Although the date is unclear, stucco has been around for thousands of years. Stucco is a plaster that is used for molding into architectural designs or for coating the surfaces of walls. While stucco creates a strong finish, the difficult aspect of it is how it can crack relatively easily, ranging in size from minuscule to immense. These cracks can then become a bigger problem due to water intrusion. The following tips will give you a better insight in making sure your stucco remains intact and mold free.
Exterior preparation is a great start because existing minor cracks and pits can be easily repaired with a sealant that is adaptable to concrete and masonry. To fix a hairline crack you will need a bucket of water, a sponge, a rag, a caulking gun, and caulk. First, you should start off by cutting the tip of the tube of caulking at an angle that matches the size of the crack. A smaller tip means an easier and cleaner application. Next load the caulking gun with the tube and test it out to get an idea of how much of the sealant will come out. After testing it out, apply the caulk along the crack in an even manner. Check to make sure you have a consistent amount of caulk and make sure you don’t have any gaps. Then, rub the caulk into the crack with your finger and wipe off any excess caulking with a wet sponge or rag. Depending on your location, the caulking may take up to a day to dry. After it is dry apply a second layer of caulking and add texture to make the caulking blend in with the rest of the wall. Then apply a matching coat of paint to the caulking to make it match your wall.
After fixing any repairs you should clean the stucco surface. Older stucco will be more fragile so you should be careful when cleaning it. To clean your stucco, simply start by pre-wetting it. Use a hose with a jet nozzle and wash the entire surface. It’s good to pre-wet your surface because it prevents the stucco finish from absorbing dirty water. After pre-wetting the stucco adjust your nozzle to more pressure and wash the wall to loosen dirt and dust. Starting from the top and working your way down is very helpful in removing dirt. To make sure you don’t wear down your finish, avoid holding the hose too close to the surface. If you see signs of mold or mildew, use household bleach to treat the affected area.
Deciding on a Coating
For surfaces with a lot of hairline cracks, experts recommend using elastomeric coating, however elastomeric coatings should not be used to solve water intrusion problems. For breathability purposes, professionals recommend using an alkaline-resistant acrylic or vapor-permeable elastomeric coating. Although acrylics are cheaper, they require more skill to apply because it dries faster.
All in all, while doing your Houston exterior painting work, you should make sure you know how to properly apply your stucco, and if you don’t, Pro Painters, your Houston painting contractor, is more than happy to help. Give us a call today!