Taking Care of Your Cement Re-Stucco
Stucco is one of the most durable finishes you will find on buildings. It is made from all-natural mineral materials; painting will never be necessary if cared for properly. Over time, stucco benefits from an occasional cleaning to remove airborne dust or other atmospheric matter. Occasionally, a lawn mower or garden tool might chip a corner, or some other minor repair might be needed. The following information will help you to take care of your stucco finish
Like any building material, stucco needs occasional care to keep its appearance fresh and clean. Here are a few simple things you can and should do to keep it looking its best
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
Be sure to keep irrigation systems directed away from your stucco wall.
Stucco walls are expected to get wet and hold up to our local weather conditions. But stucco walls are expected to dry out after our local rains. Constant wetting of the wall due to sprinklers wetting them every few days will not dry out causing the cement and stucco to detreated. Over time, sprinkler systems could discolor your wall and might cause mildew (a fungus), or efflorescence (a whitish powdery “bloom”) to form. Lemon Grove Stucco recommends that you adjust your sprinkler system so no water hits the walls.
Weed whips and lawn equipment are a very big problem.
You or your Gardner need to take great care not to hit the base of your stucco walls. Hitting the walls every week with lawn equipment is Shure to cause you stucco damage that is not covered by Lemon Grove Stucco’s guarantee or anybody else’s guarantee.
Wash your exterior stucco a few times a year to keep its surface clean and its color bright.
#1. HERE’S HOW: Pre-Wet: Use a garden hose with a jet nozzle to prewet the wall over its entire surface. Pre-wetting will overcome absorption, preventing the stucco finish from absorbing dirty wash water. Set your hose nozzle to a medium to coarse spray. Start at the bottom and wet the surface all the way to the top.
#2. Wash: When the surface has been pre-wet, adjust the hose nozzle to a “pressure stream” and direct the stream of water against the wall to loosen dirt and dust. This time, start at the top and work down to the bottom. “Caked-on” dirt, if present might require loosening with a brush. To avoid eroding some finishes, do NOT hold the nozzle too close to the surface
#3. Use Cleanser if Necessary: Sometimes, a mild cleanser might be needed to remove stains. We recommend a mild solution of trisodium phosphate, also known as “TSP,” available from most paint and/or hardware stores. If you use a different product, be sure it is water-soluble (dissolves completely in water) and is safe for Portland cement, lime and oxide pigment colors. Do NOT use soap or dish washing liquid. Always test the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area first to be sure it is safe for your wall.
#4. Rinse: Flush the wall thoroughly with clean water to remove loosened dirt and cleansers.
#5. If you find mildew: Wash the affected area with a mild solution of household bleach. Always observe proper safety precautions when using any chemical or cleanser. Never allow children access to household chemicals or cleansers.
#6. If you find efflorescence: Spray the affected area with white vinegar. This should neutralize the alkaline efflorescence. After a few minutes – and before the vinegar dries – rinse the area with clean water. Efflorescence is usually caused by Soils Laden with salts. Or a combination of cool weather and excessive moisture including fog and the ambient air temperature.
WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO
NEVER Use harsh detergents or cleansers that can damage portland cement, lime or oxide pigment colors.
NEVER. Hold the hose nozzle too close to the stucco surface. A forceful, high-pressure jet of water held too close could damage certain stucco finishes.
NEVER. Place ladders against the walls.
NEVER. Weed whip against the stucco walls.
NEVER. Allow standing water at the base of your walls.
RELATED HELPFUL PRODUCTS… Eventually every homeowner has to make a small repair or “spruce up” an aging wall. Here are some specialty products owners of stucco homes might find useful.
To repair chipped corners and small spalls use Exterior Color Coat Patch. The Patch material is available in 30 standard colors. If you do not have a standard color on your home, choose the standard color that is the closest match to your stucco. After the patch has dried, if it does not match use a fog coat in the color that was applied to your home.
To renew older, faded stucco surfaces, or to repair stubborn stains on newer surfaces, use Fog coat. Fog coat is available at all stucco supply companies. If walls show a lot of imperfections like old window patches or old repairs, Old layers of pealing and fading paint. Lemon Grove Stucco recommends re stuccoing your home. Call us at 619-482-0022.