Re stucco cracked stucco on block

Love your web page.

I live in the southwest (Albuquerque NM) in a 60 +/- year old masonry house that had the stucco applied directly on the block. Over the years, it has been painted and poorly patched in places. There are a lot of cracks showing through where the block joints are. After buying the house a year ago, I removed a lot of ivy from the outside walls. Though the stucco has been poorly maintained, it has held up well. Because of the amount of small cracks at the block joints (most of these are not due to wall settling), I am considering nailing wire mesh and re-stuccoing, unless you have an easier solution such as patching the bad places and re-painting (I'm always open to suggestions).

If I do re-stucco, is it possible to glue/nail/attatch in some way styrofoam insulation sheets to the wall, nail mesh over it and stucco over that. I realize that this is similiar to many synthetic stucco methods (I don't want to go there). The reason that I wish to do this is that there is no insulation in the walls, and the inside walls have a beautiful plaster coat that has held up over the years, and it would be a sin to insulate the inside walls (not to mention losing interior living space to furred out walls).

You may have seen my article on z-furring here:
Z furring can be problematic becuse now the foam and the new stucco protrude past the roof, windows, etc. making it necessary to reflash the roof, extend the window jambs, etc. I have heard the metal creates a thermal bridge, but that sounds like a bunch of know it all double talk to me. Having additional stucco on your house without will create more thermal mass, retaining cooler temperatures in a hot climate.
My chipping and bonding method here works great on block or brick that have been painted or not, and works well on old stucco, painted or not, because you can get by with two thin coats. Nailing up metal lath usually causes a lot of cracks, probably due to the fact that the mortar doesn't bond to the old wall, creating a slip joint when the building moves, expands and contractracts, etc. One the other hand we get very few ofr no cracks using our chipping and bonding method, due to the fact the flex adds flexural strength to the mortar. The stucco may crack for whatever reason, but the practice of nailing up lath creates lots and lots of cracks in the new stucco.

It may seem redundant to bring up chipping and bonding, but the important thing here is: Is the water coming out of the wall ?

The reason I bring it up is that we have had stucco repair projects lately that had moss and stains running out from the cracks in the bock joints. This is caused by inadequate flashing, roof drip edge, etc. which should be corrected before any restucco shoud be attempted.

One large reason for stucco failure is that water is running out of the wall indicating a leak from above.