Here’s what you should do, and NOT do when it’s time to tackle a stucco crack repair project
Need some advice on stucco crack repair on your Tampa home? Just by recognizing that cracks in stucco are a bit of a home maintenance challenge, you’ve made a smart first move. That brief pause before whipping out the caulk gun just saved you the hassle (and potential embarrassment) that would have been a sure thing by making one of the most common mistakes that happen with stucco cracks.
Here’s a quick guide on how to repair stucco cracks – and what not to do – that will help you fix the cracks without causing even bigger problems.
Step 1: Make the stucco crack bigger.
Yes, you read that right. It sounds counter-intuitive, but you’ll probably need to make the crack wider. It should be at least a quarter inch wide throughout the length of the crack. You might need to chisel the edges of each crack gently a bit, too, so that they are beveled evenly.
Step 2: Brush away any loose stucco.
If any of the stucco is crumbling, you’ll need to use a brush to remove it gently before you can fix the cracks. Think about it like icing a cake. If you apply icing to a cake that’s fallen apart and has crumbs everywhere, those crumbs will make the icing look like a mess. Even though the icing sort of adds a layer of protection to hold the cake together, you don’t want the unsightly crumbs ruining its appearance.
It’s the same way with loose stucco on your home. You’ve got to clear away the crumbled parts before you fix the crack. Be gentle and work slowly using a brush so you don’t cause more breakage.
Step 3: Mix the right stucco crack repair formula for the job.
Choosing the right stucco repair materials for the job is critical. Interior stucco is different from exterior. Quikrete makes some good products for stucco repairs. Different surfaces require different mixes, too. If you get the wrong stucco, you’ll be wishing all you had was unsightly cracks again instead of the horribly obvious lines showing where you ‘repaired’ cracks.
Step 4: Apply the new stucco into the cracks.
You’ve got to work slowly enough to be neat, but quickly enough to keep your material wet enough to use. If you’re repairing stucco cracks that are narrow, you may be able to work with a caulk gun – if you can get the nozzle tip small enough to fit in the crack. You want the stucco repair material to go deep into that crevice.
If you’re working on a stucco crack that’s more suited to a putty knife or trowel, you’ll need to spread the material onto the area to be patched, and then add texture to match the rest of the wall. If you want a smooth look, you can wet your trowel.
Either way, it’s best to apply thin layers as you work rather than slopping it on all at once. You’ll want to let each layer you apply dry before you add another layer.
Mistakes to avoid as you repair stucco cracks:
There are two horrible mistakes you will want to avoid at all costs – clear indicators someone didn’t know how to repair cracks in stucco, but did it anyway:
- You MUST clean your stucco first, whether it’s been painted or not.If you don’t, your repaired stucco cracks will only become way more visible than they were. Picture white lines snaking up the side of your beige, buff, or gray house. Not the result you want at all. Power washing is best.
- You MUST be very careful while removing the old plaster. If you get too “enthusiastic” as you clear out the old stucco, you might cause more damage in the process. In fact, it’s possible that the old stucco has bonded to the surface of your structure, and you could end up pulling entire chunks of your wall off if you’re not careful.
Once you’ve fixed the stucco cracks, it might be a good time to repaint the whole exterior of your house. Let the stucco cure first, though.
It’s not really hard to repair stucco cracks properly if you know what you’re doing, and you’re extraordinarily patient throughout the whole process. If that’s going to be a challenge for you, you might want to bring in the pros.
Don’t risk doing stucco crack repair the wrong way. Let our professional painters properly repair stucco cracks in your Florida home and color-match the paint to keep your home looking beautiful.