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Stucco Maintenance Tips

Tips on Stucco Maintenance

Stucco, because it is a cement-based material, can be extremely durable. When properly mixed and installed, it can be virtually maintenance free. However, some people do not particularly like the color of stucco in its natural state. Also, in some climates, it is advantageous to protect stucco. For example, in hot, dry climates, stucco may experience excessive efflorescence caused by rain water or sprinkler water which saturates unprotected stucco. Stucco, in wet climates, can absorb water and cause interior damage. You need to study the climate factors in your area and plan accordingly. There are publications which can help you.

Efflorescence growing in the mortar of a brick fireplace. PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Hannum

Efflorescence growing in the mortar of a brick fireplace. PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Hannum

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) has several fine publications which deal with stucco. Two of them immediately come to mind. The Concrete Masonry Handbook and The Homeowner's Guide to Building with Concrete, Brick, & Stone have very good descriptions covering stucco or Portland cement plaster, as it is commonly referred to. Also, be sure to check out the PCA's online Bookstore. While much of their literature is written for the professional, much of it is very clear and understandable for the average homeowner. Many of their books and pamphlets may interest you.

Over the years, I've seen many different spellings of efflorescence. Here's my growing list: effervesce, effervescence, effervescent, effleresants, effloreflance, efflorescence, efflorressance, effluorescence, eflorescence, eflorescents, ellforesce and ifflorescence.

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