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The Basics of Stucco

The Basics of Stucco

Stucco is a cement-based mixture used as a cover for both interior and exterior walls. It is frequently used for Mission or Spanish-style homes. To create stucco, cement is combined with water and inert materials like sand and lime. Stucco is currently the predominant exterior finish for both residential and commercial structures in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida.

When stucco is going to be used as the exterior finish of a house, wooden walls, or some other material, are covered with tar paper. Once the tar paper is applied, either chicken wire or galvanized metal screening is laid over the paper. This acts as a sort of frame work for the stucco which makes the entire structure stronger. Once the framework is in place, the first of stucco’s three layers can be applied. The material can be hand-applied or sprayed. Once applied, stucco can be troweled smooth, hand-textured, floated to a sand finish, or sprayed.

While stucco first became popular in the United States during the 20th century, the idea is far from new. Stucco, as a building material or decorative finish, has been in use since the ancient Greeks and Romans first used it for wall frescoes. The techniques developed by the Romans and Greeks were expanded upon and elaborated by the Italians during the Renaissance. During this time, the material spread throughout Europe. During the Renaissance, the Italians used a marble dust compound. This compound, when used for decorative purposes, could be molded into decorative shapes and then either polished to a sheen or painted.

Starting in the 1950s, a large number of builders started using a variety of synthetic materials to resemble stucco. These materials are frequently composed of foam insulation board or cement panels. While these synthetics look like real stucco, there are some significant differences. For starters, authentic stucco is heavier than these synthetic materials. In addition, genuine stucco sounds solid when it is tapped. It is also less likely to be damaged by a blow of some sort to the wall. Also, real stucco holds up well in wet conditions. It absorbs moisture and is porous but it also dries easily and without damage to the structure.

When buying a house that has a stucco exterior, it is important to check to make sure that the material used is not EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems). This synthetic material frequently has moisture problems. These moisture problems allow the underlying wood to rot which is a costly repair to make.

If you are considering stucco for the exterior finish for your home, please visit http://www.brchomes.com to find more information on stucco and custom homes. Their professional team will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have concerning stucco and the home-building process.