Stucco has been one of the most popular exterior wall finishes for numerous years. Contrary to some beliefs, stucco is not an interior wall finish like drywall. Rather it is a precise mixture of sand, cement, lime and water that forms a protective layer shielding your building from harmful climatic conditions. Whether you’re looking to renovate an older home or if it’s used for new home construction, there are significant benefits associated with stucco. As one of the most durable and fashionable ways to dress up your home and change its curb appeal, stucco is the finish of choice for many home builders and owners, especially in the Alberta region.
Stucco is known for it’s durability and in many cases it out lasts other finishing products. The benefits of stucco is that it is low maintenance, weather resistant, non-combustible, and it performs well in a variety of climate conditions.
Parging is a thin coat of plaster or mortar for giving a relatively smooth surface to rough masonry or for sealing it against moisture particularly along exposed foundation.
There are two principle types of stucco finish, sand-cement and acrylic. Both incorporate the same traditional sand-cement basecoat, but the latter contains a flexible acrylic-based top layer. Acrylic stucco is more time consuming to apply, but is considered to be more water-resistant. Acrylic is a man made synthetic coat.
Stucco has over 100 colors and because the colour is included in the mixture, it will never fade or require painting. (see sample colours on right)
One of the great things about stucco is that with its variety of interesting textures, it will add beauty to almost any building style. With seemingly endless variations of stucco textures to choose from, choosing the right one for your specific project can be somewhat intimidating. That’s why we offer professional consultations prior to the start of any stucco application — to ensure you get the look that’s best suited to your project. (see sample textures on right)
Yes you can paint stucco if you use a paint that is compatible with your existing stucco finish.
Just because the surface of new stucco is firm to the touch does not mean it is dry. The water in the stucco mix must release slowly for proper drying. The moisture level in both the stucco mix applied to exterior walls and in the atmosphere is important. If the atmosphere is dry, the water in the stucco mix will be pulled from all three layers too quickly and the stucco will not be strong. When the days are cool and damp, the conditions aren’t good for drying stucco. The ideal time to apply exterior stucco is in the summer and early autumn. The outside temperature ranges for proper drying of stucco from a low of 4 degrees C to a high of 32 degrees Celsius.
Benefits Of Acrylic Stucco
As one of the most popular exterior finishes for homes and businesses, there are numerous benefits associated with acrylic stucco.
Durable & Long Lasting — When choosing an exterior finish for your project, you’ll want to select a material that will withstand a large range of temperatures and climate conditions. Stucco outlasts wood and vinyl, and it has even proven to be more durable than brick. Numerous property owners throughout Alberta have used stucco for decades as it resists the detriments associated with blistering winds, heavy snowfall, rain, and heat.
Maintenance Free — Compared to other exterior siding materials, such as vinyl, stucco is virtually maintenance free. It never needs painting or re-installation, and rarely needs cleaning. Over time this can help save property owners significant amounts of money.
Fire Resistant — Not only is stucco incredibly durable, it’s also fire resistant. In fact, numerous insurance companies offer premium discounts with the installation of a stucco exterior: effectively saving you money year after year.
Increase in Market Value — With the growing popularity stucco and the classic style that it brings to the exterior of your building, property owners can expect to see an increase in market value when selling the holding.
What Is Exterior Insulation And Finishing System (EIFS)?
Both residential and commercial buildings benefit from the EIFS cladding system. It places insulation on the outside of the wall where it is more effective. It wraps your building in a moisture resistant material that prevents the movement of air, conserving a significant amount of energy. EIFS is the most cost effective and energy efficient option available in construction.
The most common type of EIFS is the polymer based (PB) system. This system has a nominally 1/16 inch thick reinforced base coat applied to the insulation prior to application of the finish coat. The insulation typically consists of closed expanded polystyrene (EPS) and can be either adhesively or mechanically attached to the sheathing. The second and less common type of EIFS is the polymer modified (PM) system. This system has a nominally 3/16 inch to 1/2 inch thick reinforced base coat applied to the insulation prior to application of the finish coat. The insulation typically consists of extruded expanded polystyrene (XPS) and is mechanically attached to the sheathing and or wall structure.
EIFS is available in two basic types: a barrier wall system or a wall drainage system. Barrier EIFS wall systems rely primarily on the base coat portion of the exterior skin to resist water penetration. Therefore, all other components of the exterior wall must either be barrier type systems or be properly sealed and flashed to prevent water from migrating behind the EIFS and into the underlying walls or interiors. Wall drainage EIFS systems are similar to cavity walls; they are installed over a weather barrier behind the insulation that acts as a secondary drainage plane. The weather barrier must be properly flashed and coordinated with all other portions of the exterior wall to prevent water from migrating into the underlying walls or interiors.
Exterior Insulation and Finishing System designs are extremely flexible
EIFS has the flexibility to take on the exterior of all homes. The ability to accommodate all shapes and sizes of homes is extremely important in modern home building. Designers using EIFS have the freedom to create exterior details that would otherwise be too costly or inefficient if done by older conventional techniques.
Thermal efficiency, outstanding aesthetics, cost effectiveness and durability are the primary reasons for the unprecedented growth of EIFS in recent years. Met Exteriors’s certified tradesmen can advise you on the best system for your home and install it with beautiful, cost-efficient expertise. Contact Met Exteriors today to begin the process of completing your perfect home.
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