How to Clean Stucco Siding
How to Clean Stucco Siding
A common building plaster for hundreds of years, stucco is also popular as an exterior finish for homes. The eco-friendly material is a mixture of concrete, sand and limestone, and is generally applied over stone, concrete or metal mesh. It improves the look of raw building materials while acting as an insulator from the elements. But stucco is highly porous, which can lead to easy staining. Its fragility and tendency to crumble makes proper cleaning technique an important part of stucco maintenance.
You should clean your stucco at least once per year to prevent stains from algae, dirt, dust buildup, air pollution and more.
With aged, damaged or eroded stucco, water can easily get into holes or cracks that develop. This can cause mold, mildew and other difficult issues, so be sure to repair any cracks or openings with caulk before cleaning.
Unpainted stucco is particularly susceptible to a type of algae growth called gloeocapsa magma, due to the exposed calcium carbonate present in the limestone material. If your stucco has been painted, this isn’t likely to be an issue. But black stains on your stucco are potentially an accumulation of this dead algae.
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner is a cleaner, degreaser, deodorizer and stain remover that powers out dirt and grime, and removes stubborn stains on stucco and other washable surfaces. It’s free of any harsh or abrasive chemicals that can discolor or damage your stucco, and literally has hundreds of uses around the home.
Follow these basic maintenance steps to keep the best look and longest lifespan for your stucco.
Directions for Cleaning Stucco:
- In a bucket or large container, mix 1.5 cups Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner in a gallon of water.
- Hose down the siding.
- Use a soft-bristle brush to apply the cleaning mixture in sections, scrubbing firmly enough to clean without damaging the siding surface. Don’t allow to dry between sections.
- Rinse with hose.
PRESSURE WASHER APPLICATION
Use caution when using a pressure washer around openings like windows, doors, and plumbing connections. Protect nearby plants and grass by rinsing them with water before and after pressure washing.
- Hose down the surface.
- Pour full-strength Simple Green into your pressure washer detergent tank, or drop your siphon tube into the bottle of Simple Green.
- Apply Simple Green onto siding in sections from bottom to top, using a low-pressure setting and a 25-40 degree nozzle tip. Make sure your pressure washer nozzle is pointed at the siding in a downward angle, keeping a minimum of 18 inches from the surface to avoid driving water beneath or behind the siding. Do not allow the product to dry onto the surface.
- Rinse well with clean water from top to bottom.
Be sure to check your warranty beforehand. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendation on proper cleaning practices.