Stucco siding is known for its resilience and protection against the elements, lasting as long as 50 years in some cases with very little maintenance required. But when it comes time to do maintenance on stucco, do you know how to care for it while getting the most out of it? Here are some tips on how to maintain your stucco so it can last for as long as possible.
Stucco can sometimes get cracks from expansion when the house settles. These can usually be repaired easily depending on the width of the crack. The thinnest cracks can be repaired by simply painting over them, but cracks the width of a credit card up to about an eighth of an inch can be repaired with elastomeric sealants.
Wider cracks need to be professionally patched to prevent water from penetrating the surface. When you patch a crack it needs to cure slowly for 24 to 48 hours. Keep the patched area damp, because it will simply crack again if it dries too quickly.
When washing stucco, it’s important to keep a few things in mind so you don’t do damage during cleaning. When wetting the walls, go from the bottom to the top so that dirty water from the top doesn’t absorb into the lower wall. Using a scrub brush will also help remove any lingering stains.
Be sure to use an appropriate hose nozzle when spraying stucco. Jet nozzles or fan nozzles shouldn’t be held too close to the stucco when spraying, otherwise damage may occur. Here are three steps to follow when washing your stucco.
If you’ve detected mold on your stucco, you’ll need to remove it right away using a bleach solution. Start by rinsing the stucco as suggested above, then with a sponge apply a 25% bleach mixture with hot water to the affected areas and allow it to soak for 10 – 15 minutes.
Be sure to cover any nearby plants and wear protective gloves and eyewear when working with bleach. Let the area dry for 24 hours and see if you need to apply the bleach solution again. For any discoloration, you can use elastomeric paint to touch up discolored areas.