Stucco – Maintenance and Post-Installation

Michelle-Garcia-Headshot | November 11th, 2021

Stucco house. Creative Commons CC2

The use of stucco in buildings is gaining increasing recognition. According to the Bureau’s Survey of Construction, stucco was the most common principal exterior material on homes in 2019, 27%. 

Stucco appears beautiful after installation. This leaves people with stucco houses with worries about how to maintain them. 

Do you have a stucco home or office, and you are wondering what changes to expect? You will find the answer to those questions in this article.


Can stucco get wet?

 Wetting stucco within 48 hours of installation is necessary to ensure the particles harden properly. Stucco can get wet after rainfall, but it often dries quickly. However, if stucco is still wet after a week of rainfall, this may be a warning sign of water infiltration. 

Once you notice the stucco is infiltrated with moisture, you need to fix it ASAP to prevent further destruction. If the damage is minimal, take these simple steps, and it is good as new. First, you need to remove the area damaged by moisture with a chisel. 

Then patch the area with another stucco. Allow it to dry and apply another layer of stucco. If the color does not match that on the wall, you can apply a layer of paint once the stucco is dry.

Can stucco be power washed?

stucco can be power washed
Keeping stucco clean with a power washer is a safe idea. But, high pressure should be avoided.

Stucco can be power washed. However, ensure there is adequate distance between the nozzle and the wall. In addition, you should consider the intensity of the power washer before deciding to do it yourself or hiring a professional. 

A power washer is an easy alternative for keeping stucco clean. However, high pressure may damage the stucco. You may want to stick with 1500 PS1 and a 25-degree nozzle.

Can stucco be repaired?

Yes, you can repair the stucco. The first step in repairing stucco is to remove all damaged parts. The next step is to apply the mesh (i.e. bonding layer). Now, you are ready to start adding layers of stucco. You can also paint it if necessary.  Here are the types of damages that happen to stucco:

Repairing stucco is possible. The first step is removing the damaged parts.
  • Water stains: water stains may appear brownish on stucco. They are produced by the accumulation of water droplets, mostly due to poor drainage systems. 
  • Cracks: stucco can crack as it ages. Sometimes, it may be due to poor installation or shaking of the ground (earthquakes). Accumulation of moisture within can also cause stucco to crack. When you identify cracks on time, fixing them minimizes further damage.
  • Rust stains: rust stains may indicate the stucco has been infected with mold. If it is left to fester, it can spread and damage the stucco. 
  • Moisture retention: Stucco has good water-resistant properties. However, excess rainfall or humidity may cause moisture retention. You will notice the stucco still looks damp after several days of rainfall. This is a warning sign. 

You can do stucco repairs yourself or hire a professional to ensure you do not keep spending on repairs. 

Can stucco be removed?

Stucco can be removed when the damages are beyond repair. When you notice large cracks that run several meters, the stucco may need to be removed. Stains that are widespread and do not disappear on washing may also be a sign to remove stucco. 

In addition, when stucco begins to break off to create holes in several places, removal might be the best option. Stucco removal and reinstallation are quite expensive. However, frequent repairs will cost more, and the stucco is no longer durable or reliable.

Can stucco be painted?

Green-colored material. Creative Commons – CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)

Yes, you can paint stucco. You may decide to go with dark, light, or bold colors for stucco. Stucco is a durable finish for your home. However, it should be repainted once every five years to maintain it. Painting stucco increases the lifespan of stucco. 

Although stucco is fairly water-proof, painting it increases stucco’s resistance to moisture. Painting stucco significantly enhances its appearance and plays a role in covering stains.   

Will stucco stick to plastic?

 Stucco did not seem to be an ideal finishing agent over earlier plastic building papers. The plastic building papers were made with a lot of cellulose, and this prevented adherence with stucco. 

However, recent plastic building papers have undergone modification such that stucco can stick on them. If you want the plastic and stucco combination to last, you may need to add a layer of paper bond break. 

Will stucco stick to concrete?

Stucco can stick on concrete. Therefore, you can apply stucco directly on a concrete surface. To apply stucco on a concrete surface, it has to be clean and solid. Furthermore, you need to apply a layer of concrete bonding agent to the concrete before applying the desired layers of stucco. 

Will stucco stick to brick?

Brick house. Creative Commons – CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)

Stucco is an excellent finishing for brick homes. You can apply stucco directly to brick. It will stick without the aid of an adhesive because it is a masonry product. Some particles like dirt and paint may prevent the bonding of the stucco with the brick wall. 

Therefore, you may need to wash the surface of the brick to facilitate adherence. Stucco is an alternative for covering damaged or boring brick walls. However, ensure you fill up any crack in the brick wall before the installation of stucco.  

Will stucco stick to Styrofoam?

Stucco is a desired option for several surfaces in construction. Installation of stucco on Styrofoam is an area that is not popular. 

The Styrofoam surface has to be prepared with joint tapes and lath to ensure the stucco sticks for a successful installation. This also ensures that the stucco protects the Styrofoam from excess moisture and sound insulation.

Will stucco stick to the cement board?

Yes, Stucco will stick to cement boards but not without extensive preparation of the surface. Before applying stucco, you need to cover the cement board with a layer of fiberglass mesh.

Will stucco stick to metal?

Stucco will stick to the metal with the right adherence material. Usually, a steel mesh is applied first to the metal before installing the stucco. However, you need to consider the type of metal, its weight, and other properties in determining the type of stucco to use.

You can apply stucco on wooden surfaces, Creative Commons – Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Will stucco stick to wood?

Yes, stucco will stick to wood. You can apply stucco on old wooden surfaces to give it a new look. Stucco serves as the perfect finish for new wooden surfaces in the house. However, a layer of adhesion is necessary between the wood and stucco. 

Will stucco stick to paint?

Painted surfaces are not ideal for stucco, as they do not allow bonding. However, careful washing out of excess paint and other impurities may aid in the bonding process. An adhesive layer is very important for stucco application over a painted surface.

Stucco can be applied and used with several different surfaces 

For everyone who has stucco finishing in their houses or offices, proper care ensures it remains durable in optimum condition. Avoid regular power washing as it can destroy the stucco. Do a routine inspection to identify any cracks or mildew.

 You may need to hire a professional to clean the stucco to maintain its integrity. In addition, seal any cracks or holes immediately when you notice them. Finally, use cleaning agents in the appropriate proportion for cleaning stucco.

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