What is Stucco

What is Stucco and How is it Used?


Stucco is the common name for Portland Cement Plaster which is applied to surfaces either inside or outside buildings. Stucco is hard, durable, rot and fungus resistant, low-cost and does not need a lot of maintenance.


How is Stucco Made

Stucco is made from Portland cement materials, sand and water mixed together to form a plaster.


How is Stucco Used

Stucco is applied to interior and exterior walls either manually or using machines. This Portland Cement Plaster can be used on concrete wall systems or on a frame structure in buildings. This is conventionally used for siding or to cover concrete, cinder block, clay brick or adobe.


The Advantages of Stucco

Stucco, or Portland Cement Plaster, is a low-cost finish that is strong and durable and can be used in a wide variety of climates. It is also versatile and can be used over concrete, concrete masonry, brick, wood frame or steel frame. It is also fire resistant and color retentive, meaning that various pigments can be added to give your stucco exactly the effect you are looking for.


Color and Texture

One of the advantages of stucco is that although it is a low-cost surface for construction, it can also take on a wide range of colors and textures. Color is achieved using color aggregate and pigments. White Portland Cement is often used to achieve the broadest range of colors. Texture allows the appearance of the stucco to change and can even give it the appearance of other materials such as wood. This texture is achieved by choosing different aggregate sizes for different textures, controlling consistency of the finished mix, and using special techniques during and after the application.


Should You Apply Stucco Yourself?

Although the application of Stucco may appear a simple procedure, the incorrect application of it can lead to serious problems such as bulging, separating, cracking or allowing moisture through to timber frames causing rotting. It is therefore recommended that rather than attempting to apply this yourself that you call in professionals who can ensure that the stucco is correctly applied according to standards laid out by the regulating organizations. If stucco is correctly applied it will last you many years and will be well worth the expenditure, rather than having it incorrectly applied and having to pay more later.


Stucco Application Standards

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Canadian Standards Association are the two organizations in North America responsible for setting standards for the application of stucco. The two standards from the ASTM that regulate the application of stucco are:


  • ASTM C 926 Standard specification for application of Portland Cement-based plaster
  • ASTM C 1063 Standard specification for installation of lathing and furring to receive interior and exterior Portland Cement-based plaster. These standards are created by a number of different professions putting input into what they believe should be the standards regulating this application and then the ASTM combines these opinions into a consensus document.
  • Stucco, or Portland Cement Plaster, is used in many buildings as a low-cost finish that can come in a wide variety of colors and textures and is strong, durable and fire resistant. Although the process of applying stucco may seem simple it is best not to attempt this yourself as any mistakes in application could lead to serious problems. The American Society for Testing and Materials sets standards for the application of stucco, otherwise known as Portland Cement Plaster.


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