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How Long Does Stucco Last

Stucco is one of the most popular and long-lasting home exterior siding materials. A stucco exterior can last over 80 years with proper maintenance and upkeep. This decorative, cement-based finish provides curb appeal, durability, and weather resistance if cared for correctly. Read on to learn key tips for keeping your home’s stucco exterior walls looking great and lasting as long as possible.

As a homeowner, it’s important to understand what’s required to get your home exterior stucco walls to last. Your stucco siding can maintain its optimal longevity and aesthetic with routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs. In our guide, you can learn more about keeping your home looking its best with traditional Stucco. By the end, you’ll better understand how using acrylic polymers means your home will only be painted every five years. (Read Smoke Coming Out Of Oven While Preheating)

Stucco Exterior Walls Last

How Long Will Professional Stucco Exterior Walls Last?

Many factors impact how long your home’s Stucco exterior walls will last before needing replacement. These include:

  • Installation Quality: Was the Stucco applied properly over an appropriate backing according to building codes? Quality installation is key to long-lasting, crack-free Stucco.
  • Climate: Is the Stucco exposed to extreme weather like frequent heavy rain, wind, humidity, and dampness? Climate plays a role in wear.
  • Maintenance: Is the Stucco routinely inspected, repaired, power washed, caulked, and repainted? Proper maintenance prevents deterioration. 
  • Quality of Materials: Were high-quality acrylic stucco materials used? Top products last longer.
  • Age: Stucco will require more repairs as it ages. New Stucco lasts longer than Stucco, nearing the end of its lifespan.

A stucco exterior can last 50-100 years with the above factors properly addressed!

How Often Should You Inspect Exterior Stucco Walls? 

To maximize lifespan, stucco walls should be inspected by a professional at least twice a year. Inspections help detect cracks, damage, and moisture issues early before they lead to larger problems. Annual inspections are recommended for newer Stucco.

In addition to professional inspections, homeowners should do periodic walkarounds to spot potential issues. Look for cracks wider than 1/16th inch, bulging areas, holes, damages, peeling paint, efflorescence, and sources of moisture like clogged gutters. Catching problems quickly is key.

What Maintenance Tips Are There To Keep It Looking Good?

To keep your stucco walls in their best shape:

  • Caulk: Fill hairline cracks and crevices with exterior-grade caulk each year to prevent water intrusion. Larger cracks require stucco patching.
  • Power Wash: Power wash siding annually to remove dirt and stains. Let walls fully dry before sealing or painting.
  • Seal & Paint: Seal stucco walls every 3-5 years. Repainting every 5-10 years refreshes appearance and prevents moisture damage. Use high-quality acrylic latex paints.
  • Moisture Prevention: Keep gutters clean and direct water away from Stucco with proper drainage. Prevent sprinklers from soaking Stucco. 

It is important to perform regular maintenance to keep your home’s stucco walls looking good and avoid costly repairs down the road.

Signs Your Home’s Exterior Stucco Needs Repair?

Watch for these signs that your stucco walls require attention from a stucco repair specialist:

  • Cracks wider than 1/16th inch 
  • Bulging, sagging, or detached areas
  • Yellowing or browning stucco 
  • Peeling, chipping, or blistering paint
  • Excess moisture or leaks
  • Efflorescence (white powdery deposits)
  • Mold, mildew, or algae growth
  • Rotting or damaged underlying wood

Power Wash Exterior Stucco Wall

How Often To Power Wash And Paint Exterior Stucco?

A Stucco home should be painted to maintain its protective seal and aesthetic appeal. Quality acrylic latex paints formulated for Stucco provide maximum longevity and durability. New Stucco requires sealing but doesn’t need painting for the first year. 

Factors impacting repaint frequency include climate, weathering exposure, and paint quality. Stucco should be painted every 5 – 10 years in sunny or humid climates. North-facing walls may go 10 years before needing paint. Elastomeric paint is best for stucco paint and will also help avoid cracking as it will expand and contract according to the weather. (Learn How To Hang Christmas Lights On Stucco)

What About Hairline Cracks in My Stucco?

