07 - stucco on fire

How Does Stucco Hold Up Against Fire?

In the United States, stucco is a popular home exterior material. When properly installed, stucco can protect your home from a variety of concerns, including water, pests, intense impacts, extreme hot and cold temperatures, and even fire.

However, how efficient is stucco in preserving your home and its residents from the ravages of fire? How does stucco compare to other commonly used materials for residential walls? And how fire resistant is a well-built stucco system?

This article will answer all your worries and more, giving you a detailed image of the protective features provided by stucco.

Fire Resistance of Stucco

Because of the ingredients used to manufacture it, stucco is a highly fire-resistant construction material. Among the constituents are Portland cement, sand, limestone, water, and different additives. Stucco is safe since none of these chemicals are flammable or combustible.

The application of stucco on walls also provides fire protection. It is arranged in many levels, the most frequent being three. These layers offer thickness and, consequently, protect the wall’s surface.

Stucco may cover additional fire-resistant construction components in addition to its fire-resistance characteristics. Stucco is often used to cover stone or brick on stick-built (wood frame) houses, although it may also be used to cover stone or brick on other structures. When a stucco impression is sought, this is most often used.

Comparison to Other Siding Materials

How does stucco compare to other common siding materials regarding fire protection?

Stucco is much more fire-resistant than vinyl, wood, or faux wood. Vinyl melts quickly and easily when exposed to the high temperatures associated with fire. Vinyl may begin to melt when exposed to direct sunshine on a hot day.

Meanwhile, wood and imitation wood are very combustible and provide no fire protection. While vinyl will not prevent a fire from spreading, it will assist in keeping it from spreading. The same cannot be said of wood siding.

Stucco resembles Hardie fiber cement siding and stone and brick veneer. All of these siding types provide adequate fire protection. The primary disadvantage of these materials is cracking. If the surface has fissures, the fire will be able to reach the wood within the wall more rapidly.

The most fire-resistant building materials include stone, brick, and metal. The difference between stone and brick and their veneer counterparts is that they are full-thickness, giving far more protection.

Stucco Fire Rating

A typical stucco application is 1 inch thick. At least three layers of stucco will be applied to the wall to achieve this thickness. Scratch, brown, and finish coats are all visible. While these three layers are the most common, more are generally available to combat particular documented environmental threats in the area.

At one inch thick, stucco has a one-hour fire rating. If the wall were exposed to flames, it would take an hour for the fire to breach the wall and damage the remainder of your house.

Compared to the average period for contemporary and traditional houses, 1 hour is a very long time to survive a fire. The walls of a modern house are often between 3 and 5 minutes. Homes constructed 30 years ago may endure barely 15 to 17 minutes.

Stucco’s 1-hour fire rating is relevant for two reasons. For starters, it gives you and your family. You will have to evacuate if there is a fire more time to escape the building. Second, it shows that your house can withstand a fire until the fire brigade arrives to extinguish it.

Protect Your Home From Fire

If you want fire protection in your home’s siding, stucco is a fantastic alternative. Stucco can withstand high temperatures and flame exposure without igniting as a non-combustible material combination.

While vinyl siding is the most common and least expensive option, it offers significantly less protection than stucco. Limestone and bricks, on the other hand, provide the greatest level of protection but are also the most costly options. Like stone and brick veneers, Stucco falls somewhere in the center, giving protection at a reasonable cost.

Stucco has a 1-hour fire rating, which implies that a fire will take an average of 1 hour to break through the wall. This is a far higher fire rating than is seen in the majority of new homes.

Even with all the fire protection afforded by stucco, it is important to remember that most house fires start inside. The fires will not be put out by stucco. It can, however, defend it against fires outside your home.

Toms River Stucco

Toms River Stucco is your neighborhood stucco contractor. We’ve been in the stucco business since 1985 and have built a reputation for doing honest and trustworthy service. Please immediately contact us for a free quotation on your next stucco project.