Stucco siding resembles plaster or cement, but is a type of masonry plaster. It is made from a mixture of cement, water, and sand. Traditional stucco siding used lime instead of cement. Stucco is hand-troweled, while wet, onto wood, stone, or brick surfaces. It then hardens to a very dense solid. As well, it can be used on interior walls and ceilings as a decorative coating. It can be used to cover cinder blocks and other less attractive materials.
Stucco can be applied smooth, rough, or with texture. This depends on the application technique. The textures can be anything from pebbled to swirls to faux brick. Also, stucco can be dyed almost any color.
Because of its natural ingredients, stucco is one of the oldest types of siding. Stucco can be traced back to ancient Greece. Today, it is a distinctive feature of Southwestern and Mediterranean architecture. It is believed that it was introduced to Mexico and the American Southwest by the Spaniards.
Pros of Stucco Siding:
- Stucco is fire resistant. A one-inch thick layer of stucco provides a one-hour firewall rating—meaning it will prevent fire from spreading from one side of the wall to the other side for at least an hour. This makes stucco great for houses that are built in close proximity.
- When maintained, stucco is very durable; it can last for a lifetime.
- Cement based stucco resists fungus, rot, and insects.
- Stucco is low maintenance, it only needs to be cleaned with a hose once a year.
Cons of Stucco Siding:
- Stucco is very brittle, and it can crack—especially as a house foundation settles. In areas where house foundations are known to shift, stucco is not the right exterior siding to use.
- Even stucco homes with firm foundations can develop cracks. Small cracks are easily repaired. Professionals will need to fix large cracks or flaking of entire sections.
- Stucco does not provide a lot of insulation. An inch-thick layer of stucco has about the same insulation quality found in an inch-thick layer of wood.
- Since multiple coats will need to be applied, labor can be expensive. Depending on the material it’s applied to, the application process and number of coats will vary. It typically costs more than fiber cement siding
- Stucco doesn’t do very well in rainy environments because it can become oversaturated.
- Woodpeckers are attracted to stucco and will peck holes in it.
If you are thinking of replacing your siding, contact us today for a free estimate.
For more information on other types of exterior home coverings, click here.