Hairline cracks are common in exterior stucco walls. Temperature fluctuations cause Stucco to expand and contract, often forming minor cracks nicknamed “spider cracks.” These small fissures running through Stucco are generally harmless. 

For hairline cracks less than 1/16th inch, seal with a high-quality exterior caulk each year during inspections. More extensive cracks require professional stucco repair to avoid underlying water damage. Any bulging, separating, or shifting Stucco also needs repair to prevent worsening.

Can a Power Washer Damage My Home’s Stucco Exterior?

When used properly, power washing is safe for Stucco and helps keep it looking its best. The key is using a wide-angled tip and keeping the pressure below 500 PSI. Test an inconspicuous area first. Stand back at least 1 foot to avoid damaging softer Stucco. Let the Stucco dry fully for several days before sealing or painting so moisture doesn’t get trapped behind the coating. Avoid directing the stream at cracks or openings around windows.

Annual power washing helps remove dirt, chalky paint build-up, mildew, and stains from smoke or water. Follow safe pressure washing guidelines to clean Stucco without risking harm. (Learn How Much Roundup Per Gallon)

How Can I Improve My Home’s Curb Appeal With Stucco?

Stucco provides great design flexibility to enhance your home’s aesthetic. Consider these easy DIY upgrades if your home needs a boost:

  • Add accent colors: Use colored paint on trim or design elements for visual interest. Try bold hues on front doors or window boxes against neutral Stucco.
  • Install new lighting: Sconces or path lighting adds drama and makes stucco textures pop at night. 
  • Update landscaping: Fresh greenery, flowers, and pavers complement Stucco’s earthy appeal.
  • Add artwork: Decorate plain walls with murals, mosaics, or medallions for unique flair.
  • Enhance entries: Wood pergolas, stacked stone accents, and iron railings improve curb appeal.

With endless options for colors, textures, and embellishments, Stucco opens the creative potential for a home exterior as unique as yours.

Stucco Maintenance Tips

FAQs: Stucco Maintenance on Exterior Walls 

How long does Stucco last?

Stucco lasts up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance and care if you want to know how long it will last.

What are the benefits of Stucco for exterior walls?

Stucco is a popular choice for exterior walls due to its durability, versatility, and low maintenance requirements.

Can I install Stucco on my own, or should I hire a professional Stucco contractor?

While it is possible to install Stucco on your own, hiring a professional stucco contractor is recommended to ensure proper installation and avoid future issues.

What are some important things to consider when it comes to stucco maintenance?

Regularly check for hairline cracks, perform necessary repairs, keep the Stucco clean, and address any maintenance issues promptly.

How often should I power wash my Stucco exterior walls?

Power-washing your Stucco exterior walls is recommended every five years to remove dirt, grime, and other build-up.

How long will Stucco last before it needs to be repainted?

Depending on various factors such as climate and maintenance, Stucco should be repainted every five to ten years to keep it fresh and well-maintained. (Learn How Much Lime Per Acre)

What are some additional stucco maintenance tips?

Besides regular cleaning and repainting, it is important to promptly address any cracks or damage, keep your home’s exterior finishes in good condition, and use top-quality materials for maintenance and repairs.

Is it necessary to apply a masonry caulk to Stucco?

Applying a masonry caulk to Stucco can help seal any gaps or cracks and prevent water infiltration, which can lead to rot and damage.

Can stucco finishes be customized according to my preferences?

Yes, stucco finishes for homes can be customized to your desired color, texture, and style, allowing for a personalized and unique look.

How important is it to hire a professional stucco installer?

Hiring a professional stucco installer is crucial to ensure proper installation, adherence to building codes and to avoid potential issues that may arise from improper installation.

How Long Does Stucco Last