Problems with Stucco Homes & Easy Fixes

Stucco Problems

Stucco can lead to major problems with water intrusion and mold issues. So, how can you tell if your stucco is a problem?

Small cracks in the stucco is quite common. In fact, it’s so common that brand new buildings have it. And guess what, if you repair it, it’ll happen again.

In this blog, we are going to cover when stucco is a problem, how to fix it, and what to do about it in the future.

When Is Stucco a Problem?

So obviously, if your stucco is cracked like the featured image of this post, there’s an issue. However, if you have small hairline cracks like this one below, there’s no need to worry.

Small cracks in stucco

Small hairline cracks are common maintenance items that should be maintained yearly. Simply caulk and paint over these cracks to ensure you create a nice water seal.

Larger stucco cracks, however, are a much different story.

Depending on the size, you might be able to caulk and seal over these larger cracks, but they will need more continuous maintenance since the gap is larger.

Furthermore, as the gap gets larger, more water can enter which leads to moisture intrusion and mold issues. That’s why it is so imperative to keep these cracks sealed.

Stucco Problems With Wood Framed Homes

If your home is wood framed and you have larger stucco cracks, I have bad news. Stucco is a concrete that needs a porous surface to adhere to. Wood is not porous, so, builders use a netting, also known as a metal lathe that covers the building.

This metal lathe when wet, rusts. Well, rusts expands metal which makes your stucco problem worse.

Basically if your home is wood framed, water that enters through stucco cracks wets the metal, rusts the metal, and pops the stucco off your home.

The only way to fix stucco that is beginning to bulge from a rusted metal lathe, is to replace the stucco entirely. A professional contractor will cut around the area, patch the lathe, and then restucco/paint the home.

Stucco Problems With Concrete Block Homes

With concrete block homes, stucco adheres directly to the blocks. The stucco rarely pops off and bulges like it does with wood framed homes, therefore, maintenance is much easier.

But, this does not mean you can get by without sealing those tiny stucco cracks. Letting water enter stucco cracks will eventually make its way into your home.

Concrete block homes with stucco just require less maintenance than wood framed homes with stucco. Moreover, it is common for only the second story of homes to have stucco issues since second stories are normally wood framed while the first story is concrete block

Recommended Caulk Product For Cracked Stucco

Be sure to use a quality caulk when maintaining your cracks. I recommend using this elastomeric caulk as the aluminum metal in it, expands and contracts with the outside weather.

Be sure to use your finger to rub the caulking into the stucco crack and then paint over the caulk once dry.

Concluding

If you have more questions, you can drop a comment below!

Also, be sure to check out our article on preventing water intrusion to learn more about the ways water enters your home.

Aaron Shishilla

Author Aaron Shishilla

Aaron Shishilla is the youngest registered professional inspector in Florida. Coming from a family-owned home inspection company and now the marketing manager at Waypoint.

More posts by Aaron Shishilla

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