Consider Stucco for Your Fireplace Remodel
You love your home, but you want to change things up… So, what can you do that would make a big impact on your space without taking up a bunch of time and money? Consider updating your fireplace!
Fireplaces are natural focal points in a living space, and there are lots of ways to spruce it up. If you have a masonry brick fireplace, you may think about painting it or switching out the hearth or mantle. And while those are great options, we invite you to consider another alternative – encasing it in stucco.
Stucco has been used on fireplaces and chimneys for a long time – and for great reason. It’s customizable, lasts long, has fire-resistant qualities, and is fairly affordable. If you’re a homeowner in the Southwest Missouri or Northwest Arkansas area and you want to make a change to your fireplace, call us at Ozark Stove & Chimney.
Our crew has years of experience working on masonry chimney systems in all types of conditions in Greene County, MO and Benton County, AR, and we’d love to help you out. We’re honest, knowledgeable, and reliable, and you can trust us to get the job done right.
What Is Stucco?
Alright, so you’ve added “stucco” to your list of possible fireplace redesign options. Now onto the next question… What exactly is stucco? If you’re not certain what to expect from this design, you’re not alone. That said, describing stucco isn’t so simple. Looks can vary based on design preferences and what surface it’s covering. Here is a quick fact list to give you a better idea though…
- Stucco is made from a combination of cement, sand, and water.
- Stucco can cover many surfaces such as brick, metal, concrete, cement blocks, and a lot of other materials.
- Stucco is known for its versatility and is regularly used for both interior and exterior walls, ceilings, and – you guessed it – as a finish on fireplaces and chimneys.
- Stucco can be molded and shaped to mimic any texture.
- Stucco can be painted, allowing homeowners a unique ability to be creative with their decor.
- Stucco can be used as a way to restore damaged masonry or to give your home a fresh look.
Interested in getting some stucco in place throughout your home and chimney? Our experts would love to lend a hand. Call or book your next appointment with us online today.
Why Is Stucco Used on Fireplaces and Chimneys?
- It’s Easy to Apply: Stucco is relatively easy to apply and the turnaround time on a chimney project is usually just a few days. It can cover textured surfaces very well due to its ability to be molded, so it isn’t difficult to apply it to existing brickwork. All that adds up to you not having to take a huge chunk of time out of your already busy calendar.
- It’s Durable: When applied correctly, stucco can last several decades with proper care and maintenance. In the Ozarks, residents are subjected to all kinds of weather year-round and it can wreak havoc on certain materials. Stucco can protect your home from the elements due to its ability to withstand extreme heat and frigid temperatures. Stucco also acts as a barrier, preventing water absorption. Water exposure can cause damage that leads to deterioration and structural damage over time if unaddressed.
- Flexibility: Stucco is pliable, meaning it can be shaped to resemble just about any texture. Do you want an expensive stone facade for your chimney, but don’t want to break your budget? Then, stucco is the way you should go. It can also be painted so if you want to try something daring with your design plan, stucco provides the easiest way to bring your vision to life.
- It Lowers the Risk of Fire: Stucco can serve as a layer of protection for a home’s structure because it is naturally fire-resistant. By selecting the right materials (like stucco) and by scheduling regular inspections and sweepings with the Ozark Stove and Chimney crew, you can significantly lower the risk of a fire breaking out in your chimney.
Can You Put Stucco Over Brick?
You bet. Stucco can be applied to a variety of materials and surfaces and this includes the brickwork that makes up your chimney. In fact, stucco is often used for this very purpose, and its flexibility can provide that clean, polished, and fully refreshed look you’re hoping for. Others rely on it to cover up issues like cracks in the existing brickwork or other visible damage. Regardless of your scenario, stucco is a great investment.
Stucco is applied to brick in several steps. Here’s what you can expect during the process:
- Prep the Surface: First things first – clean the masonry! Before we can apply stucco to brick, it has to be washed off thoroughly. Things like chips in the brick, dirt in the mortar joints, or any other buildup can make the end result look bumpy – and it makes it more susceptible to chip and break down too. In the end, any bricks that don’t need to be removed or repaired should be power washed before the stucco process begins.
- Apply a Concrete Bonding Agent: You want your stucco to really stick, right? Concrete bonding agents are natural or synthetic materials used to join the old surface to the new. So, in this situation, a bonding agent allows stucco to adhere to the brick… so you don’t have to worry about peeling or chipping.
- Apply First Coat: The first coat of stucco is called the scratch coat. It is applied directly to the brick and is the thickest coat of the three. It typically doesn’t contain any color.
- Apply Second Coat: The second layer of stucco is the brown coat. This layer smooths out the surface and serves as a level base for the final layer.
- Apply Third Coat: After the brown coat dries and cures, the last layer of stucco is applied. This layer is the thinnest and is called the finish coat. This coat is where decorative finishes, like a desired texture and custom color, are applied.
