Stucco cracks on the outside of a home are typically mirrored with the drywall cracks that appear in a home. The most common areas that they will show up is around door ways and windows. The reason being is that these areas have the easiest ability to move within a home’s framework. Moving around a gap is a whole lot easier than moving within a portion of a rigid wall.
Now depending on the type of stucco finish that you have you may notice more cracks than other. Smooth finish stucco will show way more cracks within the stucco than you other rougher finishes of stucco. The reason is that the rougher finishes have a lot more “cushion” to absorb and hide some of the cracks. They are more than likely still there, but just haven’t reached the surface to be noticeable yet.
The reasons that stucco cracks are all of the same reasons that the interior drywall cracks. Stucco cracks don’t always mean that your foundation is moving and most of the time it is a result of some other underlying factor or reason.
We inspection thousands of homes every year. Our number one goal is to always find the reason your home is experiencing things that you are noticing. Just merely fixing a stucco crack or drywall crack does no good if you don’t find out “WHY” it happened. Otherwise, 9 times out of 10 you will be repairing the same area on a regular basis. Contact a qualified foundation repair inspector to provide you with the why and then you will be able to better make a decision on an effective fix.
Types Of Stucco Cracks
Here are the most common types of stucco cracks you might find on your home.
These thin cracks are usually caused by benign factors that don’t threaten your foundation or home’s structural integrity.
Foam trim cracks
The foam trim used in stucco installation can also crack. This is usually because the fiberglass mesh tape wasn’t correctly installed.
These cracks usually occur if the framework holding the stucco, called the lath, is improperly installed.
These cracks are not a serious threat to your home and usually form if the stucco was improperly mixed before it was applied.
Diagonal line cracks
These cracks are a clear indication of foundation settlement or damage. You’ll usually find these around door and window frames and AC units.
Causes Of Stucco Cracks
Stucco cracks are usually caused by foundation settlement or poor installation. If the cracks are near window and door frames, they’re usually caused by foundation settlement. Anywhere else can simply be a problem with how the stucco was mixed or applied.
Always have a foundation repair professional inspect your stucco cracks to verify the cause.
How To Repair Stucco Cracks
If the cracks are caused by an issue with the stucco itself, chances are you can repair them with new stucco or caulking. But, if the cracks resulted from foundation settlement, you’ll need something more permanent, like underpinning. Underpinning will lift your foundation back to its original position, correct the settlement, and in some cases, close any stucco cracks. Once you’ve repaired the root issue, you can caulk or replace any stucco that is still cracked.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix Stucco Cracks?
The cost to repair stucco cracks not caused by foundation settlement can be within a few hundred dollars since all that’s needed is caulk and fresh stucco. If the cracks are caused by foundation settlement and need underpinning, the cost can depend on how many piers are needed to lift your home. The piers used in underpinning can usually cost around $2,000. So, if the contractor says you need ten piers, you could be spending $20,000.