Stucco finishes are increasingly gaining popularity again amongst many home and business owners for its cost-effectiveness and stability. Stucco is essentially a mix of Portland cement, sand, lime and water and is applied over a base on concrete masonry. It is applied wet and sets hard over a period of time until it achieves the desired aesthetic look and weather durability. Weather is a key factor for proper stucco installation as it plays a vital role in giving that smooth, perfect finish.
Contrary to popular belief, the ideal time to install stucco is fall and not summer as fall temperatures (early to mid 20 degrees Celsius) are more conducive for uniform stucco installation.
Fall v/s Other Weathers
A quick comparison of different weathers vis-à-vis stucco installation will throw more light on the importance of choosing the right weather for installing stucco.
- Hot summer weather (temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degree Celsius) can rapidly dry out the water in the stucco mixture that can develop cracks if not hydrated properly. Quick evaporation also means more water is required to keep the stucco mixture hydrated.
- Cracked stucco can lead to more damage to the wall and will require more time to fix thereby leading to longer work hours and increased labour cost.
- Spring too is not the best time, as, in recent years, spring has been wetter (received more rain and frost) than ever before that may hinder timely drying of stucco.
- Winters pose the problem of uneven and delayed drying as snow can cause stucco to freeze and crack while untimely showers can prolong the drying process.
- Cold weather also makes the stucco wall prone to efflorescence, which can cause further damage.
Looking at the above points, it is evident that fall is best suited for stucco installation, however, it is suggested to check the weather forecast in advance before starting any siding work.