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How Do You Repair Cracked Stucco?March 25th, 2016 by
Stucco is a common siding material for buildings and homes made with lime, silica sand, and cement. Extremely durable, a stucco foundation or exterior siding can last for decades. Unfortunately, stucco hairline cracks can form as the material ages. If not repaired, the stucco can crack and crumble. You should repair stucco cracks immediately to prevent structural issues with your home.
What Causes Stucco To Crack?
From man-made issues to natural wear and tear, there are several reasons for stucco cracks. If you have cracks in your stucco walls or foundation, here are the main causes:
- Settling Foundation – When the soil beneath the house compresses or is washed away by floods or heavy rainstorms, it can lead to foundation settlement. This can cause vertical cracks in stucco and foundation walls.
- Water leaks – If water permeates the home’s structure (such as through excessive water around the home’s foundation), it can cause cracks in your exterior stucco.
- Weather circumstances – While stucco is considered a weather-repellent siding, wind, heavy rains, and humidity can weaken the material over time.
- Vibrations – Although rare, external vibrations from nearby construction sites or heavy traffic can also lead to cracks in stucco siding.
What Are the Dangers of Stucco Cracks?
Cracks in stucco siding are not only bad for curb appeal, but they can also negatively impact the home. If left unattended, hairline cracks can grow larger, which can lead to further structural problems.
Cracks can allow in moisture, leading to water damage, and larger cracks can give bugs an entrance point into the home. Stucco cracks can also damage paintwork and become a breeding spot for mold and wood rot.
In order to prevent further damage, it’s important to repair the cracked stucco as soon as possible.
How To Repair Stucco Cracks
Prep accordingly. Always address the cause of the cracks before repairing stucco. Otherwise, the cracks will likely return. For instance, if water-damaged stucco is found around the foundation, it was probably caused by water pooling at the base. Adding gutters before making the stucco repairs or talking to a foundation repair specialist can help ensure that the problem does not reoccur.
Be sure the conditions are right. Temperatures that are too cold, hot, dry, or windy can cause damage new stucco, so it’s important to do the job when the conditions are just right. You should also ensure that the stucco mixture is the right consistency, or else faults will show when the stucco dries.
Be precise and quick. Before getting started, the damaged area should be cleared of the old stuccowork. Next, any exposed lath should be covered, additional mesh should be added, and new stucco should be applied. The stucco mixture dries in just 30 to 90 minutes, so it’s important to work efficiently.
If a home has more than just a few cracks, it may be time to call a local professional who will offer great advice and service for stucco repair work.