Maybe your stucco house was beautiful when you said, “I do,” and signed the contract.  Or maybe the stucco was damaged, and you decided you’d fix it as needed.  Eventually.  So, do you need to worry about cracked stucco on your Central Valley home? 

It depends.  Every case is different, but check out these guidelines to see what to do next.

Why is My Stucco Cracking?

There are several reasons you may experience cracking in your home’s exterior stucco.  Some started at the very beginning.  The stucco may not have been prepared, or mixed, properly.  Applicator error.  Stucco shrinkage. The change in seasons.  California seismic activity.  Your house has settled over the past few decades.  You get the idea.  There are any number of reasons why; the important thing now is to contain the damage before it gets any worse.

Hairline Cracks in Exterior Stucco

A hairline crack here and there isn’t cause for concern.  It’s the nature of the medium and some minor cracking is to be expected.  Depending on how wide the crack is, a repair prior to repainting can make these imperfections virtually disappear. Look for a local professional painting contractor familiar with stucco repair.  They can handle the skilled repairs as part of the preparation process, making certain the repairs blend seamlessly with the rest of your home.

Minor cracks, while not overly serious, shouldn’t be dismissed completely.  They provide an opening for water and moisture to get into your home, causing further damage.  Fixing these smaller cracks is akin to an ounce of prevention versus a pound of cure.

Credit Card Stucco Test

Not sure how big is too big?  Here’s an easy test you can do yourself.  Grab your credit card and head outside.  Larger cracks, we’re talking 1/16 of an inch, are cause for concern. If you can slide your credit card into the crack in your stucco, it’s time to seek some professional help.  Larger cracks like these can indicate a structural issue that needs to be addressed prior to repairing the stucco. 

There’s little point in treating the symptom until you rectify the underlying cause. 

Stucco Repair: Experience Counts

Before you begin any project, it’s a good idea to find a local partner who is familiar with stucco application and repair.  They’ll be able to offer suggestions based on their experience with both the stucco components and the local environment.  Get an estimate and evaluation before work begins so that you’ll understand the scope of the job and what’s necessary to get your home back into tip-top shape.