Common stucco issues
Are you experiencing the following issues?
There are various types of stucco cracks. These cracks can help you determine if the cause was due to a poor mixture, settling (more common on new constructions within the first 5 years), foundation issues, & water intrusion. When should you start worrying about fixing your stucco. Lets talk about hairline cracks.
Did I catch it in time.
The rule of thumb is that if you can fit a credit card and it can slide around easily/wiggle or fit a quarter then the odds are you are getting water intrusion. Also because you have a hairline crack doesn't mean your stucco isn't good. Some finishes tend to show more cracks than others. The reason is that the finer (smoother) the finish the more it will show.
It's Important to address all cracks because if left unattended the situation can escalate. The higher the cracks the more important they should be. If you have a crack at the height of the roof, dormer, and water where to get in; it could cause a lot of damage from the top to bottom.
Spider cracks in most cases as in the 1st picture can be caused by a faulty application due to either poor quality products, poor workmanship, or simply overlapping existing damage.
Hairline cracks to normal size cracks as shown in the second image are most of the time due to water intrusion especially here in Louisiana.
Pattern Cracking - Cracks in the form of a pattern usually are when stucco was applied over brick or block. Usually cracks like these can be resurfaced but if they tend to crack again it could mean that either the foundation in that area is settling, brick or block are weak and may need to hire a structural engineer to make sure the area doesn't worsen over time.
Horizontal/Vertical cracks- tend to be cracks that either the metal lath or fiberglass mesh wasn't applied correctly (in a proper overlapping pattern) from the beginning.
Cracks like the one above if left unattended can become a bigger headache in the future. In this case not only was the crack the issue, the flashing at the roof line was small yet functional but the gutter when filling up with water was overflowing using water on a small hole underneath the flashing. Thus water entering into the stucco and damaging the corner bead, 2x4s, plywood, & stucco on both sides of the wall. All which had to be removed & replaced.