Do I Need Stucco Repairs?
With all the media buzz about the failure of stucco homes, as a homeowner, you have every right to be concerned. The question is, do you have a reason to be concerned? Knowing the warning signs of the potential need for stucco repairs is knowledge that property owners should educate themselves with. Here are a few of the signs that any homeowner can see that may point out more serious stucco problems.
Stucco Staining: If you notice that the stucco under some of the exterior windows and doors, have stains, you might be suffering from some more serious issues underneath the stucco. Stucco tears, often called this because they typically appear as black stains that run under the corners of windows, as if the window has been crying. This staining can indicate several problems. For starters, these stains can be a sign that there is moisture causing the stucco to stay damp, which is causing mold or mildew to grow on the stucco finish. Staining may also be a sign of water getting underneath the stucco and draining behind the WRB (Water Resistive Barrier), which can cause damage to the sheathing. Also relating to the WRB, this staining may be a result of the constant draining of water which can break down the paper. This can cause the water to get through as if the barrier was never there. All of these issues are serious, and can impact the structural integrity of your stucco.
Uneven Drying: After a storm, go outside of your home and take a look at the exterior. Because stucco is a porous material, you will notice that it looks a bit darker than it normally does in the sunlight. This is because stucco absorbs water, and if applied with a proper drainage plane, will drain this water over time without a problem. A few hours after the storm, if you notice that parts of the exterior finish of your home are still remaining dark while others appear to be completely dry, you may have a problem with stucco that was clad improperly and can hint to some of the same issues beneath the surface as staining.
Stucco Cracking: All stucco cracks, so some cracking in the surface is not only normal, but it is to be expected. But, if you look at the exterior of your home and notice more severe, deep cracks you might have a more serious problem. Cracking is most frequently caused by errors in the application of the stucco itself or even as early on as mixing the materials to make the cladding. Cracks are troublesome because they not only affect the structural integrity of your home’s exterior, but water can get in and freeze in Winter, which can make the cracks worse.
Of course, the listed problems are just a few of many signs that your home might be in trouble, but these are the most common. If you notice any other abnormalities on the exterior of your home, you should still call an experienced and trusted stucco inspector to take a look. For tips on how to pick the right stucco inspector, check out our advice on researching and choosing the right one for the job here.
And if you are suffering from any problems that are not listed here, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to discuss any issues that you are having and help you determine what your next steps are.