Coastal homes and buildings love stucco, a building siding option that was also popular in ancient Rome. The durability of this siding has been proven over centuries of use. In today’s homes, proper application methods ensure the durable qualities of stucco are preserved even as the underlying structures have evolved.
Ryan Simas of Emerald Coat specializes in stucco solutions for homes and office buildings. He is a passionate advocate for industry standards that deliver the quality homes that homeowners deserve. After 10 years in the remodeling business in Chicago, then moving to the Emerald Coast, Ryan saw problems in homes only 20 or 30 years old that could have been prevented with sound building practices. For his business, this means using the best techniques for stucco application, waterproofing, and maintenance of stucco siding.
“I like to treat every home as if it’s my own.”
To give our readers a basic understanding of stucco, he explained two common stucco types. The first is the traditional 3-coat. Cement is layered onto a wire mesh, then topped with a synthetic top coat containing sand and color that provides aesthetic appeal.
The second main type of stucco application is synthetic stucco. This is known as an Exterior Foam Insulation System (EFIS) which sometimes has a bad reputation. However, it can have good results if installed to the latest standards. With this system, styrofoam is first nailed to a wall, then covered with a synthetic finish. EFIS can be a great option if the outside of the home is well-sealed before the styrofoam panels are placed. Otherwise, it is totally dependent on exterior waterproofing which will always get some sort of wear.
For both styles, Ryan promotes liquid waterproofing instead of using housewrap. Housewrap is penetrated by staples and nails during installation that allow leaks. Liquid waterproofing is painted on, then dries to a rubber-like consistency. It tends to flex around any staples or other fasteners that penetrate it.
Ryan also likes to use a rain screen as an additional barrier. All systems in place create a stucco job that he can stand behind.
For existing homes or businesses, it is important to “be proactive, not reactive”. First, call Emerald Coat as soon as signs of wear appear. This could be cracks forming in the stucco, holes or gaps in the sealant around windows, or wet areas under the window. Caulking problems around windows is one of the top problems stucco can develop over time.
Calling a coating specialist like Emerald Coat can also yield savings. Emerald Coat values its reputation as an ethical company that will give an honest assessment. What appears to be a crack requiring stucco repair may simply need a professional-grade sealant and repainting. They won’t try to add in expensive and unnecessary repairs.
Emerald Coat also considers a building’s paint history. There are two types of paint that may be used on stucco - latex and elastomeric. Latex is a water-based paint that is very common. It is an acceptable way to refresh the appearance of and to protect stucco.
Elastomeric is an excellent choice for stucco. Elastomeric is a flexible coating that goes on in one coat. Emerald Coat will not apply more elastomeric if an elastomeric coating is already in place unless the current application is too thin. Excess thickness can trap moisture causing damage. As a professional company, they pay close attention to applying the coating at the right thickness.
Ryan has a goal to improve building standards in our area so that homeowners get the long-lasting homes that they deserve. He believes that the waterproofing standards he outlined above will return stucco to its roots of being a siding option that can endure as did the stucco of the Romans.
Reach out to Emerald Coat for all of your stucco and painting needs. This includes repairs and new construction. They operate in Miramar, Destin, Rosemary, Niceville, Ft Walton Beach, Gulf Breeze, Navarre, and other locations.
“Be proactive, not reactive.”