What is Stucco and How is it Used?


Stucco is the common name for Portland Cement Plaster, which is applied either to the indoor or outdoor surfaces of buildings. Stucco is hard and durable. It’s also rot and fungus resistant. It’s a great low-cost home exterior material. It does not require a lot of maintenance.

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How is Stucco Made

Contemporary stucco is made from Portland cement materials, sand, and water mixed together to form a plaster. However, there are other stucco options that are made from a variety of raw materials. Traditional stucco, for example, uses lime instead of Portland Cement. Stucco is mixed on site and applied in various layers.

stucco application

How is Stucco Used?

Stucco is applied by an industry specialist to the interior and exterior walls. An expert can apply the plaster manually or by using a machine. This Portland Cement Plaster can be used on concrete wall systems, or on a frame structure. It is used for siding, or to cover concrete, cinder block, clay brick, or adobe.

The Advantages of Stucco

Stucco, or Portland Cement Plaster, is a low-cost, strong, and durable finish. It can be used in a wide variety of climates. It is versatile and can be applied to concrete, concrete masonry, brick, wood frame, or steel frame. It is fire resistant and colour retentive. Thus, various pigments can be added to the plaster to give your stucco exactly the appearance that you are looking for.

Stucco colour

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The Disadvantages of Stucco

Stucco is rot resistant, durable, and versatile; however, it does not hold up very well in wet environments. Stucco is porous, so water can seep through the material. This will cause the material to crumble. In addition, the moisture may damage your home frame if it is exposed to water over a significant amount of time.

One trick to help the stucco last through wet seasons is to finish areas of the home that come in contact with moisture the most (mainly the bottom footing of the home, sometimes the top) in a different material, such as brick or vinyl.

Stucco is a challenging material to repair. Homeowners who live in wet or snowy climates will have to repair stucco more often. Nevertheless, any stucco repair is a challenge, as there are multiple layers that your contractor will need to fix. Stucco repairs are expensive and very time-consuming.

One of the best indicators of whether or not you should stucco your home is by looking around the neighbourhood. If there are no stucco homes, then it’s probably for weather-related reasons. You can also ask a local stucco expert to see if it’s right for you.

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Colour and Texture

Despite being a low-cost construction surface, stucco is widely used because it has a wide colour and texture range. This gives stucco huge potential for home customization. Colour aggregate and pigments can change the colour of the material. Specialists will use white Portland Cement as a base to achieve the broadest colour range.

stucco texture

Stucco can be applied in a textured style to achieve the appearance of other materials such as wood, brick, or stone. Experts will use different aggregate sizes for different textures. This changes the consistency of the finished mix. Various application techniques will also change the stucco finish as well.

Should You Apply Stucco Yourself?

Although the application of Stucco may appear to be a simple procedure, the incorrect application of it can lead to serious problems such as bulging, separating, and cracking. The home timber frames may rot if moisture seeps in through the stucco. It’s always good to read about DIY stucco projects before taking it on by yourself.

It is recommended that you call in a professional. They can ensure that the stucco is correctly applied according to regulated standards. Correctly applied stucco should last many years. It always pays off to hire well-trained experts. A bad stucco job can cost you thousands of dollars to repair down the road.

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Stucco Application Standards

Stucco house

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Canadian Standards Association are responsible for setting stucco application standards in North America. The two ASTM standards that regulate stucco application are:

  1. ASTM C 926 Standard specification for application of Portland Cement-based plaster.
  2. ASTM C 1063 Standard specification for installation of lathing and furring to receive interior and exterior Portland Cement-based plaster.

These standards are established by a panel of experts. Their experience dictates application standards. The ASTM combines these opinions into a consensus document that all stucco experts may access.

What is Stucco?

Stucco, or Portland Cement Plaster, is used in many buildings as a low-cost finish. It can come in a wide variety of colours and textures, and it is strong, durable, and fire-resistant. Although the process of applying stucco may seem simple it is best not to attempt this yourself as any mistakes during the application could lead to serious problems. The American Society for Testing and Materials sets standards for the application of stucco, otherwise known as Portland Cement Plaster.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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