Repair Cracking Stucco
LESLIE: Bill in Florida, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
BILL: I purchased a home in 2000. It was a spec home built by a contractor. And so when I saw the home and found the home it was finished, but it was new; had never been lived in. It had stucco on the exterior and the stucco was the traditional stucco, which is you know the cement – the lathe and the cement …
TOM: Right, mm-hmm.
BILL: … and the stucco finish.
BILL: Probably four years after we moved in the home, it started developing cracks – horizontal cracks; not vertical along the expansion joints but horizontal cracks. The cracks progressed until they actually started bubbling and the stucco started falling away from the home.
TOM: Oh, man.
BILL: Exactly. Oh, man. Nightmare. So I have a contact who is a stucco person and he came out and looked at it and when he pulled some of it away he told me that stucco, correctly applied – and you guys maybe can tell me if this is accurate or not, but should be roughly three-quarters-of-an-inch thick. That’s from the lathe or the wood backing all the way out to the finished surface. Mine was probably an eighth to a quarter-of-an-inch thick at the thickest places.
TOM: Oh, boy.
BILL: This was not the new …
TOM: Yeah, EIFS; the exterior insulated foam siding. No, it’s real masonry stucco.
BILL: Real masonry stucco. So my question is how would I fix this correctly …
BILL: … so that if I ever decided to sell the home I wouldn’t be selling a junk product to the future homebuyer.
TOM: Bill, you know there’s a company called Gardner that makes a whole line of stucco repair and masonry repair compounds that can address this. They’re sold under the brand name of Permanent Patch …
TOM: … and their website is Gardner-Gibson.com.
TOM: Gardner-Gibson.com. And I think this is a situation where we all know that the best thing to do would be to rip all that stucco down and do it right all over again; but while that’s not practical, you’re going to have to stay on top of the cracks that are forming and the key here is to stop the water from getting behind it because, as you know, once you have that water get behind it you’re really opening Pandora’s box because of the fact that the water is going to rust out the fasteners and make it come off the wall all that more quickly.
BILL: Great. Thank you for your time.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.