Cleaning Exterior Stucco Walls Properly
Homeowners often think of stucco as a tough, outer coating of their home that can stand up to anything. Although it's a protective coating for your home, it can also be moderately delicate. This can make plaster walls difficult to clean. It's important to clean your stucco walls often since they're porous and textured, which absorbs water and traps dirt. Below is a guide that can help you clean your stucco walls properly.
Garden Hose Cleaning
While it may be tempting to clean your stucco walls with a power washer, you should avoid this at all cost. Power washers are too rough and can damage or rip stucco right off your home. Instead, you outfit your garden hose with a jet nozzle, which you can purchase from most hardware stores. Even with a jet nozzle, you should set the nozzle to a low setting.
When wetting the wall, start from the bottom and slowly work your way to the top. If space allows, stand as far away from your walls as possible when spraying them. This will ensure that the water pressure doesn't remove any plaster from your walls.
With your plaster walls now wet, it's time to clean them using a trisodum phosphate solution, which is a favorite among professionals. Keep in mind, however, that TSP can burn if it comes into contact with the skin, so use protective gear when handling this type of product. After following the manufacturer's instructions on how to properly mix TSP, use a soft-bristle brush to gently scrub any areas of your walls that are stained.
Pro tip: Before cleaning large areas of your wall with TSP, first try it on a small area of your siding that is not in plain view. In some rare cases TSP can discolor your plaster, so it's best to test it first.
Mildew and Mold
If you notice mildew or mold growing on your walls, make a bleach cleaning solution. You want this solution to be very diluted to ensure it doesn't harm plants or animals around your house. Mix a solution that is only one part bleach and 10 parts water. Using a medium bristle brush, scrub any mildew or mold spots you find.
Rinse Your Walls
Once you thoroughly clean your walls, grab your garden hose and jet nozzle to rinse them. Spray down the area surrounding your home as well to ensure that you wash away all the contaminants that may have washed to the ground.
If you spray down your walls every few weeks, you'll have less buildup of mold and mildew. This will make cleaning your stucco walls faster and easier in the future. Also, keeping your siding clean will increase the curbside appeal of your home. The Mr. Stucco website has more online resources and references available.