Stucco Maintenance Tips: How to Prevent Common Issues

When it comes to stucco, preventative maintenance is crucial for avoiding common issues. After you apply it to your walls, it should be fairly simple to maintain, with only a little cleaning or patching required to keep things in top shape.

Here are some helpful stucco maintenance tips you can use to prevent common issues and make sure your siding lasts as long as possible.

Stucco Preventative Maintenance 101

Bucks County Stucco Remediation After Photo 5

Most modern stucco is made from a mixture of sand and cement, which gives it a very long life — industry experts agree that well-maintained stucco can last anywhere from 50 to 80 years.

However, for stucco to reach its full lifespan, it must be kept up. This makes preventative maintenance an essential task.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Indoor stucco doesn’t require nearly as much attention as outdoor stucco, as it’s typically in a temperature-controlled atmosphere and doesn’t have the sun beating down on it all day. However, it still needs a paint job every once in a while.

By contrast, outdoor stucco needs much more attention. For one thing, it has to contend with the sun throughout the day, which can result in a lot of wear and tear. Beyond that, outdoor stucco is vulnerable to other elements, including wind, dirt, and dust. Much of the dirt and dust you’ll have to deal with is launched into the air by passing vehicles.

Fortunately, most outdoor stucco only requires simple cleaning. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have to make minor repairs every now and then.

To get a better idea of when your stucco needs cleaning, get in the habit of checking it once per week. If it’s seen better days, give it some attention using one of the following methods.

Stucco Preventative Maintenance: Cleaning Stucco

Dublin Stucco Repair (Before)

There are various ways to clean your stucco, including regular, advanced, and outdoor cleaning.

Regular Cleaning

Because stucco is porous, it collects dirt regardless of whether it’s indoors or outdoors. Fortunately, as long as your interiors are relatively clean and free of dust and grime, your stucco shouldn’t require much more than water and a little elbow grease.

To clean your indoor stucco under normal circumstances, all you need is a soft-bristled nylon brush and some warm water. Don’t drench the brush — you just want it to be damp. Use it to apply the water to the surface and scrub lightly. Once you’re done, use a microfiber cloth to wipe away the excess residue.

Advanced Cleaning

Stucco preventative maintenance gets a little more involved if you need to tackle stubborn stains.

Industry professionals often use trisodium phosphate (TSP), which is a powerful chemical cleaner that can be purchased at most hardware stores. Using TSP effectively involves a bit of preparation.

Using TSP Safely

When working with TSP, it’s important to make sure you’re taking the proper precautions. Failure to do this could result in severe injury, including chemical burns.

First, make sure your work area is properly ventilated. Open all surrounding doors and windows and run a fan in the room, if possible. Next, equip yourself with personal protective equipment, including a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, and safety goggles.

Once you’re ready to start working, mix the chemical with water to dilute it to a 15-to-1 ratio. Apply it to the stucco with a nylon brush and give it time to dry completely. This usually takes a couple of hours.

Outdoor Cleaning

When it comes to outdoor stucco, preventative maintenance can be challenging. That’s because outdoor stucco is often much dirtier due to its ongoing exposure to the elements. With that in mind, keeping your outdoor stucco clean is all about consistency.

To clean outdoor stucco, you’ll need a power washer or a garden hose with a spray nozzle. Use your implement of choice to wet the stucco with a fine mist. Once it’s saturated, switch to a more concentrated spray setting and blast the stucco from top to bottom. Spraying downward will keep dirt from accumulating at the bottom of the wall.

When you’re through spraying, check to make sure there isn’t any lingering dirt. If you see any, remove it manually using a brush. Make it a point to scrub gently so you don’t damage the stucco.

If you still notice blemishes after this stage, use a sprayer to apply your TSP solution directly to the dirty or discolored area. Then, give the stucco plenty of time to dry before rinsing the surface one more time.

What Happens if Stucco Isn’t Repaired?

home water intrusion

Stucco is an inherently rigid substance. While this property accounts for many of its virtues, it can also be detrimental if the surface isn’t well-maintained.

Over time, stucco can develop chips, cracks, and holes that make perfect hiding places for mold, pests, and menaces. If not promptly dealt with, a small issue can quickly become a big problem.

Even if you don’t notice any exterior irregularities, there could still be problems with your stucco, as it’s possible for it to become damaged internally. This type of damage is much more elusive and difficult to spot. In fact, many homeowners fail to notice the warning signs until it’s too late.

If you notice discoloration beneath your windows, this could be a sign that mold is growing under the stucco. Pay attention to smells, too. If you notice a pervasive odor of wood rot, it could indicate that something is wrong with your stucco.

Stucco Issues in Delaware County? Contact the Experts at Stucco Today!

Remember: to maximize the lifespan of your stucco, preventative maintenance is key. All it takes is a little attention here and there to keep your siding clean, strong, and attractive.

If you have problems with your stucco, it’s important to take action right away to prevent further problems. That’s where Stucco Today comes in. We do stucco the right way, guaranteeing that your surfaces will continue to impress for a long time to come.

Don’t let your stucco-related issues go unaddressed. Contact Stucco Today and let us know how we can help.

Schedule an inspection of your home’s siding or request a quote today!