Stuck on Stucco

There is no reason to be embarrassed if the first question that pops into your mind upon seeing the headline above is “what exactly is stucco again?” Sure, everyone has heard of stucco and most people can point it out when they see it, but how many can really define stucco? If you’re not even sure what it is, how can you properly maintain your stucco walls?

In the past, traditional stucco was made of lime, sand, and water. Today, stucco is really just another word for Portland cement plaster, which is created by mixing Portland cement-based materials, water, sand, and certain aggregates. After the plaster is created, it is then sprayed on or applied to the home’s exterior (or interior) in two or three coats, until it reaches a specified thickness.

Nowadays, you can also use a synthetic material to create stucco, known as dryvit. Some people think that “real” stucco will last longer and protect your home a little better, but others stand by their dryvit. There are two principle types of stucco finish: sand-cement and acrylic. Both incorporate the same traditional sand-cement basecoat, but the latter contains a flexible acrylic-based top layer. Acrylic has a limited range of texture and comes in almost any color, while cement stucco has an unlimited variety of textures but not as many colors.

The good thing about stucco is that it’s a great insulator of both warm and cold air. Stucco on the exterior of your home makes it easy to maintain a constant temperature, no matter what it’s like outside. Living in the North Shore with hot summers and freezing cold winters, it’s helpful to have an exterior that can help keep the interior temperature somewhat level. Additionally, stucco is increasingly popular because it has a distinct and elegant look. You can also add coloring to stucco, which allows you to give your home a personality of its own. Stucco can easily be transformed into one of the most creative siding applications on the market.

If you currently don’t have a stucco home and you’re longing for something different, you can actually transform your home by adding stucco to the entire exterior. This is a great way to spruce up an old home, or just make a change. If you already have a stucco exterior and you just want a new color, then you can paint the outside of your home for another new look. Castino Painting offers all of these services above, and they are one of the few North Shore experts in the field.

Castino Painting and Home Services can also help you with stucco maintenance. Of course, no material is perfect, and like any exterior material, you need to make sure that your stucco is well maintained. Living in the North Shore, the weather can really do a number on any type of home, and stucco is no different. On the whole, stucco is low maintenance, weather resistant, non-combustible, and it performs well in a variety of climatic conditions. However, stucco needs to be hosed off occasionally and repatched as needed. Sometimes, hairline cracks can appear, and if they’re small enough you can patch them up with paint, or if they’re a little bigger you should use a brushable sealant. If the cracks are larger than an eighth of an inch then it’s time to give Castino Painting a call and bring in a pro.

Take care of your stucco, and it will take care of you!

By Zipporah Porton
Castino Painting and Home Services