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Cracks In Exterior Wall

Foundation damage can undermine the structural integrity of your home, manifesting various indicators both internally and externally. Some symptoms might not be immediately evident; however, signs like a cracks forming on the brick or stucco of your home can indicate foundation damage which can cause serious & costly repairs if not promptly addressed.

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Why Is My Wall Cracking?

Cracks in stucco typically arise from improper mix ratios, inadequate or excessive mixing, shrinkage from the quick drying of water in the stucco, changes in weather, and ground movement. However, two less frequent reasons for stucco cracks include the natural settling of the house and uneven settling.


Although the cracks that naturally appear as the house settles over time are usually not worrisome—though they still need attention to prevent further problems—the cracks resulting from uneven settling can pose significant risks to a home. It's crucial for homeowners to recognize, diagnose, and assess the various crack types that may emerge in stucco over time, as specific cracks can lead to structural harm.


Different Types of Wall Cracks

Stucco and brick can exhibit a variety of crack patterns, each indicating different underlying issues. Hairline cracks might be superficial, while wider, deeper cracks could signal more serious structural concerns. Recognizing and understanding these distinctions is key to appropriate maintenance and repair. Below, you'll learn a little about the different cracks you may be facing and their possible causes.

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Hairline Cracks In Wall

Hairline cracks, typically no wider than 1/16 of an inch, may not be as concerning as their larger counterparts but can still allow water and moisture to penetrate your walls. These minor fissures in stucco can arise from multiple factors, including:


✔ Environmental conditions like extreme heat, cold, moisture, or wind that affect the stucco during its curing and drying phase


✔ The use of certain construction materials, such as green lumber, which may warp as it dries out


✔ The natural expansion and contraction of stucco as it adjusts post-application


✔ Slight movements in expansion and contraction joints as the building settles


✔ Insufficient spacing between underlayment materials like wood, plywood, OSB, or gypsum boards


✔ Improper application of fiberglass mesh tape, especially at the seams of two joining pieces of foam trim


✔ The gradual, uniform compression of soil beneath the foundation due to the weight of the house, known as normal settling


✔ Thermal movement, caused by temperature changes affecting the expansion and contraction rates of different construction materials

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Spider Cracks In Wall

These cracks, even finer than 1/16 of an inch, resemble spider webs, earning their nickname. Spider cracking often stems from issues such as:


The base coat not curing properly or drying too swiftly;


The material being mixed inaccurately or inadequately;


An excess amount of water incorporated into the mix;


The stucco being applied under conditions of intense heat or cold.

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Wide Cracks In Wall

Although many stucco cracks are minor and mainly affect appearance, occasionally, one or more significant cracks can emerge. These larger cracks, exceeding 1/16 of an inch in width, often signal potential foundational issues and are categorized into two primary types:


✔ Vertical and/or Horizontal Cracks: These significant cracks can form between two vertical walls, at the juncture of walls and ceilings, or where wood framing meets brick or concrete masonry. Around window and door frames, deep vertical cracks in stucco may also manifest.


✔ Diagonal and/or Stair-Step Cracks: Such cracks often point to structural problems, likely stemming from differential settlement or seismic shifts in the foundation. Differential settlement usually results from soil that is not supportive enough, which might shift due to poor compaction, undercutting, repeated cycles of expansion and contraction, or severe weather events like flooding. No matter the size of a diagonal or stair-step crack, professional evaluation and repair are essential as soon as they are noticed.

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Are Wall Cracks Dangerous?


Whether shallow or profound, minor or extensive, stucco cracks create a pathway for moisture and water to infiltrate your walls. This can result in severe water damage, decay, structural issues, and expensive future repairs. Additionally, deep or wide cracks in stucco are often a sign of underlying foundation problems. To avert further damage and ensure your home's structural soundness, addressing stucco cracks promptly is crucial. If you're uncertain about the severity of the cracks in your stucco or whether they point to foundational concerns, it's wise to have your property evaluated by a skilled foundation repair specialist. For a complimentary consultation and repair quote, don't hesitate to reach out to our experts today!


Why Choose APD?

We're the nature coast's #1 trusted foundation experts for a reason. Here's why thousands trust APD to get their foundation back to perfect!

Lifetime Transferrable Warranty

With our lifetime transferrable warranty you can sit back worry-free knowing you're covered.

12-18 Month (0% FINANCING)

Benefit from interest-free payments for up to 18 months when you choose our foundation repair services. Terms and conditions apply.

100% Customer Satisfaction

Our job isn't finished until you're completely satisfied with the foundation repair we've carried out.

Area-Specific Experience

We aren't just experts in foundation repair, but we also have a deep understanding of the unique foundation challenges and needs of the nature coast.

Instantly Emailed Free Quotes

Get a quick, no-obligation estimate for your foundation repair needs, tailored to the specific conditions of the nature coast.

Advanced Repair Techniques

Using cutting-edge techniques and equipment, we ensure that your foundation repair is effective and long-lasting.

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