I have many hairline and more than hairline cracks (width of a dollar
bill) in my 18 month old stucco over wood frame addition. Stucco was
painted with a masonry paint. Cracks are horizontal at 24" o.c. and
general alligator cracking. Cracks not due to movement (per structural
engineer). Seemingly due to water infiltration (this will be corrected
in spring) and bad stucco job-lath put on too tight, wrong sand was
used in mix, only 2 thick layers that were put on??? A different mason
looked at work and said it was horrible. What to do? I see my
options as paint with elastomeric paint (I don't want to do as I want
stucco to breathe), re-wire and restucco (expensive), caulk cracks and
repaint (will look awful-so many cracks) or just leave it (will water
come in? cause mold etc?). Any suggestions?
If the substrate is bad then even a new layer of stucco will crack again.
The QuickCrete stucco patch (small bags) has fiberglass mixed with it (1"
fibers or so) which makes it much less likely to crack. You might be able
to sand blast the paint off then plaster up another final coat of stucco
with the fiberglass reinforcing additive.
With cracks so thin, direct patching may be useless unless you gouge out
some more material to make a bigger patch. Its hard to make any patch
I would leave it for a year and see how it performs. Water intrusion from a
hairline crack on the face is less of a problem than it getting behind due
to a poorly designed roof line. Any small amount of water will get back out
since you are letting it breathe and should be stopped by the builders paper
even if it is nailed up too tightly.
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