Dallas Stucco Cracks
Stucco is a rigid material so there is a chance that stucco is going to crack with just the settling of the foundation that we get here in North Texas, so if you notice a single hairline crack in your stucco there’s no reason to panic. Keep in mind, multiple cracks in the home can become an issue and it depends on what type of cracks you are looking at. First off, if these cracks are anywhere from 1/4” up to 1” in width, This often indicates there are problems with a structure. Larger stucco cracks may not only be indicating more foundation settling than usual, but you may also be lacking proper expansion joints.
The problem with these very large cracks is that they offer an avenue of entry for air and water infiltration. Allowing water inside of your home is the quickest way to accrue very costly repairs, such as mold and mildew growth, rotting of important pieces of wood like your floor joists, and structural pieces of wood such as the studs inside of your wall. Besides the dreaded black mold which could pose a serious health risk to you and your family, mold remediation companies will charge you thousands of dollars to remediate any type of growth in your wall, and if it gets too bad, it becomes a very time-consuming process where you also have to leave your home. There’s also a good chance that the mold remediation company will not repair your walls after cutting out the drywall and removing whatever mold or mildew growth you have, which means you need to call another contractor out there just to fix up the damage. Cracking stucco left for too long becomes a expensive issue if you are not proactive when it comes to remedying it. The big thing to keep in mind is the longer you leave the inside of your walls exposed to the outside elements, the quicker the asphalt in your lath dries up, and it will no longer be a water repellant, but quite the opposite it will turn into a sopping sponge which will hold moisture inside of your wall. At that point, the damage increases exponentially because stucco is porous allowing moisture to continue to enter, and your failed tar paper is now absorbing all of that water.
The big key cracks to look out for are vertical cracks, usually starting from the bottom of the home and working their way up word, and they are usually spaced every 14 to 16 inches apart. These types of cracks are called stud fractures, and they indicate that moisture has not only gotten through all three layers of stucco, but it has worked its way behind the lath, and has soaked into the wooden studs of your home, causing them to swell and press on the stucco. The reason why you usually see these cracks start from the bottom is because the water usually enters in near the foundation, and through capillary action that water begins to work its way up words and as time progresses, your stud swell more. The problem is this is what causes wood rot in your studs, which causes thousands of dollars. If you see stud fractures on your stucco, give us a call immediately so we can give you a free inspection, and estimate if necessary.