July 8

7 Tips for Maintaining Your Stucco Exterior

Stucco & Drywall

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Many buildings throughout Arizona feature a stucco exterior, which gives them a traditional southwestern style. Whether for a residential or commercial property, stucco provides an excellent finish for any type of construction including concrete, brick, and wood. 

Why Stucco Is Used

Stucco is a cement-based siding that adds a textured finish to a wall. Stucco is made from a mixture of cement, sand, and water and is sometimes referred to as Portland cement plaster.

Stucco has remained a popular exterior finish for many years because it is:

  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to apply
  • Paintable
  • Durable
  • Low maintenance
  • Fire retardant
  • Resistant to a variety of weather conditions

When correctly installed and properly maintained, stucco can last close to a century. But, just like any other type of exterior surface, painted stucco can fade and erode over time. 

How to Keep Your Stucco Exterior Looking Great

By following the following tips, you can keep your stucco exterior in good condition and avoid costly damage and repairs:

1. Check for cracking or peeling. If your stucco has been repainted numerous times, peeling paint could indicate that the stucco was not properly prepared or repaired before the paint was applied. It can also be an indication that moisture has begun to seep into the wall underneath the stucco and caused water damage. Paint will continue to peel off until the source of the problem is identified and corrected. 

2. Inspect your exterior throughout the year. Although stucco is long-lasting, performing regular inspections in both hot and cold weather will allow you to spot potential problems early. Since walls expand and contract as temperatures change, a small superficial crack observed on a hot sunny day may reveal a wider crack when colder temperatures return.

3. Repair cracks and holes.  Minor cracks are usually the result of contraction during seasonal temperature changes. Holes are typically caused by a direct impact. To fill cracks and holes, use a high-quality waterproof and paintable acrylic caulk. Elastomeric paint is thick enough to cover fine cracks. Larger repairs are best left to a professional who specializes in stucco repair. 

4. Prevent paint failure. To prevent premature paint failure, painters must use the correct painting techniques and follow the paint manufacturer’s recommendations regarding temperature and relative humidity ranges. Painting stucco requires specific knowledge, skills, and tools to achieve the best results.

5. Choose the right products. Stucco is more prone to water and moisture absorption than other wall finishes, so opting for a high-quality waterproofing primer and paint is critical to extending the life of your stucco finish. Acrylic latex paints perform best on stucco, offering excellent coverage and superior color retention. 

6. Clean your walls. To prevent dust and dirt build-up, wash the exterior at least twice a year. Before you do any cleaning, it is important to make sure that any cracks, chips, or holes in the stucco have been repaired so that water doesn’t seep through them. 

Dirt and debris can be easily removed using a sprayer attached to a garden hose. We don’t recommend using a power washer yourself because improper use can damage stucco surfaces. Professionals are trained and knowledgeable on the proper settings to ensure power washing leaves it clean and unharmed.

7. Keep water directed away from your stucco walls. Over time, sprinkler systems, leaking gutters, or pooling water can stain your walls and cause mildew, mold, or efflorescence (a white powdery “bloom”) to form. Mold thrives in damp areas where there is a lot of plant matter, so check carefully around and behind any plants, flowers, or trees that grow close to your home. If you find signs of mildew, mold, or efflorescence on your stucco it is important to thoroughly clean the affected areas.

Following these tips will help maintain your stucco and keep it looking great for many years to come. When your stucco needs repairs or a new paint job, hiring a professional who understands how to handle stucco surfaces is important. 

Choose ACP for Your Residential Painting in Ahwatukee

Painting stucco can be a challenging project due to its textured surface. The right preparation is key to a professional and long-lasting finish. The professionals at ACP Painting, LLC are experienced with stucco repair and painting. Contact us online or at (480) 660-4957 to schedule a free consultation.

ACP Painting, LLC has been painting homes and businesses in Ahwatukee and Ahwatukee Foothills Village since 2005. We are proud to have received the Best Painter of the Year in 2020 award from the Ahwatukee Foothills News based on reader feedback! We look forward to working with you.



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