So… is DIY an option?
There’s two types of homeowners. There are those who will read the steps above and want to stay as far away from this type of project as possible, and then there are the ones who confidently say to themselves, “I could do that…”
We’re not ones to tell you what projects you should or should not attempt in your own home, but we can say that applying stucco can be a comprehensive process. You’ll want to set aside ample time, ensure you have all the right materials, and make sure you do your research to ensure everything is done correctly.
If you’d rather leave it to the pros to ensure the job is done correctly and looks great, we’re here to help.
How To Maintain Stucco
Stucco is low maintenance – another huge perk of making this investment. Still, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends annual inspections to check your chimney for damage, regardless of the material used. The best way to maintain your chimney is by being proactive and scheduling yearly inspections with Ozark Stove and Chimney to keep repair work to a minimum.
In between annual checkups, there are a few ways to keep your stucco in tip-top condition:
- Clean It Regularly: Stucco is a bit of a magnet for dirt and dust – even indoors. Cleaning stucco is easy and doesn’t usually require more than a garden hose, a scrub brush, and some detergent or soap.
- Fix Cracks (As They Appear): Stucco is bound to crack over time as a result of regular wear and tear – and cracks in stucco are pathways for water. It is best to treat cracks when they are small, so if you spot one, take care of it as soon as possible. You can try to cover cracks yourself with caulking or call Ozark Stove and Chimney for a patch job.
- Address Repairs Quickly: Sometimes, stucco may develop cracks and holes that you can’t tackle on your own. A stucco chimney with a lot of chipping or other surface issues allows water to penetrate the surface. When water gets into a chimney, it causes damage that will lead to expensive repair work down the line. Be proactive by having any issues promptly addressed.
Due for some maintenance? Don’t wait to reach out – request an appointment with our techs today.
What Can Cause Stucco Damage?
So, you’re sold on the idea of stucco and want to get it applied to your chimney ASAP, so you can start enjoying the results… but what should you watch out for in terms of potential damage?
We’re glad you asked. As with most chimney components, water is the biggest threat to stucco chimneys. If your stucco is damaged or isn’t waterproofed, moisture can easily seep into the chimney and cause structural damage. It can also be a haven for mildew and mold.
Because of this maintenance and investing in repairs swiftly (as needed) is vital. We also suggest treating your chimney with a waterproof sealant to keep this material better protected.
And… although we said we’re not the ones to advise you to DIY or not, correct (professional) application will take you far in terms of avoiding bigger problems down the line. Just something to keep in mind.
And remember – you may not see signs of water damage in your stucco chimney until the problem has advanced, so it is important to keep up with regular inspections to prevent bigger issues. Call or book online with us today.
Is It Better To Repair or Replace Stucco?
If you already have a stucco chimney, but it’s damaged, there are two avenues to address the issue. You can either elect to repair the existing stucco or replace it altogether. Both options have benefits… For instance, repair work is usually cheaper than fully replacing it. On the other hand, completely replacing the stucco should permanently solve the problem – and gives you freedom to do any redesigning you had in mind.
Which one you choose will ultimately depend on the scope of the damage and your personal needs and preferences. The best way to determine a path is to schedule an appointment with our team. We can assess your chimney and make a recommendation based on its current state.
How Much Does Stucco Work Cost?
Don’t you hate it when you try to look up the price of a service online and companies simply come back with an evasive answer like, “It depends.”
Well, we hate to trigger any further frustration, but when it comes to chimney care, that’s kind of the only answer we have without knowing any further information about your needs or setup. The cost of stucco work varies a lot depending on what needs to be done. But finding a solid answer is easy – just give us a call and let us know what’s up!
For instance, if you just need stucco repaired, it will cost less than having it replaced. And if you already have damages, they’ll need to be addressed first which, again, affects the cost.
In the end, one of our chimney technicians will have to assess your chimney for any damage, after which we will give you a plan to move forward. With annual inspections and proper maintenance, you can prevent serious issues and save money in the long run.
Does Ozark Stove and Chimney Come To My Town?
We love traveling all throughout our service area, hitting up different communities and experiencing some of the joy that various neighborhoods have to offer.
We serve residents of Green County, Christian County, Stone County, Dallas County, Benton County, Marion County, and more. Just check our service area page for the specifics, and if you don’t see your town on the list, give us a call and one of our customer service representatives will be happy to see what we can do for you.
Considering Stucco for Your Fireplace and Chimney? Hire Us
Call Ozark Stove and Chimney for all of your chimney stucco and masonry repair needs. If you want to reface your chimney, need stucco repaired or replaced, or have general questions regarding our stucco-related services, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can call us at 417-201-6585 to speak with one of our customer service representatives or schedule an appointment with us online.