A siding is the material used to protect the walls from damage, that can be caused by external forces, like wind, rain, temperature fluctuations, etc. Even the aesthetic appeal of the material is taken into consideration, while choosing the right siding. Stucco is one of the widely used siding materials.
Use of stucco has been traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Earlier, stucco was made of lime water and sand. This mixture was used for plastering both the interior as well as the exterior surfaces, and also for making artworks. Even plant and animal fibers were added to this mixture to make it extra strong.
However, with the invention of Portland cement in the nineteenth century, the composition of stucco changed. People started adding Portland cement to sand, lime, and water, for making stucco. This mixture was applied on a base, that can be a lath or a wire mesh that is attached to the wall.
Now, stucco is applied in three layers, and the outer layer is covered with an acrylic-polymer finish, that can expand and contract with weather changes. This prevents cracking of the surfaces. Nowadays, a new type of stucco has been introduced, and this form involves use of fiberglass mesh and styrofoam base.
In this modern version, a foam insulation board is attached to the substrate. Above that, a mixture of resin and cement is applied, and this base coat is reinforced with fiberglass mesh. A textured finish coat is applied over the base coat. Stucco is now available as siding panels too.
Pros and Cons
Stucco is strong, durable, and needs little maintenance. Apart from that, this siding can provide a natural finish to the exterior surfaces. It is also good for insulation purposes, and so is energy efficient. While traditional stucco is cheaper than the modern version, the latter is found to provide a higher rate of insulation.
It is also resistant to changing weather conditions and fire. Nowadays, stucco comes in a wide range of colors to choose from. In case of synthetic stucco, you may also use ornate keystones, cornerstones, etc.
As compared to some other types of house siding materials, stucco can be expensive and difficult to install. In some cases, this siding may develop cracks and crevices. While modern stucco siding may not crack, it may trap moisture that can lead to mold problems.
The method of stucco installation may also vary with the type of surface. It is different for concrete, wood, etc. Even though it is said to be of low maintenance, sometimes stucco siding requires repair work.
In short, you must have a basic understanding about the possible stucco siding problems and benefits, before investing in this siding material. Gather information about the cost, and compare it with the price of other materials. Once you are sure that stucco is ideal as a siding for your construction, then you may go ahead with it.
Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert advice.