HK Stucco

FAQs

Stucco, EIFS

  1. What is stucco?
  2. Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as a coating for walls and ceilings and for decoration. Stucco may be used to cover less visually appealing construction materials such as concrete, cinder block, or clay brick and adobe.
  3. How long does stucco last?
  4. While the service life of stucco can’t be quantified as a specific number of years, properly applied and maintained portland cement plaster, or stucco, is as durable as any commonly used cladding material. Its hard surface resists abrasion and can take a lot of physical abuse. It stands up to all sorts of climates, from cold to hot and wet to dry. Many older homes built in the early 1900s have had very little maintenance and remain in good shape today.
  5. How do I clean dirty stucco?
  6. Though stucco can last a long time, it can get dirty. The easiest way to fix this is to power wash the stucco. But if this does not work then the surface can be painted or restuccoed.
  7. Will stucco save energy?
  8. Yes. Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory concluded that EIFS is 84% more energy efficient then any other wall system. This means you'll save a little money and reduce your carbon footprint.
  9. What is EIFS?
  10. EIFS stands for Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems. A proper EIFS consists of:
    • A layer of foam plastic insulation (also called simply "foam") that comes in the form of sheets 2' x 4'. If an adhesive is used to attach the insulation, the adhesive is applied to the foam with a trowel. Most EIFS use a type of insulation called Expanded Polystyrene, also known as EPS. EPS is 1 lb. density Expanded Polystyrene, similar to, but not the same as, the white foam that coffee cups are made of (the latter foam is Extruded Polystyrene). The usual range of thickness for EIFS insulation is 3/4" to 4", although thicker pieces are sometimes used for decoration accents - called foam shapes.
    • A reinforced layer that is applied onto the face of the insulation with a trowel, consisting of a fiberglass reinforcing mesh ( or "mesh") embedded in a cementitous adhesive. The mesh has an open weave, somewhat like window screening but with opening about 1/4" square. It is made of fiberglass and can be cut with a utility knife. The mesh is available in various weights, the "heaviness" determines the impact strength of the surface (resistance to damage by being "hit"). The standard weight is 4oz, the high-impact mesh weight goes up to 15 or 20oz. This 2-part layer is called the Base Coat.
    • A final topcoat,or finish, which is a colored, textured paint-like material that is applied with a trowel or, very rarely, by spraying. A wide range of colors and textures are available as well as custom colors. Available textures include smooth surfaces, rough "stucco-like" textures, embedded stone chips, multi-color (granite-like mixtures,) and even brick-like treatments. This layer is called the finish. It is acquired by floating.
  11. Can I paint the stucco?
  12. Yes. You can paint the stucco if you dislike the color or want to go for something new but if you are considering new stucco then there are a wide range of colored stucco options for you to choose from.
  13. Is stucco impact resistive?
  14. To an extent but becareful with it. Do not play hockey against it and if powerwashing make sure the pressure is not great enough to cut through the stucco (don't worry this can't be accomplished with your average hose).
  15. Can stucco be applied in winter?
  16. Yes but it is not easy. A tent and heater system must be set up to keep the temperature up consistently. If this is not done properly then the stucco will freeze and crack as opposed to curing (drying). It is also harder for workers in the extremely cold Canadian days. This is why most stucco jobs are carried out in the Spring and Summer.
  17. Can stucco be applied in the rain?
  18. No. Attention must be given to the weather so that rain is not forecasted when stucco is being applied otherwise the rain will wash away the stucco.
  19. Is it hard to match colors with stucco?
  20. Yes. It is recommended that you keep the color code for future reference but even with the exact same color stucco dries differently under different conditions such as humidity, wind, brightness, shadow (from scaffolding) and temperature. If you do not have a color code, a small sample piece will be taken to the manufacturer for them to match. It is extremely difficult to match colors and is thus never guaranteed.
  21. Is stucco waterproof?
  22. Yes if applied properly.
  23. Can stucco be repaired?
  24. Yes but patch up jobs cannot be done since the freshly applied stucco will look different then the old creating a blemish. To repair stucco either entire walls or entire sections with proper joints must be redone.

Moulding

  1. What is moulding?
  2. Moulding is a strip of material with various cross sections used to cover transitions between surfaces or for decoration.
  3. Is moulding stuccoed or painted?
  4. Your choice. It can be painted or stuccoed but paint is prefered since it is easier to apply on the edges and corner of mouldings because of the detail. A darker or lighter tone then that used for the stucco is usually applied to give a nicer look.
  5. Will mouldings crack?
  6. No, not from temperature changes.
  7. Are mouldings resistant to extreme temperatures and weather elements?
  8. Yes, they are quite durable but quality depends on the manufacturer.

Bases and Parging

  1. What is parging?
  2. Parge coat (concrete) is a thin coat of a cementitious or polymeric mortar applied to concrete for refinement of the surface. The typical parge coat is 1/32"-1/16" in thickness; this may be less than the minimum thickness allowed by many mortars types. The intent is to create a contiguous surface by filling surface air voids and bugholes (eliminating bughole-induced outgassing) and to level concrete with extreme rugosity to a level suitable for topcoating with a high-performance protective coating.