There are several reasons why cracks can 0ccur in your stucco. This includes creating the wrong mix proportions, insufficient mixing, poor workmanship, seismic movement, and seasonal changes. Now there are two leading causes of cracks in stucco and those are the house settling process and shrinkage-induced stresses, that typically occur during the drying period. Now that you know why stucco cracks, let’s find out how serious a stucco crack can be.
The Problems behind Stucco Cracking:
While hairline cracks aren’t as serious as a deep crack. However, they can become a pathway for moisture and water to enter into a wall system. Once moisture or water gets inside of the a wall, it will inevitably cause more damage. If water that gets behind the stucco then the material will become soft. Then this will eventually cause the stucco to break away and fall off in sheets. Moisture and water trapped inside walls can lead to additional problems, such as paint failure, wood rot, mold growth, musty smell, swollen drywall and irreparable damage.
Although cracks, smaller than 1/16 inches, usually don’t undermine the integrity of exterior stucco, repairing them immediately will prevent them from escalating into something worse. To repair a minor stucco crack, apply a high-quality caulk, use a brush to stipple the caulk while wet (this will create texture to better blend) let it cure, dry properly then paint the entire area.
If you live in Florida, it’s advisable to inspect your exterior stucco and fix any cracks you observe before the rainy season kicks in. This level of maintenance is to be expected with all stucco homes.
Unlike hairline cracks, a large stucco crack may indicate a structural problem. Large cracks tend to develop at the intersection of vertical walls, at the upper corners of window and door frames, or at joints between wood framing and concrete/brick masonry. Since most large cracks aren’t only wide but also deep, they will allow moisture and water to penetrate the building envelope and pass freely through walls.
The most “dangerous” cracks are typically wider than 1/16 inches, with edges that are no longer aligned parallel to each other. If the edge of a crack has moved in relation to the other edge, it may indicate unusual structural changes in your home. As an example, when the foundation settles more on one side of a house than on the other, it may create enough stress for stucco to crack. To correctly address and fix potential structural problems, it’s very important to investigate large cracks before you make any attempt is to repair them.
Since stucco is your home’s first line of defense against the harsh climate of Florida, solving even the smallest stucco crack as soon as possible using the best products is critical to ensure your home’s health and longevity.