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Vero Beach Stucco: A Long History And A Bright Future

at | Category: Stucco


Vero Beach Stucco is a form of plaster made by mixing an aggregate, a bonding compound, and water. Used by the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Arabs, this surface adornment and protection is still popular today in many areas of the world. Its composition and the methods used to apply it have not even changed all that much.

The ingredients have traditionally been mixed on site and must be applied while wet. It is usually laid on in several coats, although some of the newer, synthetic stuccos guarantee one-coat coverage. When it is completely dry, it makes a hard and durable coating. It has also been used for centuries to make decorative architectural elements, such as cornices and ceiling moldings.

The mixture will adhere to masonry, like stone, adobe, brick, concrete, and cinder block. Wood framing requires a moisture barrier (often asphalt-impregnated paper) and some sort of lattice or wire mesh to hold the plastering. The final coat (three is usual) can be smooth as marble, floated to bring sand to the surface to give a uniform texture, or swirled into patterns.

Today Portland cement is used to hold the sand and water together. It gives a far greater degree of hardness and weather resistance than the original lime. Lime is soluble in water, and buildings made of the traditional mixture eventually crumble away. However, lime has what is called ‘self-healing properties.’ A small portion of the lime will soften in wet weather, seal tiny cracks caused by structural settling or weather extremes, and then harden again. That is one reason why lime is often added to mixtures that also contain cement.

Traditional stucco in Vero Beach is best suited to hot, dry climates, where its components are not subjected to frequent rains and where the coolness of thick walls is appreciated. It is the most popular exterior finish in the American southwest. Today, with cement added to the mix, it is now suitable for all regions. Its affordability, durability, and relatively easy application makes it an attractive option for residences and commercial buildings.

Maintenance is really minimal with modern types of this material. Pigments are usually added to the mix, so the color is not just on the surface, and stuccoed walls never need painting. Regular inspections to detect cracks and chips and occasional washing is pretty much all that will be required in most cases.

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