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Vertical stucco cracks

Danny Pritchard

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Inspected a house today where there were several vertical cracks.Some were continuous from top to bottom.Most of the cracks were about 3 inches off the outcide corners of the house.There were two areas where the cracks were on the open wall and not near any corners or windows.All these were unusual since they went straight up the wall.Any ideas what is going on.Sorry no pics.I took some but the cracks did not show up in the picture.

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Well, it there are proper expansion and accessory joints and you're seeing curing cracks, then the base-coat mix was probably too watery and the whole lamina is shrinking. It's portland cement based, it's gotta crack someplace! That's what the accessory and expansion joints are for, but if they get the mix wrong it'll shrink and crack.

If these are hairline cracks the stucco manufacturer's association doesn't recommend screwing with them because a stucco wall, when done properly, is a rain screen wall and any water that gets in won't be a lot and will immediately be conveyed to the bottom of the lamina.

You can learn more here: http://www.stuccomfgassoc.com/about.html

OT - OF!!!


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This is a wood frame traditional stucco home about 5 years old.I look at these type homes all the time.Hairline cracks going in all directions are commonplace.These cracks were straight up and down.Which made them unusual.They were bigger than hairline cracks. My thoughts are that either the lath or the wall sheathing was installed wrong.

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