While your home's stucco should look good and last for a long time, this type of cladding sometimes develops faults. If you spot problems early, then you can often make a quick fix before any damage spreads or worsens.
What are the signs that your stucco has a problem?
1. Rust Stains
Sometimes, stucco develops rusty marks on its surface. This staining might come from an external source, such as an old pipe that drips rusty water down on the wall. Or, it might come from inside the cladding.
For example, if the reinforcing bars under the stucco start to rust, then they might stain the surface if it has even tiny cracks or holes. The rust will work its way through until it shows on the front of the stucco.
If your rust stains are causing external issues, then fixing the problem will prevent any more damage. You simply need to check that the stucco is sound and then clean it up. If the damage is internal, then you might need to cut away part of the cladding to find and fix the underlying problem before making the wall good again.
2. Water Stains
Water staining on a wall can also be caused by external or internal factors. For example, if you have a leaking gutter, then it might spill enough water onto a wall to create a mark on the outside of the wall.
However, things are more serious if you notice water marks on your stucco which don't have an obvious cause. You might not be dealing with surface staining here; rather, the water marks could be internal.
For example, you might see water stains if water has found a way behind the stucco, say through a crack or broken seal. Or a leaking interior pipe could cause the same problem. Here, you need to find the water source and fix it. You'll then need to see how much damage the water has done and fix any problem areas.
Any crack in stucco needs to be investigated. Even hairline cracks that look insignificant can be big enough to let water into the surface. Larger cracks can be a sign of more extensive damage. These cracks often happen if something hard hits the surface, or as a result of movement in your home or its foundations.
It's not a good idea to fill a stucco crack yourself without finding out why it happened. You should have a professional assessment before you repair the damage. For more advice, contact local stucco repair services.