Stucco is great for exteriors of homes and business. It is durable and can be applied in a variety of colors and textures. Offered in this guide are common ingredients used in the manufacturing process along with methods for application and some tips and pointers to look out for when performing installation.
Prior to the 1900s builders used lime, sand and water to create their compound. Since then lime has been replaced primarily with Portland cement. In some cases lime is still used alongside of cement in order to help the compound adhere to the building better.
Two of the more common instruments used in the process are a trowel and a sprayer. The trowel technique can be a bit tricky to get the hang of as it is done by hand and takes a lot of practice to get used to. The spraying technique is becoming the new way to apply the siding, and has assisted contractors in completing their projects quicker and more efficiently.
Once the frame of the building has been constructed the next step is to install the sheath plywood walls. These will provide a base for the lathe that will be installed later on. Drainage planes are the next items to be installed. The common materials used for this application is water resistant house wrap. Two layers are recommended in order to create a barrier between the sheath and the lathe.
Next building paper is attached to the wall sheaths over the house wrap for protection reasons. The lathe is then attached to the building paper. In earlier construction methods, wood was used to create the lathe. In modern times wire fencing is the most common material used. This acts as a skeleton for adhering and structural purposes.
In addition to the sheaths and the lathe, flashing is a material usually made of a thin sheet or strip of water resistant material and is applied around vulnerable areas such as windows or doorways. Last are weep screeds, these are a type of gutter system that assists in the redirection of water away from the wall. Once the structural materials have been installed it is time to move onto the application process for the siding materials. Control and expansion joints are also installed in an effort to provide additional support for the wall in case the house or building shifts. If any shifting occurs cracks in the wall can occur and create problems.
The application of stucco is performed in three coats. The initial layer is referred to as the Scratch coat and is applied by using a brush to make scratching motions both vertically and horizontally onto the lathe surface. This technique will create grooves in the wire that will assist in the adherence of the compound to the lathe.
The second coat is referred to as the Brown coat. This coat is applied to the initial layer in order to provide a smooth surface for the third and final layer. This layer is generally applied using a trowel tool in order to smooth it out. This must be completely dry prior to the application of the final coat.
The final layer is referred to as the Finish coat. This layer can be applied using a sprayer or trowel and can be modified using different colors and textures depending on the preference of the owners. Once the layer has dried and set up the wall is complete.
Hopefully this guide will shed some light onto what goes into creating a beautiful stucco siding. A person could do this job themselves, but it is better to have a professional contractor complete the work. This way a guarantee is in place and no tools and materials will need to be purchased.