Find out how to repair cracks in exterior stucco. Learn why it's important to do so that water doesn't get in, freeze, and loosen the stucco. Get tips on using exterior caulk to seal the cracks.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Ames from Colorado on the line who’s got a question about repairing stucco . How can we help you?
AMES: We have a home that’s eight or nine years old. It has a stucco exterior and it has cracks – horizontal cracks.
TOM: Is it a masonry-stucco house or is it a synthetic-stucco house?
AMES: You know, I don’t know.
TOM: So, is it like a concrete kind of a finish to it? Does it feel like concrete or does it feel soft? Like could you put your finger and push it and it would be spongy?
AMES: It’s hard.
TOM: It’s hard, OK. And so you’ve got cracks in horizontal stucco, eight-year-old house. You’re going to want to get those cracks sealed because what happens with stucco, if the water gets behind it, especially in a cold environment, it will tend to do two things: number one, it will freeze and as it does, it will push and loosen the stucco; and number two, there’s probably a metal mesh that was applied to the home first, that holds that stucco in place, and the moisture will rust that away.
So, the best thing to do is to use an exterior caulk . You can get one that matches the color of the stucco or you could use a clear, silicone-like caulk and seal those cracks to try to minimize the chance for moisture to get through. And that’s going to be pretty much normal maintenance with a stucco surface.
Does it appear like any chunks are coming off or is it just the crack that is forming?
AMES: Yeah, it’s just a crack.
TOM: Yeah, so stay on top of it, Ames, and you’ll really minimize it. And it’ll last for a long time.
AMES: Alright. And then it also has rust stains , probably from that metal lath.
TOM: Yeah. And so, after you get all of the cracks sealed, if you’re getting – next time you repaint the house, I want you to prime it first. That will seal in the rust stains and prevent them from coming through quite so quickly.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.