If you have a little crack in your outside stucco, you can simply fix it—and you should, or you may end up with more significant repairs down the road.
Q: My home is 64 years old and has its original stucco. A tiny fissure on one external wall has paint flaking away on both sides. Is there a fast and easy method to repair stucco before the rains arrive, and is it a task I can undertake on my own?
A: Good news: based on your description, your fracture does not seem to be caused by foundation settling. If you had seen wider cracks and other symptoms like sticky doors and windows, I would have advised you to contact a foundation professional. As it is, this is work that any do-it-yourselfer can do. And it’s an essential job, so you’re right to be cautious. If rainwater gets under the stucco, you might have a larger issue.
You can repair stucco using a variety of commercially available materials. While some are intended to repair deeper gouges and holes, others are particularly designed to repair cracks like the one you describe. Quikrete, for example, makes a textured (sanded) acrylic caulk that is both simple to apply and effective.
The first step may seem counterintuitive: enlarge the fracture with a cold chisel and hammer to at least a quarter inch. The crack’s edges should be chiseled perpendicular to the wall. Back cut the crack, if feasible, so its base is somewhat broader than its top. Then, using a wire brush, remove any loose material from the fracture.
Apply the stucco repair compound along the crack using a regular caulk gun. As you proceed, trowel the repair to match the surrounding stucco finish. Allow the repair to dry for 24 hours before applying water-based paint in the same color as the home’s exterior.
Despite having cured, the completed item may seem pliable to the touch. That suppleness attests to the repair’s strength. If the wall moves slightly in the future, the repair will adapt instead of coming undone. You may be certain that precipitation will not be able to penetrate behind the stucco now that the crack has been adequately fixed.
Keep in mind that stucco restoration should be left to professionals to guarantee perfect sealing and prevent additional damage.