What Causes Stucco to Crack?
Despite its sturdiness and durability, stucco can crack. This is not alarming nor uncommon. Cracks in stucco are relatively common and are mostly caused by the natural movement in the ground. This movement includes expansion that happens in the ground. But stucco can also crack for other reasons, such as:
- The house and foundation are settling. This also occurs because of shifting in the soil. But with settling, the house and foundation sink in the ground. This can be gradual and can continue for up to 10 years after completion. The settling causes the stucco to crack.
- The stucco siding is too old. Over time, the siding gets weaker and eventually develops minor cracks.
- The installation of the stucco siding was done wrong from the get-go. If the installer did not allow for expansion of the stucco, you are likely to face some problems with the siding.
- When installing the stucco, it is important to have enough weep screed. A lack of this during installation will prevent moisture from escaping the wall above the foundation and eventually lead to cracking.
- A thin stucco. Stucco is meant to be applied in 3 layers and is meant to be about 7 inches thick. If the installer does not respect these recommendations, it is more likely that the siding will crack.
But as stated above, this is nothing to be worried about. These cracks are easy to repair and, most of the time, you should be able to handle it on your own.
How to Repair Stucco
The steps you take to repairing the siding will depend on the depth, length and cause of the crack. Stucco repair can basically be separated into two categories: hairline cracks stucco repair and large crack stucco repair.
Hairline cracks and a crack that is about ¼ inch or less deep don’t require a technician. This is a simple DIY repair that will require you to paint over the wall. While you can skip painting over, we’ll recommend painting for the best results. If you don’t have time to paint the fall, then you’ll just have to ensure to not let any caulk lands outside the crack.
Alright, now let’s look at how you can repair this type of crack.
What you’ll need
- A tube of paintable masonry caulk (you can get the textured one if you want to)
- Rubber gloves (If you have, or are willing to buy, a damp foam stucco float, even better. Otherwise, you can just work with your hands.)
- Soapy water
- A stiff bristle nylon brush (unless you are getting textured masonry caulk)
You can get most of these at your local hardware store. Now that you’re equipped with these, you are ready to start. However, it’s always best to repair cracked stucco in the morning. When warm, the stucco expands causing the crack to appear smaller than they really are. So if you apply caulk at this point, you’ll only be left with a mess when the stucco shrinks back to its original size during the night. Wait until the next day to start if necessary.
Repairing Cracked Stucco
- Wear your gloves.
- Start by applying a liberal bead of caulk in the crack. If you are painting over the wall, you won’t have to worry about caulk landing anywhere outside the crack.
- Dip your gloved hands in soapy water and carefully push the caulk into the crack while using a circular motion. Ensure that the caulk fills the crack completely and smoothen it as you go.
- As you press the caulk in, you may notice that most of the caulk is going inside. That’s normal. Simply keep adding more caulk.
- This step depends on the type of caulk you got:
- a. If you got the textured masonry caulk, you can leave it to dry and add more caulk if it shrinks during the process.
- b. If you got the traditional masonry caulk, use the ends of the stiff bristle nylon brush you got to gently press into the caulk before it cures. This will give it the same textured appearance there is on the rest of the wall. Once that’s done, you can now allow the caulk to dry. Just as with textured caulk, apply more caulk if the one you applied shrinks during the curing process.
6. Once cured, the stucco is ready to be painted over.
Voila! You are done with the repair. Easy, right?
Stucco Repair: Who Would You Recommend? Near Me
When searching for a company that offers stucco repair, you want to find out that’s efficient, professional, and affordable. Taking all that into consideration is key to finding a technician who offers irreproachable services.
If you live in Toronto, EN-ERS STUCCO INC is hands down one of the best at repairing, renovating and insulating exterior walls. Whether you need them for residential stucco or commercial stucco repair, you can count on them to handle the job with professionalism from start to finish.