What Is Stucco?

exterior stucco toronto

When it comes to covering the exterior walls of your home or building, you have many options. Stucco is one of the most common materials used to cover the outside of homes. When applied properly, stucco improves the visual aesthetics and increases the resale value of your home. It also protects your home from many natural hazards.

What is Stucco?

Stucco is an inexpensive coating applied to the exterior of homes. It is made of natural materials. When applied properly and maintained, stucco can last for years, giving the outside of your home an attractive coating. There are two different types of stucco:

  • Traditional stucco
  • Modern/contemporary stucco

What is Stucco Made of?

water resistant stucco

Traditional stucco is made of sand, water, and lime. Lime is used because it increases the permeability and workability of both modern and traditional stucco mixes. Traditional stucco requires three coats to cover your home’s exterior. It is usually made on site and applied to the exterior soon after mixing.

exterior stucco house in Toronto

Modern stucco, also called Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) is made of sand, water, and Portland cement. Portland cement is the most common type of cement and is used in many products. Other products like acrylics and glass fibers are sometimes added to modern stucco to improve its structural properties. The more contemporary mixture is premixed and is applied in one coat.

Pros and Cons of Stucco

Old style stucco

Like other exterior coatings, there are many pro’s and cons to using stucco on your home’s exterior. Consulting with a professional installer can help address your questions and concerns.

Pro’s of Using Stucco:

Visually appealing
Durable
Weather resistant
Fire resistant
Cost effective
Wide range of available colours and textures
Can be applied to masonry brick, cement, wood, steel, cinder blocks, clay bricks, and adobe
Can be painted after it is applied
white stucco exterior of a house

One of the reasons stucco is popular is because it is an inexpensive product that can be applied to almost any surface. The versatility of the compound makes it coat all areas of your home without a lot of excess work or materials. Once applied stucco can last for years.

stucco finish

Stucco is also an easy material to colour. Pigmentations can be added to the mixture before it is applied to your home so you can create the colour of your choice. It can also be painted after it is applied to your exterior walls so you can change the colour of your home fairly easily.

stucco designed exterior

This gives homeowners the opportunity to customize their home by adding their personal touch to the exterior surface.

Adding to the curb appeal and individuality, stucco also comes in different textures so, once applied, you can create an outdoor look that is unique.

facade stucco and stonework

Stucco is a durable product that protects your home. Once applied, the stucco coating will shield your home from many natural elements like cold, rain, winds, and other weather conditions. It is also resistant to fire and heat, keeping the interior of your home safe.

Stucco Cons:

Stucco is porous
It is not good in humid, wet areas
Crumbles easily in wet environments
Is a challenging material to fix
Requires more maintenance in wet, snowy, cold regions
Repairs can be expensive
If not applied correctly, stucco can bulge, crack or separate

One of the biggest drawbacks is that it is not effective in all climates. If you live in a very wet area, stucco is not the best option. Because it is porous, the moisture breaks down stucco so it crumbles easily.

stucco durability

When applied properly, stucco looks great. However, as easy as it looks to put on your outer walls, there are things you need to do to make sure it is properly applied. If stucco is not put on properly, it will crack, bulge, and separate from your walls.

Classic stucco exterior

Although stucco is a cost effective material to use, repairing stucco can be quite expensive. The more you have to fix, the higher your maintenance costs will be. Poorly applied stucco can be challenging and pricey to correct. If you do not know what you are doing, it is always better to hire a professional to do the job.

Stucco, like other outdoor facades, requires regular maintenance. Over time, the stucco surface will crack, break, or crumble off your home’s exterior. Exposed areas are vulnerable to weather and critter damage. Open spots can create opportunities for moisture, insects, rodents, and other natural hazards to enter your home.

eifs stucco house toronto

Poorly maintained stucco also loses its visual appeal once too much damage becomes visible. If there are highly visible cracks or bald spots on your home’s exterior, this will take away from the aesthetic look of your home. Regular maintenance is important to keep the outside of your home looking nice.

Why Choose Stucco for Your Home Exterior

Stucco is a natural, cost effective coating that not only protects your home but adds character and customization to your home’s exterior. While there are some drawbacks to using stucco, the benefits far outweigh any cons. Once applied properly to your outside walls, stucco will give you a visually appealing, unique look that will last for years while protecting your most valued possession.

Do-it-yourself applications are good if you do not know what you are doing. However, if you are inexperienced with stucco applications, or have large areas to cover, it is always better to hire an expert to do the job. Professionals will do the job properly the first time so you don’t have to face high repair costs later on.

Reputable businesses are also insured and guarantee their work. If cracking or bubbling occurs, they will fix it properly at no additional cost to you. This gives homeowners peace of mind.

At Exterior by Design, we can help you choose the best stucco for your home’s exterior surfaces. We are a proudly Canadian company that specializes in stucco applications and repairs. Our expert staff can help you create a unique, beautiful exterior that will last for years.

Exterior stucco design with stone siding