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10. Why are there cracks in my stucco?

A certain amount of cracking in stucco finishes is normal. Smooth finishes, such as Santa Barbara finish, reveal the cracks more readily than course textures such as a heavy lace finish.

  • Cracks that appear on the surface of stucco walls are usually caused by conditions within the wall structure. Some of these conditions include thermal expansion and contraction, ground movement, shear panel flexing, water penetration (causing framing members to swell), soil expansion and contraction, and a variety of other jobsite conditions.
  • Cracks may also appear due to drying shrinkage (wind checking or cracking). Newly applied stucco should be protected against rapid drying from high winds. In extreme conditions wet curing may be necessary.
  • Patching of stucco surfaces can be done with a variety of patching products. Large cracks can be filled and the wall fog coated. Patching of hairline cracks is not recommended as it will detract from the natural beauty of the stucco and will serve no useful purpose.