Cleaning Stucco – You Can Do It!
Overall, stucco is a solid investment for any homeowner. It is durable, attractive, breathes well and is fire resistant. It can even help keep the house cool. It requires low to medium maintenance, and if well taken care of, can last for decades. Stucco is a mid-priced siding choice with an excellent performance record and a solid choice for homeowners who expect a high return on their investment.
In general, stucco siding just needs to be hosed off occasionally and repainted or re-patched as needed. You can lightly pressure wash your stucco, even using an appropriate cleaning treatment, as long as you do it carefully. Exterior stucco walls are typically made from cement plaster making the material weather-resistant while at the same time, very porous. The porosity can result in quick staining. The most common stains on stucco are dirt and mildew. Both can be removed using the proper tools and procedure:
- Using lightly pressurized water, soak the walls from bottom to top. Make sure you are using the appropriate amount of light pressure; you must be careful not to chip off sections of the stucco.
- Once the wall has been soaked with a layer of water, use a sprayer to coat the wall with a mild cleaning solution. Here’s our mixture: 2 gallons of warm to hot water, 2 tablespoons dish soap and ½ cup of Borax.
- Spray the cleaner from bottom to top giving special attention to any section of the wall that is heavily stained.
- Re-spray the wall from top to bottom with the lightly pressurized water. You should be able to see the dirt rinsing down the wall as you move to the bottom. Make sure you guide all of the dirt and cleaner to the bottom.
- Check wall to ensure all of the dirt has been removed. Stubborn stains may need a second treatment. Once the wall is completely cleaned, allow to air dry.
As mentioned above, sometimes stucco walls need to be patched. While you certainly can attempt to patch stucco walls on your own, we recommend a professional.