What Exactly Is Stucco, Anyway?

What Exactly Is Stucco, Anyway?

April 24, 2020

You’ve almost certainly come across stucco at some point in your life, even if you weren’t aware of it. It’s a very popular exterior and even interior finish in a wide variety of climates. While it’s most commonly associated with places like the southwestern United States, or places like Florida that see year-round warmth, it is also becoming more common in other more temperate regions of the country.

It’s easy to see why stucco has become so popular in Bluffton, SC and beyond—it adds a lot of character to surfaces on which it is applied, and has a lot of natural, beautiful charm to it without coming across as being too over-the-top. But what exactly is stucco, and how is it formed and applied? Here’s a quick overview of what you should know before making the decision to go with stucco surfaces for your own home.

What is stucco?

Stucco is a type of cement. While its texture and general appearance upon application might more closely resemble plaster due to its consistency and the way in which it is applied, its composition is much closer to that of cement. Unlike plaster (but like cement) it is resistant to water exposure and temperature swings, but manages to give you an attractive appearance that is seamless and textured.

There are some other major benefits associated with stucco that have led to its popularity increasing in many parts of the country, even those where it might not be fully expected. It is resistant to glare, highly affordable and makes for a surprisingly efficient method of insulation. While it isn’t the greatest with regard to trapping heat, there are still plenty of ways to work around that with modern stucco formulations and various types of additional high-quality insulations.

The primary advantage of stucco is that, once it’s applied, it forms a single continuous structure. It’s highly pliable, so it can be spread over a surface just like cement. Once applied, it must be allowed to cure into a solid shell. While this sounds similar to plaster, there are some key differences, mostly in that stucco is nowhere near as fragile. While it won’t give you the same level of durability as concrete, it is still more than capable of holding up to bumps, scuffs and impacts without needing much in the way of repair.

Stucco is also greatly resistant to water, heat and cold, so it can be applied in both interiors and exteriors by using essentially the same procedure.

There are some drawbacks to be aware of. The material can be a little difficult to handle once it starts to fatigue, so you’ll need to take appropriate remediation steps before it becomes too far gone. This might, in some cases, involve tearing the entire layer of stucco down from a wall, along with its sheathing and insulation, and rebuilding it back up. It’s also not particularly great at containing heat, which is more of an issue for people in cooler climates.

To learn more about stucco in Bluffton, SC, we encourage you to contact Spring Construction today.

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