"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Stucco Siding

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Stucco, Stucco Siding, Stucco repairs. Stucco Contractor and EIFS. Acrylic stucco. Concrete-based stucco.

Stucco is a mixture of sand, lime, cement and water. It usually is applied in three coats over wire lath or styrofoam. The stucco can be finished with a smooth texture, raked, swirled or pebbled stone. Cracks should be repaired immediately to prevent further damage caused by rain and moisture. Dirty or stained stucco can be cleaned with a solution of half a cup trisodium phoshare (TSP) to a gallon of water plus some dishwasher detergent. Apply with a stiff brush, then hose off.
Stucco can be painted or colouring can be added to the cement. Acrylic stucco is much easier to clean than concrete-based stucco but does not allow the wall to dry if water gets behind the stucco.
Stucco-sided houses are excellent for blocking wind. Unless damage, stucco siding requires little maintenance. Periodic cleaning is required. Traditional stucco siding usually has an expansive, acrylic-polymer finish, which will expand and contract with the weather. This keeps cracks to a minimum and means


Pebble stone finished stucco home

the siding can easily last up to 50 years before needing to be replaced. Some advantages of stucco include a natural resistance to fire, is durable and requires little maintenance. Stucco is very good insulator in both cool and warm areas.
Stucco can also be applied with Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) where an acrylic-polymer coat of styrofoam based stucco is sprayed onto a base of fiberglass mesh and foam board insulation. EIFS are more expensive but it also provides extra insulation.
EIFS virtually never cracks, and it gives your home extra insulation as well. It is a little more expensive than the traditional stucco finish. Applying stucco is should be left to an expeienced stucco contractor.

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