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Stucco Repairs, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly… – Advanced Mold Diagnostics

As I’ve stated in previous posts, faulty stucco installation is a very common problem, especially in this part of the country. According to Dr. Joseph Lstiburek of buildingscience.com, Canada is the stucco failure country of the world and our area (the Northeast) is the leading stucco failure area of the United States.

We do a lot of stucco investigations/assessments and in the course of doing so we find a common theme – they are mostly installed without an understanding of what a stucco cladding needs in order to perform as it should.

Stucco is a good exterior cladding system if installed properly. It is a big step up from vinyl siding and less costly than brick or stone. Many of our clients get a bad taste in their mouth for stucco once we educate them to the particular deficiencies and damage to their stucco homes. When it comes to recommendations for repair, I’m often asked if they should consider not using stucco for the exterior cladding, as it seems so problematic. My response is, you do have options, but properly installed, stucco cladding is a good option.

This week alone I’ve received three calls from stucco homeowners where the builder acknowledged it was their fault and consequently they would fix it. The solution in all three cases was: remove the stucco just around the windows, pull the windows and flash the openings. In addition, they would address the lack of kick-out flashings. Although you could say it is commendable that they are taking responsibility, aren’t they the same ones who installed it incorrectly in the first place. This approach is a waste of time and money. If there is no proper drainage plane in place, they cannot incorporate this patch job into a properly functioning system. For one of these homeowners, it was the second time the builder had tried this approach and water was still coming in through windows and musty odors in the home revealed water was still getting into the wall cavities and mold was growing in behind the gypsum wall board.

If you have a stucco home and you suspect you might have a problem or if the builder wants to fix it, have a stucco inspection performed first so that you might be able to present the builder with a report that details how to fix it properly.

Contact us at www.advancedmolddiagnostics.com for a free telephone consultation.

Craig Camel

Advanced Mold Diagnostics

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