What Causes Stucco to Crack?

Stucco is an attractive covering for homes and is found all over the Tampa Bay area. Made from cement, sand, lime, and water, it’s a durable, energy-efficient exterior that helps keep homes looking beautiful. Unfortunately, there are times when problems with a home’s construction or stucco application can cause stucco to crack, leaving the structure open to further damage and ruining the appearance of a home.

For many Floridians, their home is their largest investment. When stucco cracks, buckles, or becomes otherwise compromised, their homes are at risk for further damage from the elements. What causes stucco to crack varies from home to home, as well as who may be held responsible. Below are some common reasons stucco may crack and who may be at fault.

Improperly Mixed

In order for stucco to be durable, it must be mixed properly. In addition to the right ratio of components, the mixture must be appropriately combined. If the stucco is not combined well, it will create weak areas in the dried stucco. These weak areas may not be visibly noticeable, but the cracks they accumulate certainly are. In this case, the fault goes to whoever mixed the stucco. If you hired a contractor to do your stucco, then they may be liable for the poor mix. If the builder you brought your home from did, the builder and their subcontractor may be liable. Generally, the best way to ascertain liability is to discuss your case with a Tampa stucco lawyer.

Poor Application

Because stucco is a popular exterior choice, many contractors are busy. They may work too quickly and rush application, failing to secure laths properly or skipping steps. While tiny cracks are common and are often hidden beneath paint, large cracks and peeling paint point to a problem. There are numerous ways that an application can go wrong, from not allowing layers to dry to incorrectly situating joints. Often, the location of the cracks and any patterning can help pinpoint where the application went wrong. Here, the contractor and possibly the builder may be at fault for the poor application.

House Settles

Settling homes are known to creak at night—and they also have a tendency to crack as well. If a home experiences settling soon after it has been built and the stucco becomes cracked, it may be possible to hold the builder liable, especially if they rushed the job and should’ve known that the home needed to be stabilized. While minor cracks are par for the course, large cracks are frequently an indication of a shoddy job.

Extreme Weather

Extreme weather following application can cause stucco to crack. High winds following an application may leach moisture from the stucco, shrinking the stucco and leaving it vulnerable to cracks. In addition, strong storms shortly after application can have a negative effect on stucco. Debris and limbs pushed by high winds can damage stucco, as well as extreme heat and moisture. Seismological events such as earthquakes can create cracks in stucco. While no one can be held liable these events, your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover damage sustained during such a disaster.

Your house is your haven, it shouldn’t become a burden because of someone else’s shoddy work. If you believe your home is at risk or has sustained damage because of cracks in your stucco, consider consulting with an experienced Tampa stucco lawyer. When your stucco cracks, it makes your home vulnerable to further damage. Defective stucco can put the value of your home in question. Don’t wait to investigate, call a Tampa stucco lawyer today.

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