Stucco is a great choice for siding or wall finishes and has been used for millennia because it is durable. Its typical lifespan is 50–80-years. Today, it’s usually made of ingredients like sand and cement, requiring little maintenance. That said, you can’t ignore it completely. You should clean your outdoor stucco at least once per year.
If your stucco is indoors, it might not require more than a fresh coat of paint every once in a while. If the stucco is outdoors, exposed to the elements, severe temperatures, and dirt and debris, it requires a bit more attention and care. Stucco is porous and so it absorbs stains and dirt and other material can build up on it.
Often, all you’ll need is a nylon brush that is water-damp to wet the entire surface, and then a dampened microfiber cloth or cotton towel to wipe away the stain or dirt.
If you have a stubborn stain that has been absorbed deep into the stucco’s surface, you’ll need more than water. Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is recommended and can be purchased at your local hardware or any other home-maintenance store.
Be sure to follow the directions carefully and completely. The area that you are working in should be well-ventilated (open windows and turn on a fan), and you should wear protective clothing including eyewear, gloves, long sleeves, and (if necessary) pants.
You should dilute the TSP in water with a water-to-TSP ratio of 15-to-1 Apply the solution with a nylon brush and let dry for 1-2 hours.
Cleaning stucco outdoors
Stucco that is exposed to the elements is going to require cleaning to get rid of dirt and other grimy build-up. Fortunately, it’s a simple process. You can use a garden hose (with a spray nozzle attachment) or a power washer.
If you use the latter, you must use it at the lowest setting so that you do not damage the surface of the stucco. Be sure to follow all manufacturer directions. No matter which tool you use, you want to be sure to use a “mist” setting, and flood the stucco from bottom to top.
For the second step, you’ll want to switch to a more concentrated spray and move from top to bottom so that debris that’s higher up doesn’t settle and so that dirty water doesn’t cause streaks or get absorbed. After you finish, use a nylon bristle brush to dislodge any build-up. Do this carefully to make sure that you don’t grind down the surface of the stucco.
If you have a stubborn stain, you can apply the TSP-and-water solution described earlier with a pump sprayer or a hose wand with a built-in soap reservoir. Let that dry, and then rinse the stucco.
While You’re Cleaning…
When you’re cleaning your stucco, that’s a good time to check to see if you need to touch up the paint if it’s chipped in places. You’ll also want to check the stucco for cracks or holes.
If you’re in the Colorado Springs area and notice any areas of your stucco that need repairing, contact Love Your Stucco via our website or give us a call (719-722-4696) for a free consultation and quote. We’d be happy to help!
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