Stucco On a Brick Facade: Should You Remove It or Leave It Be?

Mar 2, 2023 8:45:00 AM Christina Wilson

As decades passed, stucco became popular for covering brick exteriors. However, the use of stucco on historic brick is contentious, with some promoting its removal and others advocating for its preservation. Before chiseling or removing stucco, you should consider both sides of the issue.  Working with a historic brick expert will help you determine the best option for your home and whether you should remove it or leave it be.

Pros and Cons of Stucco on a Historic Brick Façade

Historic brick is different from contemporary brick, so it needs special treatment when it comes to restoration. There are multiple things to consider before deciding to remove stucco from your historic brick façade. 

Protection: Stucco may protect the brick from the elements, including moisture, wind, and extreme temperatures. This can help to prolong the life of the brick and prevent deterioration.

Energy Efficiency: Stucco is an excellent insulator, and it can help improve your home's energy efficiency, reducing your monthly bills. However, there are other materials and methods that can help insulate, which could be even more effective than the original stucco.

Cost Effective: Removing stucco from a historic brick facade can be a complex and time-consuming process, which will also be an expensive one.  Leaving the stucco on your home can be a cost-effective solution if you want to save money in the short term.

Historic Integrity: One of the biggest drawbacks of leaving stucco on a historic brick facade is that it can compromise the historical integrity of the building. Stucco can detract from the original character and charm of the home.

Concealed Damage: If the brick on your historic home is damaged, leaving the stucco on can hide problems and make it more challenging to diagnose and repair. Removing the stucco allows you to access and repair the damaged brick more easily as needed.

Risk of Damage: Removing stucco from a historic brick facade can also damage the brick. If the stucco is removed improperly, it can cause damage to the brick and mortar, which can be difficult and expensive to repair. 

Consult a Historic Brick Home Expert Before Deciding What to Do with Stucco

As you are weighing the pros and cons of removing stucco, strongly consider enlisting a specialist - a historical brick home expert. With a focus on historic preservation, these specially trained and highly skilled craftspeople share their knowledge of traditional methods. Equipped to handle a historic brick home's unique needs and requirements, their expert advice will help you understand how to enhance the benefits while mitigating the risks. 

As you work to restore your home to its original condition, investing in a historical brick expert is always a smart move for homeowners. Their invaluable expertise and understanding of techniques, tools, and materials will help maintain your house's structural integrity and prevent further brick damage, thereby increasing the curb appeal, charm, and value of your home.

Renaissance Development, a leader in brick restoration and historic preservation, specializes in the restoration of a historic brick building’s mortar joints using traditional methods (tuckpointing) and materials. Contact us for a free site visit and project quote.


Categories: Historic Preservation, Exterior brick, old brick, Stucco

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