Frequently Asked Questions
How do I maintain my stucco?
Cleaning your home's exterior:
Dirt, soil, atmosphere deposited dusts, and roof
run-off stains from dirt that settle on the roof
should be removed to maintain the stucco on
your home. Most stains caused by the above-mentioned
items can be removed, if addressed in a timely manner,
following the steps listed below.
1. Pre-wet the wall, saturating it. Start at the
bottom and work to the top.
2. Use a garden hose to direct a pressure stream
of water against the wall to loosen the dirt.
Start at the top and wash the dirt down the
wall. Caked-on dirt may require brushing.
3- Mild cleaners may be used to remove stains,
Choose water-soluble cleaners that will not
attack Portland cement, lime, or oxide
4. Flush remaining dirt off the wall with a
In the event you encounter a stain that cannot
be removed by using the above steps, refinishing,
fog coating, or brush coating may restore the
original color. If possible, try to obtain the color
number and stucco manufacturer's information
for future maintenance
Refinishing or Recoloring:
When it becomes time to refinish your stucco
system, you have several options. If you need
to patch some damaged areas (e.g., around new
windows or doors), use your stucco manufacturer's
color number to order new stucco to match your
existing finish. Keep in mind that your home may
fade in color over time, and if your home is old,
you may need to ask the manufacturer to match
the color of your home in their Color Lab. It is
recommended that, if you are not familiar with
the application of cementitious stucco products,
you use a qualified stucco contractor for your
Stucco surfaces that have not been painted can
be completely recolored using Fog Coat. This
product is also useful to even out color variations
and finish off patched areas. Fog Coat is a
cement-based paint that is available in all the
same colors as stucco. It is mixed with water
and sprayed or brushed onto the stucco surface
to recolor the building: Since it is cement based,
it forms a tenacious mechanical bond with the
underlying cement surfaces and will not chip,
peel or flake.
Finally, there are a few preventative maintenance
steps that may be followed to assist in the
upkeep of your exterior finish.
l. Installation of gutters and downspouts is the
best way to prevent staining and efflorescence
on the exterior walls.
2. Lining the first few feet of planters with rock,
gravel, bark, ete. will prevent dirt from splash-
ing on the walls during seasonal weather
conditions. Caution: All sprinkler and irriga-
tion systems must be directed away from all
exterior stucco walls.
3- Installing concrete walkways soon after move-
in will also help to keep your walls clean and
dirt free. When installing hardscape or land-
scape, (i.e. brick, cement, planters, pavers,
rough landscaping) make sure to maintain
proper clearances from the weep screed per
4. Window cleaning solutions should be rinsed
off so that they are not left to dissolve or dry
on the stucco surface.
Over time, rust and dirt accumulates on metal
accessories such as windowsills, light fixtures,
vents, ete. and must be removed periodically
to prevent stain deposits on the stucco surface.
Trims, flashings and building accessories need
to be maintained so that water intrusion behind
the weather resistive barrier does not occur.
Cracking will occur on most residential homes
finished with exterior cement based plaster.
Cracking is typical in cement based plaster
systems and in most cases is not considered a
defect. Most cracks are caused by building
settlement and shrinkage, which is typical and
expected in cement plaster systems. It is impor-
tant to note that these cracks do not jeopardize
the water resistant properties of your stucco
system. The weather resistive barrier is located
beneath the cement coating. This is the compo-
nent that protects your home from moisture
Three-coat stucco systems are designed with
protection against water penetration (i.e. around
windows, doors, cracks, etc.). Any moisture that
penetrates the weather-resistant barrier drains
out at the weepscreed. This is why it is extremely
important-to keep finish grades, such as planters
and concrete walkways, below the weep line.
For additional information, please consult the
stucco manufacturer's written recommendations.