Stucco siding is a solid option for homeowners looking to enhance the look of their house. It works well for both residential and commercial buildings, so it’s no surprise that it has grown increasingly popular over the years. Stucco offers many benefits that make it worth considering for your next home improvement project.
In this blog, you’ll be learning all about the advantages and weaknesses of the material. Be sure to read until the end!
What is Stucco Siding?
Stucco siding is a material used to coat building exteriors. It’s made from a combination of Portland cement, sand, limestone, and water. After blending the ingredients, a siding contractor then applies the resulting mixture to the outside of your home. It’s typically added in two or three layers for optimal results. You would have to mix the raw ingredients manually back in the day, but pre-mixed stucco is readily available nowadays. All you need is to add water.
A Short History of Stucco
Stucco is old. The material traces its roots back to ancient times when people used it for decorative purposes. But it wasn’t until the early 1900s that contractors discovered that stucco could be an effective weatherproofing material. They found out that cement is an excellent addition for stronger reinforcement. Although there’s plenty of siding options these days, you can still find many homes with stucco exteriors in warmer regions of America.
Pros of Stucco Siding
There are many advantages of using stucco siding, including:
High Fire-Resistance and Insulation Capability
Using stucco as your exterior siding makes your home resistant to fire. It has a high thermal resistance that will hold against heat well, preventing flames from melting the material quickly. This fire resistance is excellent for those living in places with warm climates and wildfire-prone regions.
In addition, its superior insulation capacity benefits your family during the winter. This quality means that you won’t have to worry about your energy bill going through the roof when it’s cold outside since stucco doesn’t conduct heat as much as other materials do.
It Comes in Many Colors and Textures
Every homeowner is concerned about aesthetics at some point. Luckily, stucco doesn’t disappoint. It’s available in many colors and textures. Choose from various finishes, like roughcast, lime wash, or pebbledash, to achieve the look you desire. With so many options for customization, you can have the luxury of standing out in your neighborhood.
One great thing about stucco is that it’s incredibly durable. It can last through heavy storms, harsh winds and even survive hailstorms without severe damage. Additionally, stucco also stands up well against other weather elements, like rain, which means you won’t have to worry about mold or mildew forming your house’s internal cavities due to damp conditions.
Also, unlike wood, the material discourages the formation of termite colonies within its cavities. With such a high endurance threshold, stucco can last for decades.
It doesn’t require much to maintain the integrity of a stucco finish. While many other materials require time-consuming and costly upkeeps, such inconveniences are unnecessary with stucco. It only needs repainting every few years or after storms occur. As a result, you’ll enjoy having less work and expenses on your hands.
Cons of Stucco Siding
While stucco is a beautiful way to clad your home, it does have some drawbacks.
Stucco Installation is Expensive
Installing stucco is an expensive process. It involves careful mixing of the ingredients to ensure the material won’t crack within a few years. Because of this, you will have to hire professional stucco contractors that can add to your expenses. Note that the installation costs vary depending on the size of your house.
According to Modernize, the average price to coat a 1,500 sq. ft. home ranges from USD$7,500 to USD$15,370. This option might be cheaper than stone or wood, but it’s undoubtedly more expensive than alternatives, like vinyl and fiber cement.
It’s Prone to Cracks
Stucco siding has been around for centuries, but it’s not without its flaws. The most significant disadvantage of using stucco siding for your home exterior is that it can be prone to cracks and other imperfections as time passes. Also, watch out for sudden temperature changes as this can cause the material to contract and fissure.
Finally, never forget that it doesn’t hold up well to earthquakes and vibrations. Knowing this, reconsider using stucco if you live near an active fault, such as on the West Coast.
Susceptible to Moisture
Although it’s one of the popular aesthetic elements for beautifying a home, stucco is not good at protecting against water. When moisture comes in contact with the exterior of your home, it can seep through to the interior and cause severe damage. This risk becomes even greater if you live in an area that experiences a lot of rain or snowfall throughout the year. So, it’s not advisable to use stucco in wet regions, like the Pacific Northwest.
Depending on your location, needs, and budget, stucco siding is a good home exterior option to consider. It’s perfect for those in dry climates and can be applied in many styles and colors. It might not be the most affordable siding out there, but it does its job well when installed correctly.