LESS INVASIVE STUCCO INSPECTING
No homeowner likes the thought of drilling into their freshly painted stucco walls - NO! But it is a job that sometimes must be done.
The purpose of an invasive test is to determine if water has been penetrating to the wall sheathing or studs (see illustration) and, if so, what condition they are in. (Deteriorated?)
Many stucco inspectors don't think twice about drilling many holes into the hard, finished painted surface, which also drills through the moisture barrier underneath in order to detect moisture. Drilling on a vertical surface that rainwater can easily access is not the best idea and should be avoided when possible. Even caulking the holes won't repair the moisture barriers.
That is why we use the PLIST method - "Preferred Less-Invasive Stucco Testing" - by which we still test the wall sheathing and framing, but by probing from the inside, particularly at windows and at flashed areas. The PLIST method is preferred by RELO companies.
From the inside, the same areas most inspectors drill from the outside can be tested from the inside - and the repairs are almost always invisible.
The only areas that we usually must drill from the outside on a vertical wall are column bottoms, which is then well caulked with a specially formulated color-matched stucco caulk.
The second area we must drill from the outside - because it cannot be reached from the inside - are beam bottoms and cantilever walls. We always drill on the underneath side, shown in the photo below. This way, water running down the face of walls cannot reach the holes.
Other than the areas of the outside discussed above, we probe from the inside, usually at the baseboard areas to reach the wall sheathing, using the same probe as we use on the outside. This method is also used by the major RELO companies. Actual demonstration:
CALL FERNANDO at 713-249-8581 for scheduling an inspection today!