There May be Hidden Damage in Your Stucco Home

stucco-crackPeople may think that a stucco exterior is better than wood or vinyl because it needs less maintenance. Yet while stucco siding can last up to 50 years, it also has its drawbacks. Here are some problem items to look out for:

Installation

Stucco’s durability and reliability depends a lot on how it was installed. Since it is installed in layers, each layer must be applied correctly, and unfortunately, installation errors may not become apparent until years later.

Water Intrusion

Stucco homes can be damaged by moisture that permeates or gets behind or between stucco layers, and this water has no way of escaping since the stucco “cannot breathe.” Therefore, water can seep into interior walls, wood framing or exterior finishes.

Be sure to provide correct flashing during installation for ventilation and drainage, and direct gutters and downspouts away from the home, and check that windows and doors are correctly installed to prevent water seepage behind the stucco exterior.

Cracking

Cracking can be caused by damage from trapped water, or due to shoddy installation practices. For example, if the sand used for stucco becomes mixed with the common soil found around a house, cracking in the stucco can occur.

Buckling, Blistering and Peeling

Water instruction can also cause stucco siding to buckle or blister, and paint to peel.

Mold

Because moisture can become trapped in stucco siding, mold, mildew, or fungus can grow on interior walls or window or door frames. One indication is greenish-black staining under the window exteriors, sometimes called “stucco tears” since it looks like the house is crying.

Humidity

Homeowners with stucco siding in humid areas can be especially subject to moisture and mold issues, and humidity levels within a home can be higher if water is trapped within, thus increasing levels of mold and mildew inside the house as well.

Color

Once you install stucco, you are locked into the color choice for a long time. In order to change the color, the stucco will need to be sandblasted and reapplied.

Staining

If left untreated, stucco can be susceptible to stains from rainwater and other contaminants.

Get a Stucco Inspection

Left undiscovered, water strapped inside a stucco siding can literally eat away a home from the inside out, destroying exterior finishes and wood framing, and resulting in huge repair costs. If you are considering buying a stucco home, or simply want to double check the home you already own, a stucco inspection and a moisture intrusion test is well worth the small investment.

Först Consulting Services can provide a comprehensive inspection and moisture testing for your stucco home located in Northern Virginia. We can also help you built evidence and advocate on your behalf in case of a construction dispute on stucco installation.

Please contact us today to schedule your inspection.

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