Stucco has been used for generations and has undergone a few changes in composition and application. While it is an older type of material, it is still used today in many areas.
Stucco is a material used in architectural projects for walls and ceilings; it is also used for sculpting and other artistic endeavors in the architectural world. While used for well more than one hundred years, this material has undergone a few changes in an effort to improve its usability and longevity. This brief look at the history of stucco will help you understand how and where it is used and what materials are used in its composition.
Initially, stucco was made from lime and sand and was used both on the interior and exterior of building projects. When used outside, it was applied over a hard surface such as brick or stone. Traditionally, application of this material was accomplished in three coats. A scratch coat was the first coat and was allowed to fully dry or "cure" before any other coats were applied. The next coat, the brown coat, was applied and leveled to make sure the surface was smooth and even. Once the brown coat had completely dried, the top coat was applied. This top coat (called a finish coat) was typically completed by hand and it was here that the artistic elements were added. Typically, this covering was known by its unique texture.
In more recent times, stucco has gone through some changes to make it more durable and useful. There is usually some sort of support built into the process to reinforce it and prevent cracking. Often, today's applications are completed in a two-step process instead of the traditional three-step process. However, there are several different techniques that can be used in the successful application of this building material.
Stucco is loved for its durability and low maintenance needs. You are probably most familiar with seeing this material on Spanish style homes, although it is not limited to that type of application. Since the process (and even the materials used in the composition) has changed since it was first used, its longevity and usability has increased.
If you are considering using stucco for a building project, you should consider hiring a company that has extensive knowledge and experience in the proper application process that yields beautiful results. Ask for estimates from a few different companies, and also ask them if any buildings in your local area have used them for this type of job. If so, it will behoove you to check out the work and see if you like how it looks. Seeing a company's work first-hand will help you decide if you like the look that they produce.
While this building material has been used for generations, it still has a lot of merit in the right situations. Do not write it off as an option simply because it is not the "latest and greatest" in the building world. Sometimes the tried and true options look the best in the long run anyway.
Cleaning stucco walls is easy to do also. The most you need to do every few months or even once a year is spray down the stucco really good with a garden hose. The color of your home may not even appear to be dirty but when you spray down the stucco you can see a fresh paint job again. Dirt and grime washes off easily just by spraying it down with a hose.
Stucco walls are preferred by a large number of homeowners today because of the cost savings, durability, and lack of maintenance required. Stucco can be sprayed down, it is easy to make repairs to cracks, and it is not susceptible to damage from extreme weather conditions. Stucco finishes are just mixtures of cement that are extremely durable to almost anything. This type of siding will last a homeowner for many years without having to do anything.