Stucco is a great alternative to your standard siding, brick or stone walls. Unfortunately, the textured surface of stucco is notorious for accumulating contaminants, dust and dirt over time. This can turn a once beautiful surface or wall into a nightmare of dirt streaks and mildew growth. Luckily, the power of a professional pressure washing can blast the stains away and make the walls of your property look new again!
A common building plaster for hundreds of years, stucco is also popular as an exterior finish for homes. The eco-friendly material is a mixture of concrete, sand, and limestone, and is generally applied over stone, concrete or metal meshwork. Stucco improves the look of raw building materials while acting as an insulator from the elements. But the material is highly porous, which can lead to easy staining. Its fragility and tendency to crumble makes proper cleaning technique an important part of stucco maintenance.
It’s relatively easy to repair minor damage such as hairline cracks or small chips without the help of a professional, but they should be consulted on issues of any greater magnitude. Unpainted stucco is particularly susceptible to a type of algae growth called gloeocapsa magma, due to exposed calcium carbonate present in the limestone component of stucco. If your stucco has been painted, this isn’t likely to be an issue. But black stains on your stucco are potentially an accumulation of this dead algae. The powerful formula of a cleansing detergent removes dirt and stains from mold, mildew, moss, algae, and more from a variety of materials. It cleans using peroxide to brighten and renew surfaces without bleach or any harsh or abrasive chemicals that can discolor or damage your stucco and is safe for use on vinyl, aluminum, stucco, wood, brick, and other types of siding.
You should professionally clean your stucco siding at least once per year to prevent stains and decay from algae, dirt, dust buildup, air pollution, and more. When cleaning, it’s important to keep an eye out for any cracks, holes, or eroded areas. With aged, damaged or eroded stucco, water can easily get into holes or cracks that develop. This can cause mold, mildew, and other difficult issues, so be sure to repair any cracks or openings before cleaning.
Let us here at Frost Pressure Washing in Melbourne, Florida take the time and hassle out of maintenancing your property, and provide exceptional care to your stucco siding cleaning needs!
Before starting and completing any power or pressure washing services, you need to make sure there aren’t any cracks or chips in your stucco siding. If there are, water can seep through them, potentially leading to structural damage and rot down the line. All cracks and chips should be patched and given enough time to dry before starting the washing service, and you should let patches dry for about a week or so, to make sure no additional repairs need to be made.
Apply cleaning detergent to loosen dirt and debris
When pressure washing stucco, it’s best to divide the project up and work from section to section, wall to wall, side to side. You’re going to need a proper cleaning detergent in order to give your stucco the shine it once had. Apply the detergent from the bottom up, overlapping a bit to prevent missing any spots, and let it settle for 5-10 minutes to fully work and remove all embedded dirt. The detergent needs to be wet to work, so you will need to add fresh detergent water as needed while the detergent is doing its job, to ensure the cleanest result!
Scrub all heavy staining and marks
When cleaning heavily stained areas, use a rotating scrub brush attachment to help the cleaning process. This will make sure all the stains and markings are properly removed. A quality rotating pressure washing brush will make cleaning these difficult stains a breeze, getting the job done smoother and faster than ever before. Rust may be tough to remove so rust stains should be treated with a rust removal detergent and may need to be scrubbed more vigorously by hand in some cases, all of which help your property stucco in the long run.
Spray it ALL away
When rinsing, cleaning and pressure washing stucco, always make sure you are using a low pressure spray pattern and hit the wall at a forty five degree angle. Because of the delicate nature of your stucco siding, you need to always hold the spray nozzle a minimum of twenty four inches away from the surface. You’d start from the same point you did when applying detergent, then work your way spraying clean in the same direction. Clean one section at a time, and be sure to overlap slightly to avoid missing anything! Unlike the bottom-up approach when applying detergent, start rinsing from the top and work your way down. The dirt and detergent will run down the surface of the wall, so a downward rinse will keep the soapy filth moving in the direction you want it to. When you’re finished, gently rinse the surrounding landscaping and foliage with clean water to dilute and flush away any lingering detergent.
Prevent any staining and discoloration along the bottom of your surface walls by putting rock, mulch, etc to cover the dirt around the home. As soon as you see any potential hairline cracks forming, clean that specific area, let it dry, and fix it with caulk. Regular cleaning will help keep painted stucco from fading and discoloration, as well! If you see large cracks in the stucco siding, or other damage you may be questioning, you should call a professional here at Frost Pressure Washing for them to better assess if it’s because of the house’s foundation settling or shifting!