Do It Yourself Stucco Cleaning

Cleaning stucco is an intimidating do-it-yourself project because it appears that water will cause the porous surface irreparable harm. In fact, that's not the case if you take your time.

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Here's what you need to do to get your stucco clean and looking like new.

  1. Prepare the surface. Apply stucco crack filler and fill in any patches that have fallen off the wall before cleaning the surface. Let it dry for a week or so. Pick an inconspicuous test spot to test the detergent and spray pressure. Make any adjustments in the stucco cleaning process as gauged by the success of your initial test.
  2. Use a sprayer. Start at the bottom of the wall and work your way up in small sections. Set the PSI rating at about 2,000 for a distance between the nozzle and the wall of one to two feet. The PSI rating can exceed 3,000 for distances between four and five feet. Use a cleaning detergent made especially for use in a sprayer.
  3. Spray the detergent. Let the detergent sit for up to ten minutes before wetting it again or rinsing it off. Avoid letting the detergent dry. Keep re-wetting the moistened sections or finish by rinsing with clean water in a wide spraying action.
  4. Scrub the problem areas. Use a scrub brush on stubborn algae, discoloration, dirt and grime. Use a soft bristled brush and moderate pressure to avoid damaging the stucco.
  5. Rust spots are a challenge in stucco cleaning. Outdoor water spigots and other sources of rust frequently discolor stucco. Scrub with a mild detergent if the sprayer fails to remove the unsightly brown. Use some elbow grease, but don't overdo it.

Restoring stucco to its former glory is time-consuming but generally a project that any homeowner can successfully accomplish.

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