How to Clean Stucco Properly

Stucco is still a superior choice for building materials among many property owners today. Stucco can improve the appearance of any property while also acting as an insulator. It is also eco-friendly, as it is made of limestone, concrete, and sand.
However, stucco can gather a significant amount of dirt, grime, mold, and algae due to its textured surface. These pollutants not only age the appearance of a property over time, but they can also cause long-term damage. As a result, you must take care of your stucco surface and keep it clean. Ideally, Homeowners should clean stucco surfaces twice a year.

How should exterior stucco be cleaned?

Here is a step-by-step guide to cleaning stucco surfaces:

Step 1: Examine the Stucco Surface.

The first step is to inspect the stucco surface for signs of damage. Examine the area for any cracks, gaps, or other openings.

Washing without inspecting the stucco surface may allow water to enter through the cracks. Mold and mildew can begin to grow as a result of this. As many people know, mold and mildew thrive in moist environments. This fact alone can even cause water damage within your walls in some cases.

Step 2: Fill in any cracks.

If you discover any cracks in your stucco surface, you must repair them before washing. Minor damages are simple to fix on your own. Hairline cracks and minor chips are examples of this.
Use an exterior acrylic caulk that closely matches the color of your stucco surface to repair minor damage. This caulk is available at most major home improvement and local stores. To cover the cracked or chipped area, apply caulk to it.
You can then replicate the texture of the stucco surface with sand or any other gritty material. While the caulk is still wet, press the gritty material onto it. Allow the caulk to dry before cleaning the stucco.
If the damage is severe, it is best to seek professional assistance.

Step 3: Rinse 

After thoroughly inspecting the stucco surface and repairing any cracks, it is time to clean the stucco surface. You must first rinse the surface with water. Water will remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris. You can do this with a standard garden hose and an attachment, or you can use a pressure washer.

To pressure wash stucco, use a pressure of 800 PSI or less and a 25- or 40-degree nozzle. Because stucco surfaces are porous and delicate, applying too much pressure can cause damage. There should be at least 24 inches between the nozzle and the stucco surface. To avoid damage, rinse the surface in an even stream at a 45-degree angle.

Step 4: Apply the Cleaning Solution

Knowing how to clean stucco stains means knowing which cleaning solution to use. To remove stains, mix liquid dish soap with water. If mold or mildew grows, you will need to use something stronger, such as bleach and water. For the former, mix equal parts bleach and water.
You can also use a mixture of bleach and a concentrated stucco cleaner. Homeowners can purchase this type of cleaner at any home improvement store. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully.
Typically, however, you will need to combine the cleaner with either bleach or hot water. Bleach aids in the elimination of mildew and algae. When working with bleach, always wear rubber gloves and goggles.

If you don’t want to use bleach, you can make a dish soap solution and Borax instead. Borax kills mold and is less toxic than bleach.
To make this cleaning solution, combine 2 gallons of warm water, 1/2 cup of Borax, and two tablespoons of liquid dish soap. 

It’s time to put your cleaning solution to use. Apply the solution at a downward angle with a 65-degree nozzle tip for stucco pressure washing. Maintain a distance of 18 to 24 inches between the nozzle tip and the stucco surface. 

Allow the solution to sit for 5 to 10 minutes after application. If the solution dries, it will be more difficult to rinse. You can keep it moist by lightly spraying it with water now and then.

Step 5: Scrub

Stubborn stains will require a little extra TLC in the form of a brush to remove altogether. Use a soft-bristle brush to scrub the stains away, either by hand or with the help of a rotating brush attachment. Scrub the stains in sections with gentle but firm pressure.

Step 6: Rinse once more.

The final step is to rinse the stucco surface with water thoroughly. This rinse will remove the solution and, if done correctly, all of the pollutants.
Using the pressure washer, rinse the surface from top to bottom. You can use a 25- or 40-degree nozzle tip for this. If you choose the 25-degree tip, keep it at least 24 inches from the surface to avoid damaging it.

Although you can clean stucco yourself, it is always better to hire a professional. Professionals understand how to clean stucco with pressure washing without damaging it.

Stucco Cleaning FAQs

Yes, you can clean stucco with a power or pressure washer. Just keep a reasonable distance between the nozzle and the surface, use 1,500 PSI, and a 25- or 40-degree nozzle. However, given the intensity of a power washer, it is always best to seek the assistance of a professional.

You can remove mildew from stucco with a solution of equal parts water and bleach. You can also combine bleach and a concentrated cleaner or use a mixture of Borax, dish soap, and warm water.

Cleaning stucco with vinegar can remove efflorescence. It is preferable to use a bleach solution on stucco surfaces to prevent mildew or algae growth.

If you notice black stains on your stucco surface, this is most likely the result of algae growth. You can use dish soap and water to remove this type of stain.

Yes, you can use bleach to clean your stucco surface. To clean stucco, combine equal parts bleach and water. Apply the mixture to the surface and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it with clean water.

Cleaning stucco with bleach or Borax. You must know and use the best cleaner when cleaning stucco ceilings, siding, and other surfaces. To clean stucco, use a bleach and water solution or bleach and concentrated cleaner solution. You can also use Borax mixed with warm water and dish soap.

Calcium Lime Rust, or CLR, can be used to clean unpainted stucco. However, it would be best if you did not use CLR on painted stucco because it will cause the paint to fade or crack.

To remove green algae from stucco, use a water and dish soap cleaning solution. You may need to scrub the stain with a soft-bristle brush before rinsing it with water.

Property owners like you must understand how to clean stucco effectively and adequately. With this knowledge, you can maintain the appearance of your stucco surface and extend its life cycle by minimizing the damage caused by pollutants.

Pressure washing stucco remains one of the most effective ways to clean stucco, but this job is best left to professionals. Call Advanced Pressure Washing Services, LLC, 601-633-3373, or visit our website for expert pressure washing services.

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