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When to Repair Stucco Cracks: Expert Tips for Maintenance and Prevention

If you have a stucco home, then you know that it’s important to keep it in good condition. Stucco is a popular siding material for homes because it is durable and long-lasting. However, like all materials, stucco can experience problems over time. One common issue is cracking. If you’re not sure when to repair stucco cracks, then read on for expert tips on maintenance and prevention!

What Is Stucco?

Stucco is a type of plaster that is made from cement, sand, and water. It is a popular material for exterior walls because it is weather-resistant and long-lasting. In addition, stucco can be applied to masonry or wood surfaces. There are many benefits to having exterior stucco in your home. It is low maintenance, fire-resistant, and energy-efficient. Stucco also has a classic look that can boost curb appeal.

How Is Stucco Applied & How Does It Work?

Stucco is applied in a three-coat process. The first coat, or scratch coat, is made of Portland cement and lime. It is applied to the surface with a trowel and then scratched to allow the second coat to adhere.

The second coat, or brown coat, is made of Portland cement and fine sand. It is applied over the first coat with a trowel and then floated to create a smooth surface.

The third coat, or color coat, is made of Portland cement, lime, and fine sand. It is applied with a trowel and then textured or painted to create the desired finish.

Stucco is a durable, low-maintenance exterior finish that can last for decades. However, it is not impervious to damage and will require occasional repair. Cracks in stucco are the most common type of damage.

Why Does Stucco Crack?

Stucco walls are subject to a variety of forces that can cause cracking. Here are some of the most common causes of stucco cracks:

Shrinkage – As stucco dries, it will shrink slightly. This can cause small cracks to form, especially around doors and windows.

Thermal expansion and contraction – As temperatures change, the stucco may expand or contract, causing cracks.

Settling – As the house settles, the stucco may crack.

Improper installation – If the stucco is not applied correctly, it can crack.

Water damage – Water can seep into cracks and cause the stucco to deteriorate.

Impact – Cracks can also be caused by impacts, such as hail or a falling tree branch.

At Old Pueblo Stucco, we perform all stucco crack repair services according to the highest industry standards. We use premium materials, and our workmanship is guaranteed. Contact us today for a free estimate!

Types of Stucco Cracks

Stucco cracking can range from hairline cracks to large cracks that run the entire length of the exterior wall. The type of crack will determine the best course of repair.

Here are some of the most common types of stucco cracks:

  • Hairline cracks – Hairline stucco cracks are the most common type of crack and are usually caused by thermal expansion and contraction or settling. They are typically thin (less than ¼ inch) and run in a straight line.
  • Structural cracks – These cracks are caused by settling or water damage and can be wider than hairline cracks. They may run in a straight line or they may be jagged.
  • Diagonal cracks – These cracks occur at the corners of windows and doors and are caused by thermal expansion and contraction. Diagonal cracking typically starts at the bottom corner of the window or door and extends upwards.
  • Spider web cracks – Spider cracking is a type of surface cracking that is caused by shrinkage. A web-like pattern of cracks characterizes it.

When Should You Repair Stucco Cracks?

Stucco is an excellent material for your home, but it’s important to know when to repair stucco cracks. Although hairline cracks aren’t as dire as some of the other types, all cracks should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Even a small crack will allow moisture to enter, which can lead to serious problems like mold and rot. In addition, cracks can worsen over time and may eventually require the complete replacement of the stucco.

Repairing hairline cracks as soon as they are noticed is the best way to prevent further damage. At Old Pueblo Stucco, our elastomeric stucco crack repair services can keep your stucco in excellent condition for years to come!

Tips for Maintenance and Prevention

The best way to avoid the need for stucco repair is to properly maintain your exterior. This includes:

  • Cleaning – Remove dirt, dust, and debris from the surface of the stucco with a soft brush or hose.
  • Sealing – Apply a fresh coat of sealant every few years to protect against water damage.
  • Inspect regularly – Inspect your stucco at least once a year for any signs of damage. If you see any cracks, have them repaired as soon as possible.
  • Waterproof – Waterproof your stucco to help prevent water damage.
  • Repair damage promptly – If you see any other type of damage, like chips or holes, have them repaired as soon as possible.
  • Add expansion joints – Add expansion joints to areas that are prone to thermal expansion and contraction, like around windows and doors.

Stucco is a durable material that can last for decades with proper care. By following these tips, you can keep your surrounding stucco finish in excellent condition and prevent the need for repairs.

Conclusion

Stucco is a great choice for your home’s exterior because it is durable and long-lasting. However, like all materials, it is not indestructible. Regular maintenance and repairs will keep your stucco looking its best for years to come.

If you have any questions about stucco repair or would like a free estimate, contact the experts at Old Pueblo Stucco today. We would be happy to help you maintain the beauty of your home.

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