Stucco is perhaps one of the most attractive, energy efficient, and green products you can utilize as an exterior finish to your home and/or commercial property.
Made from lime, sand, and cement, stucco can also be combined with thick insulation panels to create a super energy barrier commonly referred to as an Exterior Insulation Finishing System, or EIFS.
One of the major benefits of stucco is its durability and ability to maintain its integrity for years and years in all sorts of climates, be it hot or cold.
However, that doesn’t mean as time goes on, the stucco on your home or office won’t start showing signs of wear and tear. According to Best Pick Reports, stucco will begin to show its age in form of tiny or hairline cracks.
You should not let these narrow fissures go for long before being repaired since they can lead to much larger cracks.
Find a reputable company that specializes in exterior stucco repair, and get the job done right the first time.
Cracks not only look bad but if left unattended they can have a negative structural effect on your building since they will allow moisture and water to enter into the walls.
The water builds up and will cause significant damage to the wall structure costing you potentially thousands in construction repairs.
That said, what are some of the common causes of stucco damage and how will they help you determine when it’s time to call in the professionals to make the necessary repairs?
- 1 1. Stucco Cracks Due to Foundation Settlement
- 2 2. Stucco Cracks Due to Water Penetration
- 3 3. Stucco Cracks Due to Bad Weather Events
- 4 4. Stucco Cracks Due to Vibrations and Seismic Events
- 5 5. Prevent Future Stucco Cracks and Prep Existing Cracks
- 6 6. Only Tackle Stucco Cracks Under the Right Conditions
- 7 7. Stucco Crack Repair Requires Precision and Speed
1. Stucco Cracks Due to Foundation Settlement
Climactic events like heavy rainstorms and floods can cause the soil under both block and cement foundations to shift or be washed away.
When this happens, the foundations will settle due to gravity, and the result will be vertical cracks that form in the exterior stucco finish.
These cracks must be treated right away by yourself, or a professional stucco repair company.
2. Stucco Cracks Due to Water Penetration
Once water finds its way into a building’s foundation, it will slowly but surely deteriorate the wood lath and stucco finish that surrounds it, resulting in cracks.
These cracks will only invite more water to enter into the building during rainstorms and floods.
3. Stucco Cracks Due to Bad Weather Events
Says, Best Pick Reports, one of the major benefits of stucco is its weather resiliency. The finish can repel wind, heavy rain and snowstorms, excessive humidity, exposure to the sun’s heat rays, ice, and more.
However, the material, if left untreated and maintained, will weaken after time and cause cracks.
4. Stucco Cracks Due to Vibrations and Seismic Events
If your stucco finished home or commercial property is located in an urban area, vibrations due to close by heavy construction equipment and heavy traffic will cause vibrations that can lead to cracks.
If you live in a seismically active area, your building may suffer cracks during even a minor seismic event.
Now that you’re aware of some of the causes of exterior stucco finish cracks, what are some common repair tips?
5. Prevent Future Stucco Cracks and Prep Existing Cracks
If you decide to tackle your stucco crack repairs on your own, you will want to first find out what caused the fissures in the first place.
For instance, if excessive water running down the exterior wall is causing the cracks, you might want to invest in a better gutter system.
Adding new gutters prior to making the repair on your own, or by hiring a professional to take care of them, will ensure they don’t happen again.
When fixing the cracks with fresh stucco, make sure you clean the existing crack thoroughly before applying the new material.
6. Only Tackle Stucco Cracks Under the Right Conditions
Best Tips Reports states that you should avoid stucco repairs on days that are too cold, too hot, or too windy since these extreme conditions can compromise the new material as you’re attempting to apply it.
Your stucco mix should be the same consistency as the existing stucco or a different, unsightly patch will result when the stucco dries—all the more reason to leave repairs up to the professionals.
7. Stucco Crack Repair Requires Precision and Speed
Prior to applying new stucco to a cracked area, remember to cover any broken or exposed mesh with new material.
Only then can you apply the stucco with a trowel. But be quick and precise about your application, since stucco will dry in 30 to 90 minutes.
Stucco just might be the perfect, rugged, all-natural finish for your home or commercial property. But eventually, cracks are going to happen.
You can count on it. You can attempt to fix these cracks on your own, but unless you are a master mason or stucco expert, it’s probably better to leave the repairs up to a reputable stucco repair company.