. Not to mention, stucco is aesthetically pleasing and can be finished to please nearly anyone with its large range of styles. This fact alone makes many homeowners willing to invest in stucco.

Stucco is a great choice in many regions of the country; although, in some climates it can lead to issues. Thus, it is important to consider the climate where you reside before investing in stucco. Stucco is extremely permeable which is fabulous feature in drier climates but extremely problematic in areas that receive heavy rainfall. In excessively moist environments, the water will lie for extended periods of time. This may lead to damage of the underlying wood, such as decomposition, rot, and mold.

Stucco is also an extremely poor choice in areas that are prone to earthquakes or other ground
shifting as this movement will lead to stucco cracking and failing.

Could stucco be just what you need to customize your home?

Do you own a home that boasts of beautiful stucco siding? The stucco is known for its low maintenance and durability and no product will stay in mint condition forever. Thus, it is important to implement a regular inspection as way to maintain your stucco and catch any small problems before they turn into larger issues. Continue reading to learn more about the proper way to inspect your stucco to ensure even the smallest of flaws are repaired quickly, so your siding lasts longer!

A Walk Around Inspection

Once a year, circle the entirety of your home and look closely to see if you notice any damage or deterioration to your stucco. Pay special attention to any areas of discoloration, mold or mildew growth, and/or cracking that has occurred.

Over the years, stucco siding is constantly impacted by changing weather conditions, freezing, and expanding. If your stucco wasn’t installed correctly in the first place, you can expect it to be more vulnerable to damage. It is possible for stucco to sustain diagonal, spider, hairline, patterned cracks, or even cracks on the foam trim. Some cracks (typically diagonal and hairline cracks) may be insignificant enough for you to do a DIY repair with compound; however, it is always best to allow the professionals to conduct a thorough inspection and repair any significant damage.

It is also extremely likely the problems could go much deeper than the exterior. In such cases, it is of utmost importance that you allow the professionals to inspect and conduct repairs on your home as it is probable the problems penetrate deep beneath the siding and have comprised the structural integrity of the home.

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