Benefits of Stucco Siding
What is stucco siding?
Stucco is a siding option, made from portland cement with water and inert materials added for strength or coloring. The benefit of using portland cement rather than lime is that it can cure even when wet. Occasionally acrylics and glass fibers are added to increase the durability of the material. Stucco dries into a hard rock-like substance that can be painted or stained much like concrete floors.
When stucco is used on a home it must be applied over a building wrap to protect the interior structure. The mixture is usually spread over a wire mesh to help the stucco adhere to the wall. The mesh also helps the stucco to resist cracking from temperature related movement. Applying stucco to a home is a relatively easy task. The mixture is simply spread over the mesh and patterned as desired.
Stucco has been in use for building for a very long time. Stucco has been in use since ancient times to cover walls and provide a wall covering both interior and exterior. Historically stucco was made with a lime base instead of portland cement. Stucco has decorated everything from the rudest peasants huts to the ceilings of the grandest architecture of the world.
Benefits of Stucco Siding
- Versatile: Stucco can be made to have many different appearances. Since it is spread over a mesh it can be made to have a smooth or rough surface. The surface can also be patterned to different specifications.
- Color Variety: For long lasting durable color stains can be added to the mixture for a permanent color. If this is not what is desired it can be painted with most normal exterior paints. The advantage of stucco is that the color is not limited to what is available from a factory. The stain or paint is mixed according to your own specifications.
- Fire Resistance: The base material of stucco is Portland Cement. Cement is normally not normally flammable. Since stucco is composed of concrete it is basically fireproof.
- Durable: Stucco dries to a rock like consistency that can last over 50 years with minimal maintenance. This is exceptionally true in dry climates where stucco does the best. In wetter climates, stucco degrades slightly faster. The small cracks that can occur in stucco can be smoothed over with a patching compound.
- Breathable: Plaster is a breathable substance. Moisture that gets behind the plaster is not trapped. This makes stucco fairly resistant to mold and fungus.
- Insulation: While not as good as brick, stucco can be good for helping insulate your home. The thermal mass of stucco is less than brick but much more than vinyl siding.
- Noise Insulation: The hard texture and mass of stucco can also help keep noise out of your home. Stucco siding reflects back exterior noise and keeps your home quieter.
- Can you put siding over stucco?: This is another advantage of stucco. You can easily put siding over stucco exteriors. Using furring strips lets you simply put siding over stucco. This makes stucco a good choice for those who might change their minds at a later date.
Disadvantages of Stucco Exteriors
- Cost: The cost of stucco siding material is very low. The expense of stucco siding cost is mostly in the application than what it costs as a material. On average, the cost to install stucco is around $6 to $9 per square foot.
- Cracks: One of the most difficult issues with stucco is that it can crack if there is any seismic activity or if the house settles or otherwise moves. These small cracks are able to be repaired though and something that can usually be fixed without professional help.
- Repainting: If you decide to include stain in your stucco then you are relatively stuck with that color choice. Attempting to paint over stained stucco can be a problem.
- Professional Installation: The initial installation of stucco is best done by a professional stucco siding company. Stucco installation usually consists of multiple layers that have a metal mesh insert to keep it from cracking.
Selecting stucco for your home can often be a good decision. The flexibility of stucco means that you are able to use it in many different designs. The ease of maintenance makes it ideal for homeowners who don’t have a lot of time. The look may occasionally come in and out of style as years come and go, but in some ways it will always be timeless. These stucco siding pros and cons will make sure you make an educated choice for your home’s exterior siding.