How Can I Prevent White Stains From Appearing On My Stucco Walls?
If you’ve scrubbed and swept and sworn one too many times at those chalky white marks on your stucco home, it's about time to do yourself a favor and do something to prevent them.
That unsightly “efflorescence” shows up when the sun dries everything off after one of our rare soaking rains or in spots where your sprinkler has sprayed water on your house over and over.
You can’t unbuild your house, but you can strip the stucco down to nearly new and take some preventive measures that could lessen the appearance of those efflorescent eyesores.
Here are four steps to banish, or at least blunt, the fuzzy white blight:
- Use a power washer to remove dirt, loose paint, and all signs of efflorescence from the walls.
- Use an elastomeric caulking to seal cracks in the stucco and to close up gaps and cracks around windows, doors, plumbing pipes and other “holes” in the exterior walls that could let water drip behind the stucco.
- Prime the walls with an alkali-resistant sealer, designed to help neutralize the efflorescence. Spray a liberal coat of 100 percent acrylic paint over the primer, and then painstakingly work the paint into the wall surface with a roller. If you don’t have a sprayer, use a roller alone, but slather on a lot of paint and press it into every tiny crevice in the wall. Spraying alone won’t do the job right.
- Keep moisture away from your freshly primed and painted stucco. Move sprinklers away from the house or you’ll find yourself with the same problems despite the effort you made to prevent them.