• PHI inspections

STUCCO DO-OVER...or why stucco is being stripped from homes all over Houston?

Your builder and his stucco contractor DID NOT take proper care when installing the stucco on your home and now you (or your buyer) must have it re-installed. And it is probably not just the stucco, but the framing, balconies and wall sheathing that deteriorated due to this lack of care allowing chronic water penetration. Frustrating is not a good enough word to say how you must feel.

What happened? Well, generally speaking at some point in the installation process, the builder's stucco crew or remodeling contractor did something wrong that let chronic water penetration into the wall cavities, wreaking havoc below.

There are many possibilities for water penetration for stucco:

#1 The builder (or his stucco crew) forgot to install stucco-related flashings (kickouts, Z flashing over windows and doors, through wall flashing over ledges, shown below, that let water penetrate into the wall sheathing below.

#2 The builder (or his stucco crew) did not use or install weatherproofing products properly, such as no backer rod inserted into gaps around window and door trim; using improper type of cheap caulking (instead of NP1)

#3 The builder (or his framing crew) did not leave an expansion and contraction joint (1/8") between sheets of wall sheathing. They also put the soffit and facia on the house so that it abutted the framing, forcing the stucco crew to stucco around it (embedded facia).

#4 Balconies and porches - the builder (or his stucco crew) did not use weatherproofing ON or around balconies. The railings are screwed through the sidewalls of balconies and the posts are buried in the flat surface (a perfect entryway for water). The drainage scuppers were installed wrong (usually not enough slope for good runoff)

#5 The builder (or his stucco crew) did not put metal caps on parapet walls -stucco is NOT waterproof

#6 This list could go on and on...

As an invasive stucco inspector, home inspector and mold consultant going on 25 years, my advice is the following:

1. Ask for an invasive inspection.

Then askk an invasive inspector to look over the contractor bid(s) to tell you where they may come back with "change orders". An experience inspector will be able to read the report and the bid with eyes that can discern where they may lacking in their bid - which will save you money in the long run.

2. In your best interest, a good and knowledgeable stucco inspector can be your best friend. Hire them to watch the remove/re-install process. Documenting it can be important for the future. Elissa, our stucco inspector has the experience you need.

3. Don't let the installers re-install the stucco in the same manner that it was built - AFTER ALL....IT LET WATER IN!!! An inspector will know what the first contractor did wrong (or they should!) and the changes needed to make stucco water-tight

4. Make sure they have the proper permits. To do this job without a permit can cost you time and money in the long run.

Call Preferred Home Inspections 713-249-8581 - we can handle all your inspection needs

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