Maintaining a Stucco Exterior
Stucco finished homes look great, are durable, long lasting, and are typically low upkeep. Still, there are things home owner’s can do to preserve and maintain their exterior stucco finishes, and keep them looking great.
Stucco finishes are porous, which can allow dirt to accumulate. To keep your exterior stucco finish looking its best, clean it once a year with water. How your water wash is dependent on the surface texture of the stucco. For smooth or lightly textured finishes, hosing it down may be enough. For heavily textured stucco, a low-pressure wash may be required. A soft brush may also be used to remove accumulated dirt and grime.
On the West Coast and the Vancouver BC area, cleaning stucco also involves removing mold, mildew and algae. For this, water washing will likely not be enough. Adding liquid dish soap to water should help.
It is also important to regularly inspect stucco surfaces for cracks, which are often caused by house settling or movement. Depending on their size and location, cracks allow damaging moisture into walls. Additionally, water allowed to freeze in a crack makes it worse. The Lower Mainland winter cold snaps can be damaging to cracked exterior stucco finishes.
Small or hairline cracks can be filled with an application of paint. Somewhat larger cracks may be fixed with acrylic-latex caulk. Significant cracks or holes such as those that reach the lath will require the attention of a professional stucco company, such as Choice Stucco who offers a wide range of stucco services throughout Greater Vancouver. They can help assess the extent of crack damage, and offer the best fix. This can range from dealing with each individual crack to complete resurfacing.
Stucco is an investment. Getting the most from this investment means maintaining its appearance and its structural capacity to protect your home from the elements.