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  1. #1

    Default Cracks in stucco trim

    My home is now a year old. I noticed some cracks in the stucco trim above my garage slowly get bigger and bigger throughout the year. This is what they look like now:






    What do you think? Why is it doing this? I am worried that even after it gets patched it will continue to crack.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Cracks in stucco trim

    Here is the whole thing:



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Atlanta, Georgia
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    Default Re: Cracks in stucco trim

    Is it hardcoat stucco or EIFS?

    In the second post, it looks like the cracks are evenly spaced indicating the substrate is seperated and is transferring the crack to the surface.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    rockport texas
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    132

    Default Re: Cracks in stucco trim

    i hope it's EIFS. If not you will have bigger problems down the road ( no cotrol or expansion joints). It does look like a sheeting problem and should be able to be repaired. Is it barrier EIFS or drainage EIFS? I can't see from your picture, is there kickout / diverter flashing where the roof intersects the wall? How is the stone terminated at the bottom? You may want a certified EIFS inspector look at the whole job and make sure everything has been done correctly. Good luck.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    New York
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    869

    Default Re: Cracks in stucco trim

    If it is an EIFS issue (which it appears to be) and not a structural issue :

    The cracking is appearing at a floor line, and there could be a contraction issue.

    When a building (wooden) is first built there is an expected period that the lumber is going to dry out/equalize. During this period it is not unusual for cracks (movement) to appear at floor lines. This period usually lasts about 2 years, after which the materials has equalized/stabilized and the need for the expansion joint (or in this case a contraction joint) diminishes.

    I would suggest a "quick fix" for now. You can get color matching silicone at an EIFS supply house. Go there first and get a sample chart so you can hold it alongside the material. If you apply it carefully it will not look bad.

    Next year, if the cracking has finished, you can have an additional layer of basecoat, mesh, and finish coat applied. If the gaps are larger than 1/16" fill them with slivers of EPS (insulation board/ Styrofoam) first. There is no need to remove/replace the existing trim band.

    You may want to look around the rest of the installation for compression cracks.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 01-22-2013 at 07:47 AM.
    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Cracks in stucco trim

    Looks like it made it's own expansion joint. As Steven pointed out it is at the second floor of the home, which should have a joint to allow for compression. Actually that band might be covering the expansion and the band was not isolated so when the structure moved it just cracked under the stress. In the grand scheme of things I would not loose any sleep over this. Follow what Steven posted as a way to take care of this.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Serving SC & NC
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Cracks in stucco trim

    As others have said, control joints should be installed every 144 SF in the wall to allow for expansion. With the window, I'm not sure you have 144 SF of wall. The band itself looks like EPS (expanded poly-styrene), which is a cosmetic plant-on.

    Joe Funderburk, CBO, CMI
    Alpha & Omega Home Inspections, LLC
    Serving SC & NC

  8. #8

    Default Re: Cracks in stucco trim

    How can I tell if it is EIFS?

    This trim was originally forgotten when they had finished the stucco. They added it afterwards. I believe they placed foam strips up there and then stucco over top. I am guessing they didnt use a full length strip but four short pieces instead.

    Here is an image of the pre stucco phase.


    Non-colored

    Colored before trim added



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    1,394

    Default Re: Cracks in stucco trim

    In the Denver area, I rarely see stucco and stone veneers installed properly. The stone veneer on my own house isn't installed properly. Builders around here get away with sub-par installations because of our climate. We are almost a desert climate with low humidity and low rainfall. My daughter lives in the Salt Lake area and I have observed that builders around there often cut the same corners that I see here.

    You don't have EIFS. Even though you are unlikely to have major problems arise from the veneer installation, you should request in writing repairs with your builder. Get an area stucco expert to give you an assessment if you want to pursue it with your builder. That'll cost you around $500.

    From your website, you appear to be a very unhappy customer of Alpine. I wonder why you continued with your purchase, as you appear to have been unhappy with them from day one.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Cracks in stucco trim

    I poked around today and also noticed hairline cracks at the corners of most of the windows I looked at. Is this an issue or is that pretty common?


  11. #11
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Cracks in stucco trim

    Based on your construction photos, this is an entirely cosmetic feature of the home. If your builder's warranty for cosmetic items is more than a year, I suggest that you don't waste energy analyzing the issue, just have the builder fix it.

    The construction method of this feature is the same as we use in coastal Texas, with high temps and very high humidity and rainfall levels. It is not problematic. On occasion, a skim coat as described by Steven is needed because of minor cracking.

    If I chose to repair it, I would make sure the top edge of the feature sloped slightly to drain water instead of having water puddle on the top edge.


  12. #12

    Default Re: Cracks in stucco trim

    The warranty period ended after a year which was about a month ago. They only cover cracks in stucco greater than an 1/8th inch. They are going to warranty the cracks in the stucco trim. I mostly wanted to know if I am going to have more problems down the road after they put their 'patch' on it like the did everything else.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Cracks in stucco trim

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew James View Post
    The warranty period ended after a year which was about a month ago. They only cover cracks in stucco greater than an 1/8th inch. They are going to warranty the cracks in the stucco trim. I mostly wanted to know if I am going to have more problems down the road after they put their 'patch' on it like the did everything else.
    You're unlikely to have problems from hairline cracks. Hairline cracks in stucco are common and unless you have a lot of them (one per linear two feet or so) they rarely are more than a cosmetic issue. As far as recourse with the builder, you should consult an attorney.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

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