If you have a little crack in your outside stucco, you can repair it—and you should, or you may wind up with more extensive repairs down the line.
Q: My home is 64 years old and still has its original stucco. There is a slight fracture on one exterior wall, with paint peeling away on both sides. Is there a method to repair
stucco fast and simply before the rains arrive, and is it work I can undertake on my own?
A: Good news: your crack is not the consequence of foundation settling, based on your description. I would have encouraged you to call a foundation specialist if you had seen larger cracks and other indications, such as sticky doors and windows. As it is, this is a task that any do-it-yourselfer can do. And, since this is such an important profession, you were proper to be careful. If rainfall penetrates the stucco, you may have a bigger problem.
You can repair stucco using a variety of commercially available products. While some are designed to fix bigger gouges and holes, others are specifically designed to mend cracks such as the one you describe. Quikrete, for example, manufactures a textured (sanded) acrylic caulk that is both easy to apply and effective.
The first step may seem counterintuitive: widen the crack to at least a quarter inch using a cold chisel and hammer. The margins of the fracture should be chiseled perpendicular to the wall. Back cut the crack so that its base is broader than its top. Remove any loose debris from the fracture using a wire brush.
Using a caulk gun, apply the stucco repair compound along the crack. Trowel the repair to match the surrounding stucco finish as you go. Allow the patch to cure for 24 hours before painting it with water-based paint that matches the color of the home's exterior.
You may notice that the finished object is still bendable to the touch despite being cured. That flexibility is a true testament to the durability of the repair. Future little wall movement won't undo the repair; it will just adapt. You can be sure that rain won't get beneath the stucco now that the crack has been completely repaired.
Remember that hiring specialists for stucco repair will ensure perfect sealing and stop further damage.