Stucco is one of the oldest types of material used to side housing, with roots dating back to ancient Greece. But can it be used in Texas? Is it used in cities like Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and more? If not, why?
Stucco, when appropriately installed, works fine in Texas, including Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and other cities, even if they are humid. It is a weather-resistant material that stands up to rain, heat, wind, and snow when appropriately installed for the exterior of homes and other buildings.
If you are thinking about using stucco on your home in Texas and would like to learn more, read below for more information.
Can You Use Stucco in Texas?
Texas homeowners do use stucco on their homes throughout Texas. In most cases, stucco is an excellent choice and will require very few repairs when installed correctly. In places where the humidity is high, and it rains a lot, if the stucco is not applied correctly to your home, it can become oversaturated with moisture and cause some damage. This occurrence is rare in homes that are correctly built since stucco naturally repels water in most conditions.
Some cities in Texas receive a lot of rain throughout the year like:
- San Antonio
Stucco can still be successfully used in these cities by carefully following all protocols when installing the stucco.
Stucco has been used on the exterior of buildings for thousands of years. You may have heard it called plaster in the past. Although the process has changed somewhat over the years it was discovered and used by the ancient Greeks. It is sometimes even used in the interior of homes.
Texans have been using stucco for the exterior of their homes for more than a hundred years. Stucco is considered relatively inexpensive compared to some other exterior materials. Stucco, when appropriately installed, withstands lousy weather very well and has minimal impact on the environment. Stucco is durable because of its cement and lime properties and is considered to have fire-resistant characteristics.
Stucco is often chosen in Texas because it can create a Spanish Colonial Revival-style or a Spanish Mission architecture-looking exterior which is very popular. Another reason stucco is so prevalent in Texas is because it is very durable and requires very little maintenance. Plus, stucco comes in many popular colors, which gives it an authentic look.
What is Stucco?
To make stucco, you combine Portland cement, lime, and water. The lime provides the stucco with added strength. Pigments are added to give it a variety of colors. There is also a synthetic stucco available on the market today that has gained popularity with some builders in recent years. Synthetic stucco does not insulate like cement mixed stucco does and has limited texture choices. It does repel moisture, but it is not considered to seal out water completely.
How Do You Properly Install Stucco?
The installation process does vary dependent on the type of materials you are applying it onto. For instance, when applying stucco to wood structures, you have first to attach a wire mash to the walls to help the stucco stick to it. This coat is the “scratch coat” and is usually done by taking rolls of chicken wire and attaching it. This helps the stucco stick to the wood. These steps include:
- Attach wire to the exterior to give something for the stucco to stick too. Chicken wire works well.
- Coat the house with wire mash with the initial coat of stucco.
- The stucco is scratched to help add layers of plaster to adhere and bond to the surface better.
- The second layer, referred to as the leveling coat, is spread over the first layer and is leveled and scraped until smooth. This coating is a fairly heavy layer, so it is left to dry for 7 to 10 days.
- After it dries, it needs a third coat which is called the coloring coat. This layer uses colored sand with cement and lime. It is applied directly to the leveling coat, which is also called the brown coat.
- During the third coat, a trowel is often used to create designs or patterns in the stucco, or it may be smoothed out. You can use coarser or finer sand to help change the texture. Then you can apply an acrylic finish to it for a traditional look which many Texas homes choose.
Stucco can be used in Texas as long as it is properly installed and maintained. Cities such as Houston prone to more significant amounts of rainfall and high humidity may require more repairs if not correctly applied to the surface to help prevent moisture from seeping into the building materials and causing damage.
Homes in Texas have been using stucco for over a hundred years. It is still very popular with Texans as an inexpensive exterior material that holds up against most weather quite well. Generations to come will build homes with stucco exteriors for their durability and eco-friendliness in Texas.