Need Quick help

I just received a call from a realtor/friend of mine that has a customer that I did an inspection for two weeks ago. When I did the inspection, there was some stucco at the front of the home that had some cracks. I went over to the home yesterday and was surprised by more cracks and the cracks were bigger and longer than I saw just two weeks ago. I don’t have any pictures right now, but will post them later. I need info on why the stucco would crack like that inside two weeks. Any links to web-sites are needed and appreciated. Thanks for any help you can give me.


A vertical and horizontal grid of cracks implies that an improperly attached lath that increases internal stress. People will try to use a coating on top of it, but it’s potentially one problem on top of another. There’s not a good fix except for re-stuccoing.

A spider web pattern of cracks indicates insufficient curing. The stucco is too thin or was installed at the wrong temperature. "If water dries out too fast, you get an abnormal amount of shrinkage cracks.

Cracks near corners of a building often indicate that the lath was pulled too tight, causing a thinner application of stucco in that area. If it’s too thin, the water gets behind it and it just explodes.

Diagonal cracks often speak of deeper problems related to seismic activity, structural problems or both. A diagonal crack could represent a shifting foundation, settling or, if it occurs around windows or doors, improperly framed openings.

Materials used in today’s construction also create undo external stress on stucco. Twenty-five years ago, you got a board that was straight. Today you get something that is almost green and it changes (dries) for up to two years. That puts out a load of stress. Nails pop if a panel twists. It can easily break stucco.

Carl Brown should be tuning in soon and he’ll fill you in on all sorts of Stucco issues. His website is here.


    Thank you very much. I hope I can clear things up by sending this info to her. Thank you again.

Nice post David.:smiley:

Saved David’s post in my “library”–(of couse, I have a lot of David’s posts in my library)

More help:

David covered all the basics.

Pictures would help alot.

Whats on the house for sheathing?

What kind of stucco finish?

How thick is the stucco?

How old is the house?

How much rain have you had in the last couple weeks?

Have you had freeze and thaw cycles in the last couple weeks?

Is there kickout diverters?

Are the windows properly installed?
ie: flashings/backer rod and sealant joints?

Not that ANYONE would ever do such a thing but we have all seen the “make up” applied to move a property.

Sounds like they may have fog coated the stucco prior to listing. Applied the “make up”.

I’ll add to Carl’s questions.

How long was the house listed?

Y’all been getting some funky weather since the first of the year.