Stucco is a relatively low-maintenance type of home exterior, but it does still require some attention from time to time. You can keep it in great shape and looking house painters toronto good as ever with just a bit of effort. Here are the fundamentals of cleaning and maintaining your stucco exterior.
About once per year, you’ll want to inspect for damage and do a thorough cleaning. Cracks or breakage can occur, and it’s best to catch these damages early on, while they’re still simple to repair. A once-yearly cleaning will keep dirt from accumulating heavily in porous openings. In areas with certain types of weather or other contributing conditions, you may want to do these inspections more often. For example, a stucco house right next to a dirt road could need cleaning much more frequently than most houses of the same type.
Another important thing to look for during these inspections is openings where moisture might have settled in and caused mold. If caught early enough, this isn’t difficult to get rid of. Apply some bleach to the area and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, simply rinse the bleach off, and the mold should be gone. If it’s not, try applying more and working at the area a bit with a soft brush. Rinse again. If it’s still there, then it has probably been a problem for too long, and you will need to hire a professional.
To thoroughly clean exterior stucco, all you’ll usually need is a garden hose. You can also use a power washer, if you prefer. Begin by spraying down the base of the wall along the ground until dirt starts to wash away. Work your way upward with the hose, bottom to top, until you’ve covered the entire wall. Make sure any dirt running off has been rinsed completely from the surface of the wall. For your basic annual cleaning, this will often be sufficient.
If there are sections that were particularly dirty or stained, then you can use some mild soap and water with a soft scrub brush. When you’ve got the area clean, rinse away any soap that’s left.
Once the entire wall is clean, then you can start looking for any damage that might need repairing. Small cracks can usually be filled with caulk. Larger cracks will need to be well cleaned out and filled with a mortar mix.
Some types of damage will require the help of a professional. Vertical cracks can indicate problems with your foundation, so if you find any of these, call an expert. Water damage, excessive mold, termites, or serious structural damage are also jobs for professionals.
Just to be clear, these tips are for real stucco siding only, not for the synthetic type. Synthetic requires an entirely different maintenance and cleaning routine. If you don’t know whether you have the real kind or synthetic, there are some simple ways to tell. Synthetic will sound hollow rather than solid when you knock on it. It’s also not as hard and stable if you push on it.