Inspecting Your Exterior Stucco

Over time, you might start to notice that your exterior stucco is declining. This decline can present itself as mildew, a buildup of dirt, or even small cracks. While in some cases this isn’t a cause for concern, in others it can signify the need for repairs. Understanding the differences between a small crack and an underlying issue is the key to maintaining your stucco. 

The best way to maintain your stucco is to properly inspect it and identify issues at the onset. This will help you limit repairs to small updates rather than larger repairs or even replacements. Noticing possible issues early on can save you lots of time, stress, and money. Avoid the large repairs, avoid the stress of “not knowing”, and avoid depreciating property values by taking care of your stucco.

How Often Should You Inspect Your Stucco?

You should inspect your stucco thoroughly at least once a year. This is the general rule of thumb, although you might opt to check it more frequently if you see persistent issues. While stucco is weather resistant, it isn’t completely immune to extreme weather conditions. If Nevada experiences an unusually rainy season with excess rainfall or higher winds than in the past, you might opt to check it more frequently as these conditions can erode your stucco quicker. 

For these reasons, it is important to inspect the stucco yourself. If you find any concerns or you would just like an expert to inspect your home or business, give us at Sparks Stucco, a call. It is always better to be cautious about any potential damages and work with a stucco contractor than to ignore the issue and have bigger, more expensive repairs down the road. 

What To Look For During Stucco Inspection

It can be overwhelming to think about inspecting the entire exterior of a home or building. However, you only need to look out for a few things. Here is a list of specific things to look out for when inspecting exterior stucco: 

  • Mold – Look for mold on the surface, or if it looks like it is appearing from the base layer. 
  • Mildew – Similarly to mold, check to see if mildew is growing on the top or base layer.
  • Dirt accumulation – If the dirt easily wipes away, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The problem lies when dirt starts to erode the stucco.
  • General discoloration or stains – Discoloration or stains could mean a variety of things, but will most likely need repairing or replacement. 

The largest and most obvious signs of damage are cracks in your stucco. Different cracks could mean different things, so be sure to look out for the different types of cracks, including: 

  • Thin cracks – These cracks may range in length from a few inches to a foot. Some may be so thin that they can be difficult to see. 
  • Cracks around the seam where stucco pieces are joined – This could be caused by improper installation. 
  • Cracks that look like they are surfacing from the base coat – This may have been caused by a bad stucco mixture or from drying too quickly after installation.
  • Diagonal cracks – These are often caused by doors and windows opening and closing. 

Don’t leave out areas such as trim, doors, windows, and corners while inspecting. If applicable, inspect where the wall meets the deck or balcony.  In these areas, look for cracks and stains. Also, make sure the attachments are sturdy and smooth. 

When to Call an Exterior Stucco Contractor

Just because there is a crack or discoloration in your stucco exterior, it doesn’t necessarily mean repairs have to be done. 

When it comes to mold, mildew, dirt, or discoloration, a little bit of rain or water may solve that issue. If a quick cleaning doesn’t remove the stain or discoloration, that area may need to be removed and reinstalled. 

Not all cracks are created equal, therefore not all will require immediate action. If you see a small crack, monitor it and make sure it isn’t getting bigger over time. If there aren’t any changes, continue to monitor. The moment it starts getting bigger, call a professional like Sparks Stucco. Large cracks, anything that you could fit your credit card in, should be repaired by a professional and done in a quicker time frame. 

Work with an Exterior Stucco Contractor Near You

When in doubt, call an exterior stucco contractor in your area to get an expert’s opinion. They will be able to let you know what repairs, if any, you might be up against. Professional contractors have the tools and expertise required to make sure that the repairs are done correctly. If you live in Sparks, Nevada, contact our experts at Sparks Stucco to have an inspection or repairs done on your stucco exterior.