How to Fix Stucco Cracks

Cracks and holes can develop over time and severely damage your home’s stucco

Ebonee Williams
Written by Ebonee Williams
Updated June 22, 2022
Two story stucco home with brown tile roof
Photo: Stephen Coburn / Adobe Stock
Difficulty

Simple

Flex your DIY muscles.

Time to complete

2 hours

This shouldn’t take more than an afternoon.

Cost

$100–$300

You’ll wonder why everyone doesn’t do this themselves.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.

What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Caulk gun
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Ladder
  • Cold chisel
  • Hammer
  • Wire brush
  • Notched trowel
  • Finishing trowel

SUPPLIES

  • Premixed stucco
  • Paint (optional)
  • Mesh covering (optional)

Stucco is a sturdy cement plaster used as siding on many homes. It’s not unusual for cracks to appear. However, repairs aren’t always necessary; it depends on the fissure’s size and cause. But you want to be careful who you hire. Stucco material and application methods vary, depending on its age, location, and who did the work. 

Stucco Siding Requires an Individual Approach

Some contractors consider working with stucco to be an art form. There are service providers who specialize in stucco. Others who may be able to handle stucco repair include general contractors, painters, and handyperson services.

Repair techniques depend on the size of the cracks and the specific makeup of your home’s stucco.

  1. Determine the Crack’s Severity

    Hairline cracks are most easily handled, sometimes with a premade stucco patch material with elasticity. That kind of repair may cost you a few hundred dollars for a small job, with the cost increasing based on the crack’s length. Repairing cracks a penny width or larger can cost thousands and require removing paint and loose pieces of stucco.

    Crack repairs may last for months or decades, depending on the fissure’s cause. A hairline crack repair may last for years, while a surface repair of a larger crack caused by an underlying problem, such as a settling home, may require repeated repair.

  2. Purchase Products at a Hardware Store

    Once you’ve determined the hairline crack isn’t serious, you can fix it with caulk. You can find these products in most local hardware stores. Caulk is generally an effective way to seal any hairline cracks, and it’s easy to apply on our own. 

  3. Carefully Widen the Crack

    Open the crack at least one-fourth of an inch with a cold chisel and hammer. Brush away any extra debris with a wire brush to clear the area before applying the caulk. Make sure you remove all broken stucco and that you can see the metal mesh covering.

  4. Inspect the Mesh

    Check out the metal mesh covering to determine whether or not it needs repair. If you notice rusting or other damage, you’ll need to remove it by cutting it out. However, if it’s in good shape, you can apply it to the new stucco.

  5. Create Stucco Mixture

    Read the manufacturer’s guide to make sure to mix the compound properly. It’s important to mix small amounts at a time; the mixture can quickly dry out and become unusable. Mix just enough to fix a particular area.

  6. Apply New Stucco

    Apply the stucco to the crack using a caulk gun. As you fill the crack, make sure to use a trowel to match the other stucco on your home. For at least the next 24 hours, allow the repair to cure. 

  7. Paint the Exterior

    After repairing the stucco, you can apply the paint so that the repaired area matches the rest of the exterior. 

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

The steps mentioned above apply to non-threatening cracks you can repair yourself. If you see larger cracks in your stucco, they could indicate a bigger issue, like structural damage, and it’s essential to seek help from a stucco repair professional. Hiring an experienced professional to determine the crack’s severity can help you prevent future issues that can cost you a lot of money. Don’t delay stucco repairs, as it can lead to moisture buildup behind the wall and cause further damage. 

Seek a Warranty With Stucco Repair

Highly rated stucco service providers suggest seeking a warranty that covers repairs for at least a year. They also advise not to cover significant cracks until you address the underlying cause.

Stucco is a porous material. If you need to paint over a repair, the paint needs to breathe, too, something indicated by a paint’s  “perm,” or permeability. Painting companies with stucco experience will typically do both stucco repair and painting. In fact, the cost of painting your home may include repairing minor hairline cracks. Often, even after a relatively small stucco repair, you may need to repaint the entire side of a house to ensure a uniform look.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.