Waterproofing is an important part of the outside of any construction. Without a strong water management strategy, stucco siding may quickly show symptoms of catastrophic deterioration. Every building’s exterior should have some amount of moisture protection to keep the structure safe both inside and out.
It is feasible to install waterproof stucco, but it requires careful attention to detail and a precise method. Because the stucco construction procedure is already time-consuming, some homeowners may find it more convenient to choose an alternate siding material that provides simpler water management solutions.
Prepare to discover how to waterproof stucco and get acquainted with a range of siding choices that may offer waterproofing more quickly and easily.
The Dangers of Water Damage to Siding
Water damage is unattractive and hazardous, but what’s more worse is that you don’t have to live in a floodplain to have water damage to your property. Humidity, heavy snowfalls, frequent rainfall, considerable shadow, and other climatic factors might combine to create the ideal storm for moisture to inflict injury.
The appearance of water damage varies depending on the siding material. It may manifest as unsightly stains, warped or drooping panels, and decaying beams in wood and vinyl. Water damage to stucco may manifest as holes, flaky fragments, powdery streaks, and fissures. Worse, when water becomes trapped below the layers of stucco, substantial damage may occur beneath the surface. This might result in concealed decaying that goes unreported while damaging the building’s structural components.
Waterproofing stucco correctly is essential to avoid the stylistic and structural damage that built-up moisture can cause.
Is Stucco Waterproof?
Stucco does have some natural resistance to water because of its composition. It is made up of a mix of cement, sand, water, and lime, so stucco is naturally more water resistant than wood, which is considered absorbent by comparison.
However, it’s important to understand that stucco siding is not sufficiently waterproof by default. Differences in installation techniques, backing materials, waterproof stucco paint, and other elements can drastically alter how water resistant a stucco wall can be, and most builders do not take all of the precautions needed to make stucco siding entirely waterproof.
Best Way to Waterproof Stucco
There are a few different ways to make stucco siding more waterproof. The first method is to use a layering technique that relies on multiple applications of materials rather than a basic stucco exterior. The multi-layer approach starts with a weather resistant barrier as the base layer, followed by a plastic drainage matrix or rainscreen, a second weather resistant barrier, metal or fiberglass lath, and a minimum of three layers of stucco. This additional protection underneath the exterior stucco can help block moisture from seeping into the building and causing damage.
The drainage component is essential when it comes to waterproofing stucco. This element allows the moisture a clear path to escape so that it doesn’t become trapped. Condensation, leaks, and humidity can all sneak in even with seams fully sealed, so having a rainscreen that efficiently directs drainage is key.