If it’s time to paint your stucco home but there are cracks or holes in the walls, you will need to repair them before painting commences. There are many reasons why stucco cracks, such as the house settling or the exterior being exposed to the extremes of hot and cold weather. It won’t be difficult to repair the cracks using these tips.
Treat Cracks Differently
Not all of the cracks in the stucco of your house are going to be the same. Some will be thin hairline cracks while others could be much wider or you could have holes in the stucco. Most of the cracks will be cosmetic and easy to repair. Wide, deep cracks could be caused from the house settling and you should consider having the foundation checked in case it is crumbling and needs to be fixed.
To repair thin cracks, use a hammer and cold chisel to widen the crack so it is about a quarter-inch wide. It should be cut perpendicular to the wall with the top of the crack being slightly wider. Clean the edges of the crack with a wire brush to remove any debris. Then, using a sand-textured acrylic caulk, fill in the crack from top to bottom using a trowel to smooth it out as you go.
Allow the material to cure for at least 24 hours before painting with a water-based paint. When you touch the caulked area, it will still feel flexible but it is fine. Its elasticity will allow the textured acrylic to adjust instead of come apart if the wall moves slightly.
If the cracks in the stucco are larger or if there are holes in it, then you will need to purchase a cement-based material or patch. It is best to wait to make the repairs until temperatures at night stay above 40 degrees and try to do it when the side of the house is shaded. Too much moisture or heat will keep the material from setting well and the repairs may not last.
You will want to clear away any buckled or damaged stucco with a hammer and chisel before removing the debris with a wire brush. Depending on how much of the wall is damaged, you may need to buy a bag of cement, sand, or lime and an acrylic bonding agent and mix them to apply onto the wall. If you don’t have too many repairs to do, you can purchase pre-mixed stucco patch material in quarts or larger buckets.
If there are extensive cracks, holes, or areas where the siding has sloughed off, hire a contractor who specializes in stucco repairs. They can repair the stucco or replace large sections of it if necessary and the experts will warranty their work.
If you decide to make the repairs yourself, always wear gloves when working with stucco as the alkaline in the cement can cause burns. Once the fresh stucco has cured, you can paint the house as you wish.