Many homes, particularly those in hotter areas in the south, lack wooden or vinyl siding. Instead, the home exteriors are covered with stucco, which is a cement based finish. This exterior finish is durable and relatively maintenance free, but it requires skill to mix and install.
What is Stucco?
Stucco is a mixture of cement, sand and water. There are synthetic versions available as well. You’ll often see homes with stucco finishes in desert areas like New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, and Western Texas. Stucco is a great insulator and it doesn’t reflect light, which helps with keeping homes cooler in the hot sun. Much like a very thick paint, stucco is applied to a home using trowels.
As decades pass, wind, rain and heat can wear down stucco, leading to a home needing refinishing. Earthquakes can cause cracks that need mending. The surface of your stucco exterior requires maintenance to keep insects from entering your walls. When recoating or repairs are needed, homeowners must find a qualified stucco contractor.
What Does a Stucco Contractor Do?
A stucco contractor is skilled at mixing and applying the stucco to ensure it withstands weather conditions and time. He or she also makes sure the tinting in the stucco is correct so that it dries to the color the homeowner is expecting. Stucco contractors can work on brand new home or business constructions applying stucco to the building exterior or work on older homes refinishing the exterior.
What Should I Look for in a Stucco Contractor?
According to state regulations, stucco contractors do not need a college education. Rather, most stucco contractors work in apprenticeships after high school and get their training with someone in the field. Most apprenticeships last for approximately four years. In order to determine if your stucco contractor has completed the necessary training, you might want to make sure he or he has certification from the International Masonry Institute. Although it is not necessary to have certification in order to legally work in the field, having this certification indicates that the contractor has achieved a certain level of training and skill that is desirable.