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What is Stucco Made of?

The history of stucco is long and enduring. Dating back to ancient Greece, masons and builders used stucco to construct durable structures with a mixture of lime, sand, and water. Then, in the early 1900s, cement was added to modern stucco mixtures. 

Now, over a century later, we’ve expanded upon the traditional composition of stucco, making it more durable and more flexible. Stucco was once only prevalent in dry, arid climates, such as the southwest, the Mediterranean, and Spain. However, with better practices and improvements, stucco is a common home exterior option across the globe.

So, let’s take a look at what stucco is made of:

Composition of Stucco

As already mentioned, traditional stucco consisted of lime, sand, and water. Since lime is a natural resource readily available, it is no surprise that the ancients used it in large quantities.

However, with the mass production of cement, a new element was added to contemporary stucco — Portland cement. This material acted as a binder, increasing the impact resistance, creating a breathable product, and shedding water.

Now, stucco consists mainly of Portland cement, sand, and water. It’s mixed together to form a plaster that hardens upon drying. At times, additives such as acrylics, glass fibers, and stones are added to the mixture. 

And, as methods have developed, polymers and other agents are typically added to the composition to increase flexibility and improve resistance. That way, when foundations shift and move, there’s a less likelihood of your stucco cracking.

Our stucco coating is a prime example of such innovations. With its lifetime warranty, UV resistance, low maintenance, durability, and flexibility, it’s an advanced solution to improve the look and strength of your stucco. To learn more about our stucco coating, visit this page.

modern stucco house with Spanish-style design

Application of Stucco

Most commonly, stucco is a 3 step process:

  1. Scratch coat: this first step embeds the wire mesh lath (which is attached to the framing of the structure) and provides a base coat. 
  2. Brown coat: this second step covers the scratch coat and creates a plane surface
  3. Finish coat: this last step is the thinnest coat and offers the decorative element

Stucco is a popular choice, mainly due to its attractive, seamless finish and its wide color and texture range. For home and property owners, it offers a high degree of customization.

At times, the application method may vary, depending on the materials used and the method applied. For instance, there are some methods that include a two step or even a one step process.

In addition, there are different types of finishes. For example, acrylic finishes are growing in popularity. They are similar to paint but include an aggregate that gives it an attractive textured look. Typically, they have more vibrancy.

Mason applying stucco onto exterior

Durability of Stucco

Stucco, if applied correctly, is well known for its durability, environmental friendliness, and insulation capacity. Also, like other cement-based products, it’s well regarded for having superior fire resistance.

On average, stucco can last anywhere between 50 to 80 years, making it a preferable option for many home and property owners. Plus, if they tire of the color or if the color begins to fade, homeowners can have the stucco painted or coated.

Unlike vinyl siding, stucco is also incredibly energy efficient. Due to its composition and seamless application, stucco is extremely good at insulating both warm and cool air. Plus, by increasing the R-value of your home, you not only save on energy costs, but you also improve the resale value of your property.

Beautiful stucco home

Final Thoughts

If you’re contemplating changing your exterior or stucco or if you’re looking to restore your old, out-dated stucco, head over to our contact page to book a free estimate. For the past 14 years, we’ve been servicing Edmonton and Ontario’s stucco needs.

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