If you’re like most people, you chose a house with a stucco exterior because you love the look and style of stucco and you thought it would be maintenance free.  While stucco is a durable alternative to siding and can last for the lifetime of a home, it still requires periodic maintenance.

Get into the habit of inspecting your stucco at least once a year.  Springtime is a good time because you can check for any damage that may have occurred over the winter. Also, your landscaping isn’t in the way of your ability to view your house from roof line to foundation.

Examine your stucco for hairline cracks, vertical cracks running from the roof line, cracks around windows and doors and at any point of transition such as a corner.  Repairs should be made on cracks that are 1/16 of an inch or larger.  If cracks are not promptly attended to and properly repaired, water from rain and snow can make its way through the stucco and begin to rot the wood sheathing or wood framing components.

Stucco should have a protective coating of some type to protect the surface.  We highly recommend elastomeric paint which is a rubberized paint that makes stucco even more durable and easier to maintain. While the applied cost of elastomeric is high (elastomeric paint coverage rate is 50 to 100 square feet per gallon versus 250 to 400 square feet per gallon for a high quality exterior paint), and it’s more labor intensive to apply, it fills in existing hairline cracks and has great flexibility that actually bridges any future hairline cracks.

Elastomeric paint is our first choice for protecting and preserving your stucco.  It waterproofs most surfaces, can withstand wind-driven rains, and it blocks UV rays.  It’s easy to clean using soap and water, and is available in all colors.  Assuming proper surface preparation and product application, it lasts significantly longer than most high quality exterior paints.  And having a product that “treats” those hairline cracks without having to go through the challenge and expense of crack repair is icing on the cake!