Crack Repairs in Indianapolis

It’s a common scenario for contractors. They warn the home owners that cracks in stucco walls are inevitable. Yet the complaints arise. They should. The home owner has just noticed a few ‘microscopic’ hairline cracks on his wall.

While deep cracks are obvious, we tend to consider hairline cracks innocent. Hairline cracks don’t do much damage to your walls but moisture may get trapped into the gaps. And water is a common enemy of stucco.

So what should we do when a crack appears? First of all, it’s not the fault of the mix. We don’t use stucco for its load bearing capacity. Crack is a common symptom of uneven stress. On top of fixing and covering your structure, you may want to know the possible causes behind it.

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Hairline cracks 

Hairline cracks are self-explanatory. However, a lot of home owner get worried at the sight of such cracks. While hairline cracks aren’t desirable, they’re an existing part of stucco buildings. Due to the nature of its contraction, stucco forms a number of little cracks on its surface. Relax. A good paint can do the job for you. More on that later…

Severe cracking

Large cracks aren’t often innocent. These are the results of poor design, uneven mix or even natural disasters. If you find one in your building, we suggest calling an experienced contractor to handle the issue. It’s hard in most scenarios to guess the right reason for large cracks. However, once the cracks are identifies, these can be solved by fillings and plastering. Replacement and repainting is sometimes needed.

Fixing minor cracks on walls such as filling cracks or patching holes is $250 to $7000, large jobs run for $1000 to $4000. You can repair small cracks without the help of a professional. All it takes is a right YouTube video along with some primers or fillings.

What causes cracking in stucco?

Stress created within

It’s always tricky. Stucco shrinks after it has been applied. Failure to technically manage shrinkage stress may cause cracks. There are some specific reasons for it:

  • Mix ratio: Sand doesn’t shrink with time. Cement does. If someone uses a cement rich mix, it may create internal stress due to heavy, uneven shrinkage of cement.
  • Excessive dehydration: Dry masonry or wood are often used as the guiding structures for walls. These can quickly suck out water and make stucco drier. Sudden dehydration leaves stucco cracked. Stucco cement needs enough hydration to set in and harden.
  • Sand quality: Sand should be of varied sizes. Too much of fine powder and clay causes excessive shrinkage which leads to cracks. Often triangular-shaped sand is used to prevent slipping off.
  • Thickness: Stucco is applied in several layers. Putting up a thick layer at once will create severe tension, enable to find release. Coating with thin layers allow the layers to relieve stress without cracking. Some products come with crack preventing additives and a high price tag.

Some contractors will want to convince you that this is normal. A common suggestion is to apply the final coat to hide the cracks. While it works visually, the cracks are still there. And the whole structure will inevitably struggle. But remember to consider a few hairline cracks that are innocent after a brown (second layer) coating.

External factors

Stress created by outside objects are painful to work with. Because the house use a complex arrangement of stresses, it’s often hard to trace the source of it. We do guess the most reasonable source but it’s inevitably vague. Wind, wood shrinkage, earthquakes or any other strong force can cause damage. These cracks are severe. In a lot of similar cases, the stucco need to completely replaced.

When should I worry?

Hairline cracks are a common name in stucco houses. It’s inevitable. If your wall has only a few hairline cracks, you may relax about it. These cracks are repairable with a good paint and fillings. Elastomeric paintings help cover the propagation of small cracks. Usually, anything measuring less than 1/16 inch is safe.

Cracks larger than 1/16 inch needs your attention. Severe cracks can invite water molecules and damage the integrity of the structure. Water is an old enemy of stucco houses. Since severe cracks are results of mostly external forces, the remediation can be costly. However, it’s best to contact a stucco inspector before making a decision or worrying at all.

Will paint cover hairline cracks in stucco?

Stucco cracks of small sizes can be covered well by painting. Usually, a 100% acrylic paint or primer is applied in the beginning. The elastic nature of this primer creates a bridge between two sides. Paint it with a sprayer and the paint will fill the voids if necessary. A larger crack may need an extra layer of paint with a back roll application.

Can cracks in stucco cause leaks?

Of course, it can. But the size of the crack matters. A hairline crack hardly gathers enough moisture to weaken the integrity of the layer. A larger crack will invite water intrusion and gradually damage the structure. In case of small cracks, you can apply an elastomeric coating to seal the cracks on the wall. If the cracks are large, consider calling an expert to inspect and test your stucco to form an informed opinion.

What causes holes in stucco?

In some areas, woodpeckers and other birds may dig holes in your stucco wall. Holes may arise from poor installation or water leakage too. Read more on this…