Should I be concerned about stucco cracks?
The answer is YES, most likely.
Stucco is a construction material made of aggregates, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and when dry forms a solid, dense surface. Stucco is used in both interior and exterior applications for walls, ceilings and artistic applications.
Once affixed to a surface and dry, it is rigid; shifts and structural movement will create small hairline cracks that may progress into larger cracks. These cracks are natural occurrences, but left untreated they are susceptible to water intrusion.
How to repair stucco cracks
Most cracks are easily repaired with chalk and paint. Hairline cracks are typically anywhere from 1/16 of an inch to 1/8 of an inch wide. Hairline cracks are not as serious as deep cracks but can provide a means for moisture and water to enter a wall structure especially if they are on an outside wall. Once water is inside a stucco wall it will inevitably cause further damage.
Larger cracks should be repaired promptly. Larger cracks generally indicate you may have structural damage that will need to be repaired prior to repairing the stucco. If you can slide the edge of a dime into the crack you should find a professional to complete the repair. It is common to find cracking and bubbling along the bottom edge of an exterior wall if you do not have rain gutters to prevent rainfall from splattering onto the wall.
In areas where seasonal rains are the norm (such as SWFL) water intrusion into the cracks could cause the stucco to deteriorate to the point of the stucco falling off the wall.
What is the cost of repair?
The cost will vary based on the overall square footage of the home and the number of observed cracks. A 1500 SF home will be about $400 to $1.500 depending on the number of cracks, length and thickness. Repairing 15-20 cracks will require about $200-300 in bagged stucco aggregate plus labor of about $50 per hour.
Carefree Home Watch is professional service provider serving the greater Fort Myers, FL area. We perform a visual observation of all exterior and interior walls looking for obvious signs of damage during in each home observation. To learn more about Carefree please visit our website at www.carefreehomewatch.com or call us for a free in-home evaluation at 239-234-1847.