There are so many reasons why we love stucco. It’s sturdy, attractive, and timeless. But when you see a crack in your stucco, there’s a tendency for you to worry about the overall built of your covering.
Cracks in stucco happen because of various factors. These include inadequate mixing, poor workmanship, incorrect mix proportions, seasonal changes, and seismic movement. However, there are two leading causes of cracks in stucco. One of those is the house settling process and the other one is shrinkage-induced stresses which usually happens during the dry months.
Every case is different, but check out these guidelines to see how serious a stucco crack can be.
Hairline cracks in the exterior
Hairline cracks are not as serious deep cracks but it shouldn’t be dismissed completely. They can pave a way for water and moisture to seep into a wall system, causing further damage eventually. If water enters the inside, the stucco wall will soften the substances, causing the stucco to creak away later on. These water and moisture if gets trapped inside the stucco walls cause additional issues such as mold development, foul smell, paint failure, swollen drywall wood rot, and irreparable damage. Fixing these hairline cracks is akin to an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
Depending on how wide or obvious the crack is, repainting can make these flaws virtually disappear. Even though this type of cracks are smaller than 1 1/16 inches and don’t pose a great threat to the overall integrity of the stucco wall, repairing them immediately prevents it from escalating into bigger and permanent damage.
Aside from repainting right away, you can also apply a high-quality caulk on the crack. Using a brush dab the caulk while wet. Let it cure and dry for a while then paint the entire spot.
Large stucco cracks
Large cracks signal a structural issue. This type of crack is usually deep and therefore, allows the water and moisture to seep into the structure’s envelope and pass freely through walls. It usually starts at the intersection of vertical walls, at the upper corners of door and window frames, or at the connection between wood framing and masonry.
The most “dangerous” cracks are typically wider than 1/16 inches, with unaligned edges. This may signal that structural changes in your house will occur when the foundation settles heavier on one side than on the other as it might cause enough stress for the stucco to crack. It is important to properly investigate large cracks before working to repair them.
Credit card stucco test
Follow these easy steps you can do yourself to test how big is the crack in your stucco.
- Use your credit card or any materials alike, go to the spot where you see the crack in your stucco.
- Slide your credit card into the crack in your stucco and see if it glides smoothly.
- If you can slide your credit card into the stucco crack, it’s time to call for some professional help.
Large cracks of 1/16 of an inch can indicate structural problems that have to be addressed before repairing the stucco. The underlying cause must be treated first before treating the symptom, which in this case is the crack.
Stucco is your properties’ first line of defense against any harsh climate, attending even to the simplest stucco crack immediately using the best products and methods is important to ensure your home’s strength and longevity.