10 Common Stucco Problems: Warning Signs of Stucco Failure in Exterior Siding

When stucco is applied with the right expertise, it won’t need maintenance for decades. It offers unmatched space for customization- from highly smooth surface to highly textured. You can see stucco working well with architectural styles and homes and has a strong firewall rating. 

However, sloppy jobs by a contractor, difficulties in repair work or usage of cheap material lead to stucco problems. Bad location and poor installation are also reasons behind common stucco problems. 

If you’re dealing with bad stucco problems, you can get help from stucco painting experts In Minneapolis to renew the service life of your stucco home. 

Or, you can keep reading to learn about common stucco problems and know how to deal with bad stucco problems. 

Common stucco problems faced by homeowners

Stucco cracks

Stucco cracks are common issues that can arise due to settling, temperature fluctuations, or structural movements. Small cracks may be cosmetic, but larger ones can allow water infiltration, leading to more severe problems. 

Regular inspections by commercial interior painters in Minneapolis can help identify and address cracks early, preventing further structural damage. Repair methods include filling with flexible caulk or patching with stucco repair mix to restore both the appearance and integrity of the stucco.

Stucco moss and mold

Moss and mold thrive on stucco surfaces with excessive moisture. Poor drainage, inadequate ventilation, or shaded areas contribute to their growth. To remedy this, improve drainage, ensure proper ventilation, and trim vegetation that shades the stucco. 

Cleaning the affected areas with a mild bleach solution or an appropriate cleaner helps eliminate existing moss and mold. Regular maintenance and moisture control are crucial to prevent their recurrence.

Stucco stains

Stains on stucco can result from various sources, such as mineral deposits in water or runoff from nearby materials. Identifying the source of the stain is needed for effective removal. 

Stains from mineral deposits may require acidic cleaners, while organic stains might need a bleach solution. Pressure washing can be effective, but care must be taken not to damage the stucco surface. Fixing leaks or adjusting irrigation, helps prevent future staining.

Stucco crumbles

Crumbled stucco indicates significant structural deterioration. This can result from a combination of factors, including water damage, inadequate installation, or aging. Prompt action is necessary to prevent further deterioration. Repair methods involve removing and replacing the damaged stucco sections. Ignoring stucco crumbles can lead to more damage and a waste of money.

Also read: 10 Ways to Save Money on House Painting in Minneapolis

Stucco indentations or soft spots

Indentations or soft spots in the stucco suggest water damage or inadequate support behind the stucco. Depending on the severity, repairs may involve removing the affected stucco and properly reinstalling or patching the damaged areas.

Insect infestations

Insects, such as termites or carpenter ants, can damage stucco over time. Regular inspections for signs of infestation, such as small holes or insect droppings, are essential. Pest control measures include treating affected areas with insecticides or calling in professionals for more severe cases. 

Maintaining a pest-free perimeter around the property, including proper landscaping practices, helps prevent insect infestations.

Stucco moisture problems

High humidity levels contribute to mold growth and erosion on stucco surfaces. Improving ventilation, using dehumidifiers, and addressing water leaks are effective measures to control humidity. 

Regular cleaning to remove dirt and debris from stucco surfaces also helps prevent mold growth. Proper maintenance and moisture control are essential for preserving the stucco’s appearance and structural integrity. Home exterior painters in Minneapolis can address stucco moisture issues in time and prevent any further damage. 

Water damage

Water damage poses a significant threat to stucco, leading to issues like rot, mold, and compromised structural integrity. Proper installation with effective drainage systems is crucial to prevent water accumulation. Repairs and addressing the source of water entry can prevent extensive damage and maintain the longevity of the stucco.

Impact damage

Dents, chips, or other forms of impact damage can affect the appearance and durability of stucco. Repair methods may involve patching or, in severe cases, replacing the affected stucco sections. 


Traditional stucco provides limited insulation, but newer stucco insulation systems offer improved energy efficiency. These systems include additional insulation layers, enhancing the overall thermal performance of the building envelope. Consider upgrading to a stucco insulation system to improve comfort, reduce energy consumption, and meet modern insulation standards. Professional consultation can guide the selection and installation of the most suitable insulation system for specific needs.

