For decades, builders have been using Portland-based cement to create the look of stucco on homes and businesses. And they have been putting up with a major flaw in the materials: its propensity to crack. 

The reason they’ve been putting up with this flaw and all the problems that come with it – callbacks and warranty issues to name a couple – is that there hasn’t been an alternative. 

Now there is. 

StoneCoat SMOOTH provides a simpler, more attractive, and sustainable alternative to Portland-based stucco. And builders are starting to notice. 

Before we get into that, let’s look at how the industry has been dealing with Portland-based stucco’s many problems. 

Compromises of Portland-based Stucco 

There’s a saying in construction. “If it comes in a sack, it’s going to crack.” That’s the simple reality when dealing with cement-based products, and Portland-based stucco is no exception. Homes and buildings clad with stucco are prone to cracking due to its high coefficient of thermal expansion, which makes it more brittle when it expands and contracts with seasonal temperature changes. 

Portland-based stucco is very difficult to deal with when it does crack. It can lead to water intrusion, mold and other damage.  

It is also very difficult to repair. A cracked stucco wall typically needs to be entirely replaced between expansion joints. It cannot be patched or repaired without having obvious cosmetic blemishes. 

To combat this, makers of Portland-based stucco have spent millions of dollars on research and development. They have come up with work-arounds and chemical additives to help prevent cracking, with varying degrees of success. 

But the result is that Portland-based stucco has become increasingly expensive and complicated to apply. It’s so complicated that the slightest deviation from manufacturer recommendations, including application technique and even environmental factors like temperature and humidity, can nullify the warranty. 

The additives have also affected the look of the product, creating a bland, sterile finish that doesn’t come close to the elegant look of natural stucco that it’s meant to mimic. 

But StoneCoat SMOOTH offers a solution to all of these compromises. 

Why StoneCoat SMOOTH is Better 

StoneCoat cladding products – SMOOTH and CARVE, which replicates stone veneer – are not immune to cracking. However, due to their lower coefficient of thermal expansion, they are much more flexible and elastic. 

However, even when it does crack, it is much easier to repair. That’s because it’s made of limestone, a natural material that tends to bond to itself. 

Examples of this principle exist in the natural world. In caves, stalactites and stalagmites eventually connect to become pillars. They are formed of limestone. 

This same dynamic occurs when you repair cracks in StoneCoat SMOOTH clad wall renders. Before long, the repairs disappear and the wall looks like it did when the cladding was first applied. 

Made from natural limestone, StoneCoat SMOOTH is much simpler than Portland-based stucco. It’s applied in a single component and adheres to nearly any substrate. Its versatility allows it to be troweled into multiple textures and finishes, so builders can easily get the look their customers want.  

It also has a 24-hour curing time, compared to three to seven days between coats for traditional stucco. This makes StoneCoat a much more cost-effective option than Portland-based stucco. 

Once applied, StoneCoat claddings offer a beautiful look and patina, giving homes and buildings a more natural look that complements the natural surroundings. Unlike traditional stucco, it doesn’t need to be painted. Instead, mineral pigments are integrated into the material itself to provide the desired color.  

StoneCoat SMOOTH is also easy to maintain, requiring occasional sealing to prevent water intrusion. 

Finally, StoneCoat is a sustainable option. It has been certified to reduce carbon emissions by 90 percent when compared to Portland-based stucco in a cradle to grave EPD analysis. 

Stands the Test of Time 

Limestone-based wall-renders are not new. Buildings with limestone facades have stood in Europe for centuries. 

It’s only recently that the benefits of limestone have been rediscovered, and incorporated into a product that makes it easy and economical to use in both commercial and residential construction. This offers a huge benefit to builders who are tired of the compromises of Portland-based stucco. 

Is StoneCoat SMOOTH Right for Your Project? 

In addition to using StoneCoat SMOOTH to get the timeless look of stucco, you can also enhance your project by combing it with StoneCoat FUSION. An innovative, 4-in-1 structural insulated sheathing system, FUSION replaces four layers of materials used in traditional exterior wall systems. The lightweight panels are faster and easier to install, saving time and money, and is a great way to add exterior insulation to your project to be compliant with new energy code requirements. 

Best of all, StoneCoat SMOOTH adheres directly to the FUSION sheathing, allowing builders to get a complete wall assembly, including cladding, in just a couple steps. 

Contact us today to learn more about our innovative products and how we can help you achieve your green building goals. Our team of experts is ready to provide tailored advice and support to ensure the success of your project. 

Phone: (866) 837-1431