Stucco refers to a type of plaster construction material used to cover walls and ceilings with a thick layer. Different types of Stucco can be applied in different thicknesses, some weighing up to five tons and installed with the assistance of Stucco contractors. But what is the lifespan of a Stucco installation in Canada? Is it worth installing if it will deteriorate in Canada’s notorious cold climate?
Find out how long Stucco will last in Canada and the most conducive measures to utilize in cold and moist climates.
How Long Does Stucco Last in Canada
Many factors are involved in the quality of Stucco and its lifespan. Like most building materials, the quality of Stucco is directly or indirectly related to the type of plaster or aggregate that was used.
Its ability to sustain and endure in Canada depends on the following factors:
1. Aggregate used
Aggregate refers to the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) found in limestone, dolomite, and marble. Limestone and marble are crushed, or broken into minute pieces, while dolomite is ground into small nuggets. The aggregate used determines the quality and durability of the Stucco produced. Stucco will be weak and prone to cracking and spalling if the aggregate is not of excellent quality.
2. Type of plaster
Two types of plasters can be used for Stucco. One is calcium silicate which has the workability of a normal plaster but is stronger, harder, and less elastic. The other type is cement or gypsum plaster, which has low shrinkage and medium to low workability. It, therefore, has a high water absorption rate making it prone to cracking, spalling, and efflorescence after long periods.
3. Temperature of the environment
If you live in an area with a temperature range of -10C to 35C, use the calcium silicate type of plaster. The calcium silicate will not crack at lower temperatures, making the Stucco stronger. It is also less prone to efflorescence and will not have a high-water absorption at these temperatures.
For instance, in Canada, the temperature varies a lot, with warm summers and colder winters. When it is hot outside, it is also warm indoors, which causes water to absorb into the wall. However, cold outside is also cold indoors, so water will not be readily absorbed into the wall. Also, during the summer months, there can be days when there is no rain at all, and during winter, long periods of rainfall will often occur.
4. House wrap thickness
Depending on the humidity level at your home, the Stucco must be applied in a certain thickness ranging from 0.5 – 1 inch thick to 10 inches thick. Thicker wraps will excuse more moisture and help prevent efflorescence caused by excess moisture in the environment. It also helps to provide a more sturdy and practical stucco job that lasts a long time.
5. Type of binder
A stucco binder is what holds all the components of the Stucco together. It is also what determines how durable the Stucco will be. Using a binder with strong adhesion, the components are held together tightly, making a long-lasting stucco.
6. Type of paint used
The type of paint used will determine your Stucco job’s overall quality and lifespan. The paint used should have a high bonding adhesive which will stick well to the Stucco and will also not chip or flake off during the years. Therefore, a good paint job will provide a more stable Stucco job.
The following measures can be taken to best use stucco in a colder and wetter climate:
1. Mix your cement
This can be done by adding quick lime to cement, increasing the lime content and making the plaster more durable.
2. Use admixtures
Admixtures are a chemical added to your concrete or plaster mix that provides extra benefits such as strength and resistance in adverse conditions.
3. Apply a water repellent
A water repellent is an additive that prevents moisture from permeating your stucco wall, preventing efflorescence.
4. Use a plastic membrane on the inside of the stucco wall
This will create a barrier between the weather and your Stucco, therefore protecting it from outside elements and making it last longer.
How to Repair Stucco in Canada
1. Fix cracks that are wider than 1/4 an inch
These will allow water to enter the wall of your house, leading to efflorescence. The best way to repair these cracks is to use a sealant. If it’s a very large crack, you will have to call in a specialist for advice.
2. Paint inside Stucco
This can be done by spraying water-repellent paint onto the inside wall of your house. This will stop moisture from entering the wall and will make it last longer. One way to do this is to spray it on during the winter months using an air compressor rather than painting it with a brush or roller.
3. Fix loose joints
Loose joints are easy to fix; you only need a bit of adhesive to reattach them. If you do this during the summer months, you will be able to strengthen your house wrap while the cement is still wet, which will result in a stronger bond.
4. Prolong durability by adding a water repellent treatment
This will stop water from entering the stucco wall and prevent efflorescence. It can be applied to any stucco wall. If this procedure of repairs seems overwhelming, contact a Stucco contractor for more assistance.