Stucco Cracks and Your Home’s Exterior


Tuesday, August 11, 2020 10:21 AM Exterior Painting, stucco, stucco cracks

Stucco is a low-maintenance, highly versatile, and long-lasting siding option – perfect for the varied weather conditions in northern California. In fact, many of the decades-old stucco homes in the Bay Area are in great shape without regular maintenance or being painted.

As a building material, stucco is designed to protect buildings from moisture. However, stucco can erode, crack, and fade due to different factors prevalent in our climate including seismic movement, direct sunlight, pollution, and heavy rainstorms. These factors will hinder its ability to protect your home from wind and water damage. All the more reason to find and repair stucco cracks before they lead to major issues.

While hairline cracks (less than 1/16th of an inch in width) pose less of a problem than deeper cracks, even the tiniest crack will allow moisture and water to find their way into the walls of your home and cause damage. Moisture will soften any material it comes in contact with, including stucco, which results in pieces of the wall breaking away or falling off in sheets. If water or moisture is trapped inside your home’s walls, it can lead to other issues including rotting wood, mold growth, and irreparable damage. 

Repairing hairline cracks in your stucco immediately will prevent them from turning into larger issues and damages. It is a relatively easy fix you can do in an afternoon. Start by applying a high-quality caulk (available at your local hardware or home improvement store). Dab or dot the affected area with a brush to create a similar textured and blended effect, allow it to fully dry, and paint the area. If you own a stucco home, it’s advised to inspect the exterior for any cracks and repair then before the rainy season is upon us. 

Larger cracks in stucco (1/16th of an inch or greater) could indicate a structural issue. These cracks usually occur at the upper corners of door and window frames, at the intersection of vertical walls, and at the joints between the structural framing and masonry. Larger cracks also tend to be deeper, allowing water and moisture easier access to your home’s walls and foundation. Unusual structural changes, such as when your home’s foundation settles more on one side of the home, can create enough building stress for the stucco to crack.

To address and repair a potential structural issue effectively, it’s advised to call in a professional who can examine the cracks, identify the causes of the issue, and make recommendations to fix the current problem as well as solutions to prevent the problem from occurring in the future.

Your stucco exterior is your first line of defense against the varied climate of northern California. Tending to any noticeable stucco cracks immediately is essential to the health and longevity of your home.

If you are in need of advice for your stucco home siding, Stanford Painting would love to help! Our experts can identify and repair stucco issues, provide solutions that will protect your home from the elements, and repaint your home to match the current color for a seamless appearance. Call us at 650-321-9302, or fill out our online contact form for a quote. For home improvement and decor tips, follow us on Facebook.