I have cracks in my stucco. What should I do? !
Stucco is one of the longest-lasting and low-maintenance siding options for homes, which is why so many houses in the San Francisco area sport this classic look. The problem, however, is that stucco can develop cracks over time. So of course, the thing that our Bay Area clients want to know is, "What do I do with cracked stucco?"
Why does stucco crack?
Because stucco is a rigid material, it doesn't flex or shift as your house ages. As seasonal changes cause small expansion and contracting in the materials that compose your home, the stucco is put under pressure in new ways. Additionally, a home can settle over time, sinking tiny amounts here and there. These shifts are normal, but they are not always friendly to your stucco. So when your house goes through these minor changes, the exterior stucco can begin to show cracks.
Are stucco cracks a problem?
California's lack of rain is definitely a cause for concern, but there is one advantage to it: vulnerable areas of your home are not as prone to water entry!
Still, we do get rain in San Francisco, and even when there is no precipitation, moist winds, garden sprinklers and other sources can get your exterior walls wet. If you have cracked stucco, that moisture can seep in and cause several types of damage:
- Wood rot
- Paint failure
- Further cracking
Because of these serious risks that cracked stucco can entail, it is important to deal with it promptly.
What to do about cracked stucco
If there are minor cracks in your stucco, this is a project that most San Francisco homeowners can tackle if they want to. For these small cracks, get a flexible, paintable, exterior-grade caulk. Quikrete has a stucco repair product that is textured to match the surrounding stucco, and can fill gaps up to 1/2 an inch wide. Clean out the crack using a scraping tool and a wire brush, so that there is no loose material and the caulk has a good surface to bond to. Squeeze the caulk into the crack, and use your dampened finger to smooth in the caulk, making sure it fills the gap and has contact with both sides of the crack. Use a damp sponge to clean up any over application.
After the caulk is dry, you can repaint the area with an exterior elastomeric paint. The repair will look best if you repaint the whole wall, since a discreet repair will be difficult to acheive if you only paint the affected area.
If you have a larger area of damage, or if you believe water entry may already be causing some of the problems mentioned above, you will want to consult a professional stucco repair company. Some painting contractors will perform this service. If they do not, they would be happy to refer you to a skilled, reliable stucco repair contractor.
MB JESSEE, a San Francisco Painting Contractor
If you are concerned about the health of your stucco, don't leave things to chance! Consult a professional painting contractor who is reputable and experienced. For example, here at MB JESSEE we would be happy to inspect the stucco at your San Francisco area home. We can advise you regarding the state of your stucco siding,and help arrange any services you may need.
Your stucco is your home's first and primary defense against the elements - don't risk your home's health and longevity by ignoring cracked stucco!
MB JESSEE is a well-established, respected painting contractor. We serve the San Francisco area, including Oakland Hills, Berkeley, Contra Costa, Danville, Maron and Hillsborough. Contact us if you have any interior or exterior painting needs!