The famous 19th-century writer, Mark Twain, wrote, “Stucco lacked expansion joints because the builders knew that it wouldn’t.” Twain is dead on. This is absolutely true. Without expansion joints, stucco cracked and damaged easily. And if it did not have any joints, the stucco would crumble to pieces when applied. Stucco also failed to keep its initial shape because of a lack of curing.
Many materials now used in the building do have some joints, but they are usually expandable at some point. Usually, the point of failure for joints comes with expansion joints or when the materials begin to harden. Hardening occurs when heat builds up over a long period of time. With stiff materials, such as metals, this can happen faster than you can imagine. However, materials like wood tend to form soft colonies over time, which means they are more resistant to damage from heat and hardening.
So if stucco didn’t have growth joints because it required too much heat to expand them, how did this affect the roof’s performance? During the earlier construction years, the building was often heated by way of fireplaces and oil lamps. Without any expansion joints, this would mean the wood would eventually split after some time. Wood is denser than cement, so when it shrinks and splits during construction, the resulting cracks will be far worse than the original ones.
How then did stucco get around these shortcomings? Stucco wasn’t new to the world just because it was used in the old buildings. It was used widely as a building material for both homes and buildings. In fact, many architects considered it superior to cement because it offers better resistance to expansion and contraction. It is also resistant to dampness, so you can be sure that you won’t have to replace stucco anytime soon.
Growth joints were important because they keep the ends of the stucco slab in place. Without them, the slab would begin to separate and therefore break. But if there isn’t any growth joint, the ends might break off or slip away from each other. Stucco that lacks growth joints is more susceptible to these problems. Also, it could lead to visible seams, which can also contribute to roofing problems later on.
There were many ways to solve these problems. One of the most common methods was to replace the pieces one by one. However, expansion joints weren’t easy to find. If you look at the exterior of your home, it may seem like the surface is perfectly smooth. But once you enter the house, you’ll realize that the wall is actually made up of small indentations called expansion joints.
If you want to avoid this kind of problem when using stucco, the best thing to do is to have a stucco growth joint filler applied before you start using stucco. By doing so, you can be sure that the wall will stay tightly in place as you work on the stucco. This type of joint compound will also prevent the cracks from happening later on. These growth joints will provide additional strength to your wall.
Another option would be to have the area repaired before you use stucco. Even if you plan to use stucco in your home, it won’t hurt to check first if the damage is indeed due to growth joint failure. By doing this, you can get a cheaper replacement. Besides, repairing the growth joints will improve the structure of the rest of the building once it’s finished. Don’t wait until your house starts to deteriorate before repairing the stucco. Contact Stucco Contractors Tampa FL, for more information.