Why It's Vital to Maintain Stucco Siding
People choose stucco siding for a reason. This cement-based plaster (which is usually spread over a wire mesh known as lath) is sturdy, resistant to fire, energy efficient, and more. On top of these benefits, stucco siding is low-maintenance, especially when compared to wood siding. But like any other durable material, stucco isn’t invincible. Environmental threats like high winds, precipitation, harsh sunlight, and more, can damage and erode your stucco siding over time if you don’t properly protect it. So, while your stucco surfaces might not need the same amount of cleaning, painting, or touching up as certain other forms of siding, you’re not completely off the hook in the maintenance department.
The Benefits of Maintaining Stucco Siding
Stucco’s Rigid Nature Can Lead to Cracks
When it comes to siding, you certainly want a material that stands its ground, and stucco fits the bill. A cementitious mixture, stucco is rigid when fully dried. However, stucco’s stiff, sturdy nature comes with some setbacks, too. Because stucco lacks flexibility, any foundational shifts or severe impacts can easily cause its surfaces to fracture, much like concrete, brick, and stone. While these cracks and gouges might not be much more than mere cosmetic concerns at first, they open the door to more serious issues. Simply put, any breach in your siding becomes an avenue for moisture, pests, bacteria, and other contaminants to get inside. The longer you go without fixing these abrasions, the more of an opportunity there is for these unwanted materials to do intrusive damage to your property.
Fortunately, the majority of stucco crack repairs are quickly and easily performed with the aid of stucco patch applications. Future fracturing can be prevented by keeping excess water away from your siding (see our point about excess water below), applying weather-resistant coatings, and properly mixing and applying new layers of stucco when necessary.
Stucco Attracts Dirt, Dust, and Debris
All exterior surfaces are susceptible to gathering dirt and dust simply by virtue of being out in the open. That said, certain types of materials are more attractive to airborne particles than others. More specifically, rough, porous surfaces like stucco, concrete, and brick can be quite absorbent when left unprotected, diminishing the appearance and integrity of your property’s exterior. Fortunately, stucco can be easily cleaned (in most cases) using a garden hose with a spray nozzle attachment or a pressure washer on a low setting. With the proper tools and techniques, you can efficiently wash away most of the debris that winds up finding a home in your stucco siding. Just be careful to not soak your stucco too heavily or use corrosive cleaning materials, as these actions can deteriorate your surfaces.
Stucco Stains Easily
Stucco’s absorbent nature also means that it’s highly susceptible to staining. Regular cleaning can help prevent staining and get rid of mild stains, but deep-set stains will often require a more aggressive approach to cleaning. We already discussed the role of power washing, but water alone will not remove these severe stains. In order to clear up your stucco’s stains, the pros often use trisodium phosphate (TSP), a strong chemical solution that must be applied to surfaces carefully and with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Professional exterior painting services should have the experience and equipment to remove any and all stains in your stucco siding prior to applying new coatings.
Excess Water Can Do Real Damage to Stucco
As we mentioned earlier, moisture is one of the factors that can cause cracks in your stucco siding and leave it open to further damage. Indeed, water is in many ways stucco’s worst enemy. This might seem ironic considering the importance of power washing your siding we just discussed. However, the issue here is not with water in general, but rather excess moisture, which can come from a variety of sources, such as heavy precipitation, leaking pipes, groundwater, improperly installed flashing, and so on. When water lingers too long on your stucco siding, it can weaken the material and find ways into your property. Moreover, mold, mildew, and other types of fungi thrive in damp environments, so excess moisture can quickly transform into a mold problem. Over time, the presence of mold on your property can cause further deterioration and, if allowed entry inside, reduce indoor air quality, posing a health risk to those with allergies and respiratory problems.
In order to prevent moisture and mold from taking over your stucco siding, it’s important to seal it with waterproof coatings and keep it clean. Elastomeric coatings provide a flexible and durable solution to this problem, keeping your siding well-sealed.
Stucco Can Boost Resale Value...if it’s in Good Shape
It may seem obvious, but keeping your house exterior in great shape will boost your home’s market value. If you can’t find any other reason to maintain your stucco siding, then, do it for the long-term financial benefits. As it turns out, stucco is already a valuable and highly sought-after siding material, which puts your property in higher demand from the get-go. Of course, if your stucco siding is cracked, filthy, stained, and/or riddled with mold, you can kiss that advantage goodbye. You might not plan on selling your place anytime soon, but it’s more practical and cost-effective to simply stay on top of maintenance rather than wait until you’re forced to invest in expensive repairs and the like.
Don’t Get Stuck on Stucco Maintenance
Stucco siding is both beautiful and durable, but it only stays that way with proper maintenance. Neglecting to take good care of your stucco siding can lead to a number of costly problems that you’ll regret having to deal with. If you’re not confident in your abilities to maintain your stucco siding, Nash Painting can help. We offer more than merely residential and commercial exterior painting services. With our pressure washing, surface prep, and repair offerings, we’ve become the go-to maintenance and improvement provider for homeowners and business owners all across Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!