Stucco is an attractive covering for homes and is found all over the Tampa Bay area. Made from cement, sand, lime and water, it’s a durable, energy-efficient exterior that helps keep homes looking beautiful. Unfortunately, there are times when problems with a home’s construction or stucco application can cause stucco to crack, leaving the structure open to further damage and ruining the appearance of a home.
For many Floridians, their home is their most substantial investment. When stucco cracks, buckles or becomes otherwise compromised, their homes are at risk for further damage from the elements. What causes stucco to crack varies from home to home, as well as who may be held responsible. Below are some common reasons stucco may crack and who may be at fault.
For stucco to be durable, it must be properly mixed. If the stucco is not combined well, it will create weak areas when it dries. These vulnerable areas may not be visibly noticeable, but the cracks they accumulate certainly are. In this case, the fault goes to whoever mixed the stucco. If you hired a contractor, then they may be liable for the poor mix. If the builder you brought your home from did, the builder and their subcontractor might be responsible. Generally, the best way to ascertain liability is to discuss your case with a lawyer familiar with stucco cases, like those at Burnett Law, P.A..
Because stucco is a popular exterior choice, many contractors are busy. They may work too quickly and rush application, failing to secure laths properly or skipping steps. Tiny cracks are common and often hidden beneath the paint, but large cracks and peeling paint may point to a problem. There are numerous ways that an application can go wrong, from not allowing layers to dry to incorrectly situating joints. Often, the location of the cracks and any patterning can help pinpoint where the application went wrong. Here, the contractor and possibly the builder may be at fault for the poor application.
Settling homes are known to creak at night, and they also tend to crack as well. If your home experiences crack settling soon after it has been built and the stucco becomes cracked, it may be possible to hold the builder liable, especially if they rushed the job and should’ve known that the home needed to be stabilized. While minor cracks are par for the course, large cracks are frequently an indication of a shoddy job.
Extreme weather following application can cause stucco to crack. High winds following an application may leach moisture from the stucco, shrinking the stucco and leaving it vulnerable to cracks. Strong storms shortly after application can harm stucco. Debris and limbs pushed by high winds can damage stucco, as well as extreme heat and moisture. Seismological events such as earthquakes can create cracks in stucco. While no one can be held liable for these events, your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover damage sustained during such a disaster.
Your house is your haven. It shouldn’t become a burden because of someone else’s shoddy work. If you believe your home is at risk or has sustained damage because of cracks in your stucco, consider consulting with an experienced Tampa lawyer. When your stucco cracks, it makes your home vulnerable to further damage. Defective stucco can put the value of your home in question. Don’t wait to investigate, call a Tampa stucco lawyer today at 813-221-5000.