Have you, as a homeowner, noticed that the stucco on your walls is starting to crack, when is the right time to repair stucco cracks? When will the need for maintenance become apparent?
Stucco is prone to developing cracks rather often. Cracks in stucco walls are obvious to anyone who has them. are almost inevitable because of the material. If you have stucco in your home, you need to educate yourself on how cracks form and how often you should be prepared to fix them.
The following is a guide that will explain what causes stucco cracks, how to fix them, and when it is necessary to repair them.
Different types of cracks in stucco
Stucco walls are susceptible to developing a variety of different sorts of fractures over time. Cracks in stucco may be repaired in a variety of ways, and which one you go with will depend on the causes of the cracks.
To determine the kind of cracks that are present in your stucco, you must first search for the following things.
Hairline Cracks: Most of the time, these cracks are only 1/16 of an inch wide or less. These are the most common kinds of cracks you'll see. Whether you choose one or the other depends on them. Most of the time, they happen in new homes because the plaster settles and moves as the house is being built. Hairline cracks can sometimes be caused by drying wood, shifting foundations, and building work.
Foam Trim Cracks: Cracks can also happen in the foam molding that goes around stucco. If you see cracks here, it means that the foam trim wasn't put on with fiberglass mesh tape. Then, over time, cracks will form because of the expansion and contraction.
Spider Cracking: The name comes from the fact that the cracks in your stucco look like spider webs. If you see this in your stucco, it means the base coat wasn't given enough time to dry out. This could be because too much water was in the mix, it dried too quickly, or the temperature needed to be right when it was put on.
Pattern Cracking: Your walls may have cracks in a specific pattern. Most of the time, it shows up on your stucco as a grid of horizontal and vertical lines. This is happening because of problems with how the lath was put in place. It probably wasn't put on right, which will cause more cracks over time.
Diagonal Cracking: As the name suggests, these cracks are diagonal. They are often found around doors and windows. Changes in the foundation caused by earthquakes cause these to move. If these cracks are bigger than others on your stucco, you should fix these first.
How and When to Fix Cracks in Stucco
So, when should you fix cracks in your stucco if you've seen them?
the simple answer as soon as you can.
Even if you just noticed a small crack, you should fix it right away. It may be small right now, but it could grow and cause more problems in the future. Filling it in now will stop that crack from getting worse.
In addition, you'll need to ensure your home is safe. If the stucco has cracks, water can get in and cause problems like mold and dampness. If you don't catch them early, they are hard to fix, so the sooner you fix that crack, the better.
Cracks: How to Fix Them
How you fix cracks in your stucco will depend on how the crack got there in the first place.
- If the crack is tiny, you can just fill it in to stop it from getting bigger.
- If the crack is diagonal or has a pattern, you'll need to do more work or call professionals to help you fix it.
It's not too hard to fix a small crack like a hairline. You can get many things to help you fill it in at your local hardware store. If you need to decide which one to buy, ask the people working there.
Acrylic caulk, which can be used to fill in gaps, is the most common product.
- You'll need to make the crack about a quarter of an inch wide and then use a wire brush to clean out debris.
- Then, the mixture and a regular caulk gun fill the crack.
- After 24 hours, paint over the caulk with paint made from water.
When to Call a Professional
The lath underneath needs to be fixed or replaced when there are pattern cracks in the stucco. This means that the stucco will have to come off to get to it. Once the lath is properly fixed, new stucco must be put on top.
If there are big cracks or cracks that go in different directions, it's likely that there's a problem with your home's foundation. You'll need to call professionals to fix the foundation in these situations first. If you don't, you'll see more cracks that get bigger over time. Call a pro to look at your foundation and figure out how to fix it.
How to Keep Stucco from Cracking in the Future
Now that you have fixed any cracks in your stucco, you want to ensure that no more cracks will appear.
How can you make sure that you won't have to fix the stucco again?
The way the stucco is put on makes all the difference, so if you want the best results, you'll have to put on new stucco.
- Make sure that the stucco has a good water-resistant barrier so that water damage and cracks don't happen.
- The lath must be put up correctly if you want to avoid cracks.
There are ways to put things together that will also reduce cracks. Inquire about control joints, casing beads, and corner beads with your construction team. All of these work to reduce the stress on the stucco, making it less likely to crack.
If you are careful and watch your stucco closely, you can stop any big problems from happening. If you fix small cracks as soon as you see them, they won't get worse and cause you more trouble. When you see cracks in stucco, fixing them as quickly as possible is best.
If they are more extensive or more complicated than you thought, you should have a professional look at them. Call Gold Star Stucco for more info.
This way, your stucco will stay in good shape for many years.