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.
Choices For Home Exterior Materials
Stucco is a popular siding material used in buildings and homes. Stucco siding is noticeable in homes with Tuscan-Style or Spanish-Mission Style. A lot of homes in the US already applied stucco for the exterior part of their homes; while others use them for the interiors of their home. Those who are planning to build a new home should certainly consider using this stucco siding for the construction of their house.
Here are the 5 main reasons why you should use stucco siding:
- Stucco is commonly used for the exterior part of the house but some homeowners use stucco siding on the interiors of their home and design it to any pattern they like. You can also hire a craftsman to create great stonework and designs for you. The rustic look of stucco homes makes it more attractive especially with Tuscan or Spanish styles. Many luxurious homes are now built using stucco because it is makes the exterior wall look beautiful. If you want to design your interior using stucco you can use pigments to add color to the stucco siding.
2.) Low Cost and Maintenance
- Stucco is comparatively inexpensive compared to other building materials. Moreover, it is even more durable than other more expensive materials. It also requires low maintenance unlike buildings applied with paint. After a couple of years, paint is removed from the wall so you need to regularly maintain and re-apply paint. But with stucco, you do not need to regularly maintain or fix it. As long as the stucco is applied correctly, then it will last for many, many years.
If you decide to add pigment to stucco, you should make sure the stucco is completely dry so that it will remain strong even after applying color.
- The most wonderful characteristic of stucco is its durability. If properly applied, stucco can last for even up to a hundred years. If you are uncertain on how it is applied, then consult a professional to do the job.
4.) Applicable to many architectural styles
- Stucco can be applied to many architectural styles. It is most common on Tuscan and Spanish styles but depending on what style you like you can create wonderful stonework using stucco siding. You can hire a good artisan to design your walls for you.
5.) Great Weather Repellant
- Stucco can withstand bad weather conditions and can protect your home from both wind and rain. Stucco siding is also fire-resistant thus it can protect your home from damage.
As long as you apply stucco siding correctly, you will enjoy the benefits it can provide you and your home. Use stucco now and see how useful it can be.