OLD PUEBLO STUCCO L.L.C. & Construction Company
We all know how frustrating it can be to find hairline cracks showing up on our stucco wall. Unfortunately, cracks are a reality in the stucco business. However, we should not condemn stucco because of tiny, hairline cracks that appear in only a few places. In fact, it’s entirely possible to fix those annoying stucco cracks.
A crack in cement plaster is nothing more than stress relief on the stucco membrane. The most common points of stress in a stucco wall are at the corners of window frames, door jambs, and other openings. It’s true that stress affects all buildings. Unfortunately, this stress can be transferred to the plaster stucco membrane. That’s why stucco isn’t a structural material. Portland cement stucco is similar to concrete in that they both have similar ingredients. However, stucco cannot be required to meet the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) testing standards of structural concrete or load bearing masonry. Thus, we can’t really compare it with concrete. Cement stucco is a relatively thin, brittle shell over a framed structure. As a result, if the stress is transferred and overcomes the strength of the plaster membrane, then the stucco wall can crack.
Why Does Stucco Crack?
There are several reasons why stucco can crack. For example, stucco may crack because of structural loads, lateral force racking, or changes in temperature. However, it can also crack due to wind, lumber shrinkage, or foundation settlement. Even earth movement caused by nearby railroad tracks and heavy construction machinery can cause cracks.
That’s why the National Wall and Ceiling Bureau (NWCB) and the American Standards for Testing Materials (ASTM) recommend installing control joints so as to break up a stucco wall in panels of 144 square feet. While following these steps will not insure a crack-free stucco wall, it will make a stucco wall less likely to crack.
There are several ways to go about repairing stucco cracks. These range from filling the cracks with stucco-sand elastomeric caulking materials to applying fiberglass mesh, bitumen mesh and base coat.
At Old Pueblo Stucco L.L.C., we strive to provide dependable stucco crack repairs. Whether the repairs involve a simple application of elastomeric caulk material and stucco finish or a more elaborate application of bitumen mesh and base coat with stucco finish, we’ll get the job done right the first time! Give us a call and we will repair your stucco for you.