Cracking exterior Stucco

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Old 03-21-15, 11:13 AM
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Cracking exterior Stucco

Hi everyone, new to the forum. Must say a great place with a wealth of information. I apologize for the long post but I really need some advice.

Our house was built in 2000, and Last June, our city had to do some water main upgrades to our street for a new building going in. Anyway, while construction was occurring we notice that the inside was starting to see cracks that were not there before. We also notice the outside stucco was cracking. After informing the city, they stopped using the large tamper which caused everything in the house to shake and even pictures to fall off walls. and talking with neighbors (6 houses along the street) who have the exact same issues. Cracking stucco and interior cracks in walls and ceilings etc. Anyway, there insurance company is responsible for fixing all the damages caused by the construction. We found out, they used an over sized tamper that shouldn't have been used in a residential area.

Our stucco has hundreds of cracks in it on all sides of the house. There may have been a couple of cracks before very small ones, but now its unbelievable.

Some very large cracks also. The company looking after everything has said, they will fill the cracks and repaint the stucco. They said otherwise to remove it, the only way possible is to hammer and pound the stucco off which would cause tons of interior damages.

So my questions are, is it possible to fill all the cracks and then repaint over it? Should it be replaced the stucco? or can it be stuccoed over top of the old stucco?

Any help would be great fully appreciated. Thanks, and again I apologize for the long post.
 
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Old 03-21-15, 12:18 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

A lot depends on the cracks, as long as the stucco is solid there shouldn't be any issue with repairing and priming/painting. Pics would give us a better idea what you have - http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 03-21-15, 12:45 PM
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Attachment 48283 Name:  63465b73-e151-4b8a-955b-9b88f934a0f4.jpg
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I have attached a photo. I will try to upload a couple more, but hopefully this helps. Some are hard to seem, and some are hard to get pictures of. These are large cracks all over the one side of the house.
 
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Old 03-21-15, 01:33 PM
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You might take a hammer and tap around the area of the crack and see if it sounds solid or hollow but it doesn't look like there will be any issues with patching it. I assume they'll etch out the crack and stucco as needed but I've caulked numerous cracks like that when prepping stucco for repaint.

I don't know a lot about painting specific for as far north as you are but here in the south, painted masonry is prone to chalk and paint won't adhere well to chalk! When it isn't feasible to wash off all the chalk there are additives or primers that can be used to bind up the remaining chalk.
 
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Old 03-21-15, 11:56 PM
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Patching stucco cracks can be challenging. I'm hoping you have true Portland cement stucco, and not EIFS. Having lived many years in NM, where stucco homes outnumber any other type of exterior finish, I've often seen repairs done incorrectly, by people who don't know stucco--their "repairs" reflect through the topcoat paint, and are clearly visible, even when painted over several times. Thorough repairs involve deeply routing out the cracks in a "vee" configuration, thoroughly cleaning the routed cracks, then applying a special stucco repair mix (usually containing bonding agents and non-shrink additives) to enable the cracks to be blended into the surrounding stucco. The skill of the installer is critical, as amateurs won't know how to match existing textures. A complete coat of paint is usually needed because of the difficulty in perfectly matching the existing stucco's color, having been exposed to weather and the effects of UV exposure.
 
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Old 03-22-15, 05:07 AM
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As BridgeMan stated, making repairs that blend well does take some skill. Just remember that you were not responsible for the damage and don't have to accept substandard work! Don't sign off on the repairs until they are done to your satisfaction.

I used to live in fla where there are a lot of stucco homes with that type of stucco finish being the most popular. I've painted a lot of repairs that were very difficult to spot when finished but have also painted some that were impossible to hide.
 
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Old 03-22-15, 08:42 AM
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Here are a few more pictures. Thanks for the replies. We have almost like spider web cracking all over. Just makes me wonder how they can patch these and guarantee it.

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Cracks
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Above all the doors and windows have similar cracks
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This is how it looks all over the place. Some are even worse.
 
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Old 03-22-15, 11:55 AM
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If I was doing the work, I'd have the cracks opened up a little and get the stucco work done, prime the new stucco and then apply a coat of elastomeric paint. Elastomeric paint makes the stucco more water resistant along with sealing cracks [will hide minor cracking]

Is the city [or their contractor] warranting the work or does their obligation end once you sign the release?
 
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Old 03-24-15, 06:58 PM
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I'm not sure, that would be something that I would have to check into. Today we got a letter from there insurance company, that in order for them to move forward, there will be a depreciation amount that we would be responsible for. They want us to use our insurance companies. Not sure why we should use our insurance when we didn't cause the damage, or take a depriciation on the work there doing. I think they've realized what the cost will be now.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 08:33 PM
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Time for you to play hardball. Tell them there were exactly zero cracks before they started (there weren't any, were there?), and now the place is loaded with them as a result of their client's shoddy work. There should be no claims on your homeowners policy, but a quick call to your agent should determine if they want to get involved. If your policy has to pay, remember that you will be responsible for the deductible, and may have a hike in premiums as a result of their faulty work. Also, you may find it difficult to insure any future properties you purchase, once this claim goes against your record. Insurance companies have memories like elephants, at least on this side of the border.

You might also make it clear to them that if you have to get a lawyer involved, and take this claim to court, they will be responsible for all of your legal costs when they lose (and they will lose). I suspect a class-action lawsuit involving all of the affected homeowners, might be more effective than fighting this on an individual basis.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 01:38 AM
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This is more of a question than an answer, but it's something you could discuss with your agent.

I always thought that if damage was caused by a 3rd party, your insurance company would go after them for full reimbursement. That should be their job, and they have the leverage and the lawyers to do it.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 04:45 AM
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5 or so years ago a friend of mine lived across the road from an old business that burnt down. It was an extreme fire! It melted the vinyl siding, the heat broke some of his windows and his roof was damaged. It took several years for the courts to decide which of the building's owners was responsible but in the mean time his insurance paid for all the repairs and then the ins co collected from the responsible party later.

I don't see any reason for your insurance to have to pay but it doesn't hurt to talk with your agent ... and they do have more clout! While depreciation can play a role, I don't see how it could apply when you played no part in causing the damage. Sure you will get a new paint job but only because of the contractor's neglect.
 
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