Warning signs of stucco damage to watch out for

To keep your stucco in good shape, you need to watch out for a few signs. First, look for any cracks, small or big, especially near windows and corners. If you find unusual stains or spots that look wet, it could be a sign of water issues. Soft spots mean there might be water damage or problems with the structure. Keep an eye on any parts that are falling apart or peeling, and fix them quickly. 

Mold or moss growing on the stucco means there’s too much moisture. Check for dents or swelling, which could indicate bigger problems. If you see bugs or holes, deal with them to avoid damage. The white stuff on the stucco could mean there’s salt coming out and it needs cleaning. Water streaks or hollow sounds, when you tap, could be signs of leaks or damage. 

If you find heavy stucco staining, big cracks, or missing stucco pieces, it’s the time you need stucco remediation. Stucco remediation may involve completely replacing the stucco exterior of your home. 

Even if stucco remediation might look costly at first, it’s a good investment and saves you money in the long run. 

Also read: Upgrade Your Home’s Exterior: Top Trends in House Painting in Minneapolis 

How to take care of stucco?

Paris Painting recommends the following measures to protect your stucco home.

  • Conduct annual inspections to find and repair any stucco cracks or damage, preventing water seepage.
  • Stucco typically requires minimal cleaning, but if necessary, use a gentle hose with mild pressure to remove dirt.
  • Regularly check gutters for clogs, damage, or leaks to prevent water from flowing onto the stucco, making timely repairs as needed.
  • If the stucco color fades over time, consider applying a fresh coat of paint to refresh its appearance.
  • Trim trees and shrubs to avoid contact with the stucco, preventing potential damage.
  • Avoid placing water-holding planters, such as window boxes, directly against the stucco.
  • Maintain soil levels below the stucco finish to prevent moisture absorption.
  • Use drip irrigation systems around the perimeter, avoiding sprinkling or spraying water directly onto the stucco.

DIY Stucco or Hire a Painting Company?

If you’re thinking about putting stucco on your home, doing it yourself might not be the best idea. Also, it’s not easy for you. Most people don’t have the right skills for it, and you also need special tools. Repairing the stucco is not a job for just one person as you need three or four. So, it’s probably better to hire someone who knows what they’re doing. That way, you’ll get the job done right and not have to stress about it.

Get rid of your stucco problems with an expert exterior company in Minneapolis

To sum up, addressing the stucco problems at the right time can give a new life to your stucco home for the next few decades. Timely remediation can help avoid structural damage, minimizing the need for costly rebuilding or replacements. 

With Paris Paintings, you will be placing your home in experienced and trusted hands. We have been a known painting and stucco installation company in Minneapolis and around Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina, Maple Grove, North Oaks, Plymouth, St Louis Park, St Paul, and Wayzata. 

We provide a complete range of painting services and beyond that include:

  • Stucco Painting Services
  • Commercial Painting Services
  • Exterior painting
  • Interior Painting Services
  • Light carpentry
  • Cabinet Painting Services

Get a FREE estimate here today.  


What are some issues with stucco homes?

Common stucco problems include stucco cracks, moss, mold growth, stains, crumbling, indentations, soft spots, insect infestations, and increased humidity levels. Conventional stucco lacks insulation value. However, opting for new stucco insulation systems can enhance performance and provide improved insulation for homes. 

What are the different types of stucco?

Traditional stucco is made from Portland cement, sand, and water, and is a durable choice for exterior finishes. Acrylic stucco has acrylic resins for added flexibility and crack resistance. Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) is a multi-layered system providing insulation. 

One-coat stucco puts together scratch and brown coats for quicker installation, while three-coat stucco follows the traditional method for a sturdy finish. Lime stucco, using lime as a binder, is breathable and flexible, used for historic structures. 

Cement board stucco involves attaching cement boards for added durability, especially in moisture-prone areas. Each stucco type caters to specific needs, influenced by climate, needs, and aesthetics.

What is stucco used for?

Stucco is mainly used to cover the outside of buildings. It helps protect the walls from weather like rain and sun. Stucco also makes buildings look nice by giving them a smooth or textured finish. Homeowners often paint on stucco to add color. It’s a good choice because it’s durable, cost-effective, and can even make buildings more energy-efficient when used with insulation.