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Article by Michael A / March 13th, 2019

Handle with Care: Cleaning Stucco & Other Delicate Surfaces

Despite it being one of the trouble-free exterior materials to maintain, stucco should experience a thorough cleaning at least once annually. Under some circumstances, and the design of your home, rainwater should clean its surface throughout the year. However, areas where the roof overhangs and landscape plants are, messes occur.

If you’re not careful, mildew will build up over time. Therefore, cleaning stucco should be part of your spring cleaning routine. For those who don’t know how to clean these or other delicate surfaces, we’re going to discuss how to maintain them to keep your home in Houston looking beautiful.

Before Cleaning Stucco: Perform an Inspection

The entire exterior of your home must undergo a thorough inspection. During this process, you’re looking for cracks where moisture may be building up. You’re also looking for debris and other damage. Under most circumstances, this damage occurs from rain or other severe weather conditions. It’s for this reason that inspections must occur annually.

Clean the Areas in Need of Repair

Before completing a thorough cleaning of the exterior of your home, you must clean the areas in need of repair. Most people will make repairs first and then work on washing the entire outside of their house at once. It may seem to make sense, but the dirt and mildew must come off before any repair material goes on.

Use an oxygen bleach mix and a scrub brush for the best results. A spray hose will deliver excellent results, too, but you want to ensure you’re not using too much water. Otherwise, you may be causing other damage behind the stucco. You’ll find this is especially true in areas around windows and doors.

Complete Repairs

Once the stucco is completely dry, you can complete the repairs. When you stay on top of repairs annually, you’re saving money from having to call in a Houston company to come in and complete pricey maintenance. It’s critical you select a material that matches your existing stucco for a clean and cohesive aesthetic.

Stucco Cleaning: Completing the Job

The first impulse is to grab a pressure washer and start cleaning. However, if you’re living in an older home, you’re going to cause significant damage to its exterior with the pressure from the spray. The delicate surface of stucco as it ages is brittle and will crumble if you don’t handle it with care. Newer homes should also experience such care, as well, to ensure their exteriors last longer.

Here are some steps for keeping you stucco clean:

  • Step one: wash the entire exterior of the house with a garden hose. Make sure the pressure is steady to ensure it’s removing dirt and debris effectively. Because you’re not using a pressure washer, you don’t have to worry about the exterior material crumbling. If crumbling does occur, remove the debris carefully as to not create any further damage.
  • Step two: while washing with the hose, you’ll notice areas where dirt didn’t come free. Fill a bucket with hot water, a mild liquid detergent, and use a stiff scrub brush to scour those areas. Don’t scrub too vigorously as this will cause damage to the surface. Rinse the areas clean with the hose. Again, if any damage does occur, carefully remove that debris.
  • Step three: there may be staining left over that needs addressing. Under some circumstances, a solution of water and bleach will work effectively. Apply the solution with a spray bottle and let it soak for at least five minutes. However, if the stains are old, you may need to mix an industrial concrete cleaner with the bleach for optimal results. Use the same spraying and soaking technique, and scrub the stain with a nylon brush. Rinse clean with the hose.

Hard Water Stain Removal

If you have hard water stains on your stucco, all you need to do is use your hose. Apply consistent pressure with your sprayer evenly over the surface of the exterior surface until it’s gone. Don’t use too much pressure that it causes damage, but just enough to remove the stain. For example, don’t use a pressure washer to blast away the hard water stains. Instead, use the spray gun on your hose. In doing so, you’re creating light and even pressure that will remove the stain.

Cleaning Stucco on Your Houston Home

When it’s time to clean stucco on your Houston home annually, you’re ensuring it stays beautiful and free from damage. Avoiding costly repairs can occur when you perform a thorough inspection before each cleaning. Be sure to address all significant repairs with a licensed contractor. In doing so, you’re preventing any hidden damage from occurring behind the material. Maintaining the exterior of your home should be part of your spring routine. With some pre-planning and preparation, it’s possible to tackle this project with a little time and effort.


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