How to deal with cracked or fading stucco
Stucco is a popular siding option here in Phoenix, and it is easy to see why. Not only is it very attractive, it is easy to maintain and extremely durable. Your house may collapse before your stucco siding wears out. Nevertheless, stucco is somewhat susceptible to forces like shifting, settling, and weather conditions. Faded or cracked stucco can be the result.
Cracking or fading of your stucco is usually not a serious problem. However, it can hurt your home’s aesthetic even if it does not cause structural damage. Fortunately, there are ways that you can deal with stucco fading and cracking.
The best time to address stucco damage is when you’re having your home’s exterior repainted. At Crash of Rhinos Painting, our team specializes in stucco repair and prep ahead of apply new paint. In this article, we’ll review some of the problems stucco exteriors face and how our team can turn things around and have your home looking great again.
Stucco is made of three main ingredients: water, lime, and Portland cement. It is applied wet over a wire framework called a lath and then allowed to dry. Some cracking is normal and expected with any cement-based product, and stucco is no exception. As long as the cracks remain hairline, i.e., only about one-sixteenth of an inch thick, and are not excessive in number, they are usually not a cause for concern. If you do not like the way they look, you can seal them by painting your stucco.
However, wider cracks or hairline cracks that occur in profusion may indicate a more serious problem. The pattern that the cracks form can indicate the type of problem that is causing the cracking. Diagonal cracks indicate house settling or seismic movements. A regular horizontal and/or vertical pattern indicates an issue with the lath. Spider cracking, i.e., cracks that are grouped together in random patterns, similar to the legs of a spider, points to improper curing of the base coat when the stucco was first applied.
To address these problems, it may be necessary to re-dash the stucco, which means applying it again over the entire home. Cracked stucco tends to occur more frequently in newer houses than in older ones. This is because the materials used to build houses have changed over the past 50 to 60 years. Today plywood is more often used for sheathing than gypsum, and the lumber comes from smaller trees than those harvested in the past.
Fading of stucco is not as inevitable as stucco cracking, but it is nevertheless very common. There are steps that you can take to prevent stucco from fading or staining.
Stucco can become stained when water splashes up on it from the ground. You can prevent this by adding some sort of barrier around your home to stop the water mid-splash. Landscaping can be effective at doing this. Another way to prevent fading or staining of your stucco is to clean it regularly.
When it’s time to repair and paint your stucco home, call our team
Here in Phoenix, our stucco homes sustain damage from sunlight, woodpeckers, monsoon dust storms, and more. If you’ve noticed your exterior stucco start to show signs of damage or deterioration, it’s time to call our team for a quote on exterior painting.