I am concerned about a series of cracks in the stuccoed exterior surface on three sides of my newly built home. The vertical cracks run all the way around at an average of about two feet apart. I purchased the home ten months ago. Nothing on the inside of the home is cracking.
In your case, it seems that the stucco isn’t even strong enough to resist the movement of the wall studs that run vertically in a pattern similar to the cracks. Chances are the blend of cement and sand are out of balance (not enough cement). Another possibility is that river sand was used in the mix. River sand contains high concentrates of salt, and salt and cement don’t mix. Salt breaks down the adhesive value of the cement.
Solution: Address the issue in writing (certified mail/ return receipt requested) to your builder. He is responsible for “hidden defects” for ten years. We would request complete removal and replacement of the obviously defective material. If you don’t get immediate attention, lab tests will be in order, followed by another certified letter to the builder. This will, more than likely, substantiate our suspicions, and, more than likely, get him off his duff. If not, then it’s on to your attorney for legal assistance. Good luck! It sounds like you have a good case if legal action is necessary.