Why Use Stucco For My Home?
Stucco has been used in architectural structures since the Greek and Roman era and during the Renaissance. It spread throughout Europe and gradually became popular in America. Stucco is a finishing plaster composed of sand, lime, water and other ingredients. It is a strong, attractive and damage resistant covering for walls and ceilings. It is an excellent building material for hot areas as it helps to regulate the temperature. It is non-combustible and its surface burning properties include no flame spread and no smoke development.
Currently, there are two distinct types of Stuccoes –
Traditional/Hard Coat Stucco – This is basically cement mixed Stucco. The traditional stucco is durable and able to withstand harsh environments. It is porous and can breathe, so, dries quickly and resists water damage.
Conventionally, lime was used with sand and water. As lime is slightly soluble, the mixture has a self-healing tendency. At present, stuccoes are usually made up of Portland Cement, sand and water resulting in a hard and brittle variety.
To install hard coat stucco, first the substrate is installed followed by a metal lath and then a coat of stucco is applied with a trowel. It is allowed to set and then another coating is applied. Normally, the process involves a scratch coat, a brown coat and a finish coat (may be colored).
Stucco can also be applied on a paper and wire. The coats should be thicker. The first coat (scratch coat) covers the wire. It needs to be scratched as soon as it sets. The second coat (brown coat) gets bonded to this coat and as usual the finish coat is the outermost layer.
Synthetic Stucco – Since 1950s, a number of houses were built using a variety of synthetic materials resembling stucco. Fibers and synthetic acrylics were added to the cement stucco mixture to add strength and flexibility. In general though, the synthetic stuccoes are less heavy and hence, more susceptible to a hard blow. They are a one-coat stucco system unlike the three-coat traditional ones.
The most common one is EIFS or Exterior Insulation & Finish Systems. They are glued or mechanically attached to the substrate and usually composed of three layers. The innermost layer, mostly made up of polystyrene like material, is a foam insulation board. The second layer is a base coating attached to a fiberglass mesh and the final layer is a finish colored coat. It became popular because of its easy installation, low cost and better insulation properties. The only disadvantage is moisture absorption which causes water damage to the building.
A variety of stucco colors/paints are available. Colorants are inorganic pigments which can adapt with the high pH value of cement. They can be either natural like, Ochers and natural earths or artificial, such as man made Iron Oxides. Natural colorants remain unaffected to UV rays and are more pleasant to our eyes. But, the range of shades and the tinting strength is less when compared to manufactured colors. Man made colors, on the other hand, offer a wider range of shades such as dark blues and greens as well as various earthy tones like, yellow, brown and reds. They also possess excellent UV stability due to the presence of inorganic pigments.
The Next Generation of EIFS
The curb appeal of your home is a huge factor in the value of the property and how fast it will sell if you ever put it on the market. If you are thinking of updating your curb appeal, perhaps it's time for a little home exterior updating. A renovation of the exterior of your home can be costly and time consuming, but an easy and cost effective way to get a new look is to update the exterior material of your home. Listed below are a few popular options for home exterior materials.
One of the most popular ways to update your home's exterior is to add vinyl siding. Many people choose siding because it can be cost effective and durable. Unlike siding made from cedar or other woods, vinyl siding won't ever rot or flake. Because it is made from PVC plastic, it is extremely weather resistant and will hold its color and shape for years. Another popular siding option is stucco. Like vinyl, one reason stucco is so popular is because it is very cost effective and durable.
Stucco is cementitious material made from a combination of water and a special mixture of sand, lime, and other materials. Stucco can be tinted a variety of different colors. Because of the nature of the material, those colors will stay bright for decades and the material will remain in great condition for just as long. Another popular option is brick facing. Brick facing is a great way to get the look of brick without the expense. Brick facing is a brick veneer that can be applied to any existing home exterior to give the appearance of brick. It is long lasting, durable, and comes in many colors and options.