Stucco and Cold Climates: Can It Work?
Winter is pretty much in full swing across the country already, which means most of your home improvement projects have been pushed to the back burner until next spring. If you are considering stucco, this cold snap might have you wondering if stucco is capable of standing up to 10 degree (and much colder!) weather, plus ice storms, blizzards and more. Thankfully, stucco is very weather resistant, making it a good choice for both warm and cold climates. So that you can be more informed, we’ve compiled a few reasons why stucco is good for or even ideal for homes that are exposed to a lot of cold weather, plus things to look for when choosing a contractor for your home’s stucco job.
1) Stucco Is Incredibly Durable
Traditional stucco is applied with a barrier underneath it to prevent moisture from seeping through to your home. Stucco itself is a porous material, and without the proper base, it can be damaging to your home. Thankfully, reputable stucco contractors know to install stucco with the proper base layer to prevent water and moisture damage, including mold, rot and deterioration.
2) It Is Easily Repaired
If the snow, ice and cold do leave damage on your home’s exterior, the good news is that stucco is easily fixed. If there is a lot of snow buildup throughout the winter, the bottom of the stucco can crack due to moisture exposure, but as mentioned, the repairs are easy and can be done by the same company that installed your stucco. Ice can damage the tarpaper moisture barrier, and if cracks are more than 1/8” inch wide, you should contact the installer for help repairing.
3) While Best Installed in Above-Freezing Weather, It Is Largely Unaffected By the Cold
Stucco is a common home finishing material for homes all over the country, thanks to its resilience with temperature changes and harsh conditions. For instance, you’ll see stucco homes in Arizona as well as here in the Chicagoland area—it can handle both extremely hot and extremely cold climates, making it a popular choice for many different homes.
Things to Consider When Choosing Your Contractor
When you have decided to go forward with your stucco plans, it’s essential to choose a contractor that knows what they are doing. For instance, if you want to apply stucco in December in Chicago and your contractor says, “Let’s do it,” you know to move onto a different contractor, since stucco is best applied when temperatures are above freezing. Ask to see a potential contractor’s portfolio of past jobs, check out their reviews online, and ask them questions about stucco and EIFS. If they seem unsure of what the answer is or blatantly can’t give you one, you may want to reconsider your contractor choice. A good contractor should be able to answer any questions you have about your upcoming home project, and they should be able to assess whether stucco is ideal for your home.