You can’t beat the gorgeous look of stucco for a Southern California home. This distinctive siding material is perfect for—but not limited to—Spanish and Mediterranean home architecture. It’s one of the oldest “natural” types of siding on the market today. If installed correctly, it maintains its beauty and insulates a home well from the elements.
One of the most appealing attributes is its looks. From soft shades to deep earthy tones, it is paired with everything from a flat roof and clay tile roof to pitched roofing with shingles or metal materials. Homeowners also appreciate stucco’s fire resistance. A one-inch coating of stucco will help prevent the spread of fire from one side of your home’s wall to the other for at least an hour.
But amidst these pros come some cons if your stucco wasn’t installed correctly. Due to its brittle nature, it will crack if your house foundation settles. And as stucco ages, even if your home’s foundation is firm, it can develop cracks.
Why Stucco Crumbles
When stucco isn’t installed correctly, damage may occur over the years. Hairline cracks are typically the first sign there’s a problem, and whether they are caused by improper installation or foundation shifting, they need to be dealt with.
As time progresses, if left untreated, cracks in your stucco siding can become large and chunks of stucco can actually fall off your home. If that’s the case, and damage is limited, you can have the needed repairs completed and have professionals apply texture coating to fortify your home exterior.
Moisture Trapped Behind the Walls
Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS) , when installed correctly, has a built-in drainage system. But older homes with EIFS in them are beginning to experience moisture and rotting issues from water infiltration. If the EIFS wasn’t installed properly when the home was built, it will eventually create the need for costly repairs.
Exterior wall rot occurs when moisture is trapped behind any siding cladding that causes it to mold and rot. Wall rot is hard to spot because it’s not visible. Porous cladding like stucco and EIFS are more likely to allow water to penetrate, enter the wall itself, and cause deterioration.
Damage done by trapped water can be an expensive hassle to fix. When water seeps behind stucco with nowhere to escape, it gets trapped. Ninety-five percent of homes with wall rot can be traced back to the stucco and house wrap bonding together.
If you see discoloration on your home exterior, you may have wall rot. Dark spots can be mildew showing through the wall and can indicate mold growing inside. It’s vital to have a reputable siding professional evaluate the situation promptly.
What To Do If You Notice Signs of Stucco Damage
Do a Thorough Visual Inspection
A careful look at your home exterior can help you spot hairline cracks caused by foundation settling. Additionally, look for stucco stains, stucco moss, crumbling stucco, indentations and soft spots that indicate problems ranging from water intrusion to pest infestation.
To verify stucco damage, contact a reputable contractor to have it inspected.
Repair and Prevent Damage With Texture Coating
Texture coating works well to both repair your stucco and prevent future damage. Not only will your stucco’s hairline cracks get fixed, but also—you can stop painting your home forever! Texture coating is mold and mildew resistant and reflects the California heat. It shields your home from the damaging effects of sun, wind, rain, smog, and aging. It helps lower your home’s exterior temperature, resulting in energy savings that add up.
This non-toxic, environmentally friendly, protective coating for your home weatherproofs it to prevent future damage. It resists harmful UV rays, keeps your home from fading, and resists moisture and harsh chemicals. And it’s guaranteed against peeling, chipping, flaking, and cracking.
Eliminate Stucco Problems by Replacing it with a More Durable Product
If stucco damage is extensive, it may be time for your stucco to be removed and replaced. If you decide on stucco replacement, just be sure you have a reputable contractor who has a track record of success installing it. Stucco has plenty of pros, and if you have it installed correctly, you are less apt to run into any problems with cracks in the future.
At Approved Contractor, we recommend James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding. The great thing about Hardie Board siding is that it is super durable. It can mimic the look of stucco siding, yet give you the longevity and low maintenance you desire. HardiePlank’s track record of lasting up to 50 years is a substantial reason to consider this option. So if you love the look of stucco, Hardie siding delivers—while requiring almost no repairs over its long lifetime.
Protect Your Home with a More Durable Siding
You don’t have to settle for subpar performance from your siding. There are a host of benefits to siding replacement with James Hardie, including:
- Maximize your home’s curb appeal
- Protect your biggest investment from the elements
- Boost your energy savings throughout the year
- Enjoy the beautiful home you’ve been dreaming of
We’re a James Hardie Elite Preferred contractor, so we’re trained by the Hardie company according to their strict installation standards, ensuring your 30-year warranty will be honored. If you’re considering replacing your stucco with siding, check out our siding services.