Cement Stucco FAQ
1. Why do small cracks appear in my stucco finish?
As stucco cures, some of the water it contains evaporates. This causes the stucco to shrink slightly. As it shrinks, small cracks called “check cracking” might appear. Applying stucco finishes in hot, dry weather tends to increase check cracking in stucco. Some check cracking in stucco is normal. And is not the fault of the stucco installer.
2. I have noticed slight color variations or “blotches” in my stucco finish. What caused this and how can I even out the color?
Usually, spotty or “blotchy” stucco color is a result of variations in the thickness of the cement “basecoat” beneath the stucco finish. Slightly thicker areas can retain moisture longer. This drying pattern can cause the slower-drying areas to appear darker. Color variations can also be caused by patching of windows or other areas that there is a change in the underlying cement. Typically, this happens more during winter months and on shaded surfaces. An application of Fog coat can even out color variations, including those caused by cold or wet weather.
3. What is the white powdery substance I have near the base of my stucco wall? How can I remove it?
This is probably “efflorescence,” also known as “alkali.” Efflorescence or alkali consists of salts leached from the soil at the base of your walls that are exposed too excessive, saturating moisture. It appears as a whitish powdery “bloom” on the surface of the wall. This efflorescence is not the cause of the stucco installer. It is a condition of your soil. A wash down with white vinegar or another approved dilute acid solution, followed by a thorough flush with clear water will usually remove efflorescence. Taking care to direct sprinklers, irrigation systems or other sources of water away from stucco walls will help prevent it. Lemon Grove Recommends installing a brick or stone Vanier over the efflorescence areas.
4. What is the colored, fuzzy growth appearing along the bottoms of the exterior stucco walls near my flower beds? What can I do about it?
This sounds like colonies of mildew. These microscopic organisms are part of the natural life cycle of organic matter, including decay and composting of landscaping plants and mulches. Excessive moisture in flower beds, shrubs, mulch and other organic materials create ideal growing conditions for these organisms Wood shingle and tile roofs also create ideal growing conditions for these organisms. Prevent, or minimize, it by eliminating the excess moisture: be sure irrigation systems are not directed against walls and keep plants trimmed back to allow ample light and air circulation. Remove these discolorations from stucco and roof surfaces with household bleach followed by a thorough flush with clear water.
REMEMBER: Always keep bleaches and other chemicals away from children, and ALWAYS use the proper safety equipment – including eye protection – when working with any hazardous substance!
5. My house is several years old. How can I revive the color?
Most stucco colors darken slightly over time because they contain natural all-mineral ingredients. Unlike painted surfaces that have only a thin layer of paint that can fade, chip and/ or peel, stucco color is “integral.” This means stucco color extends through the entire stucco layer instead of only on the surface. Properly maintained exterior stucco can remain attractive for many years with only minimal changes. However, exposure to dust, dirt and air pollution over time can slightly change its color. An application of Fog coat is the best way to revitalize stucco. Fog coat is made specifically for stucco; therefore, it does not peel, fade or break down like paint. It is also economical to apply.
6. How can I change the color of my stucco? Is it OK to paint it?
Although stucco, like other masonry surfaces, can be painted this is neither the best nor the most economical way to change color. Over time, paint tends to fade, chip and peel away from stucco walls. Painted wall will re quire sand blasting for best trade practice. Because Cement fog coat is specifically formulated to be compatible with stucco surfaces and resist peeling and other problems associated with paint, we recommend using Fog Coat for all color change and revitalization projects. When changing stucco color and textures it is recommended that you re stucco the entire house or building. Always contact a reputable stucco contractor like Lemon Grove Stucco @ 619 482 0022
7. If I add a room or a concrete block wall to my property, how can I match the stucco color used on my home?
Lemon Grove Stucco keeps job speck records on all our jobs so we can always provide you with the color information. we will be more than happy to assist you. Remember, stucco colors darken slightly as they age. Be sure to consider this when purchasing new stucco to match an existing finish. You might need a slightly darker shade of the same color for older stucco. We recommend conducting a color test to compare the new color with the old before applying stucco to the entire addition. Lemon Grove Stucco recommends re stuccoing the entire wall.