Why choose us over the other guy?
Much more experience and proper credentials - licensed and certified
We want you to understand the ramifications of our findings, - we desire your presence if at all possible!
Much easier to read reporting to (we tell it like it is/what you saw) as opposed to other inspector who use "semi-firm"/"semi-soft" terminology that has an obtuse meaning - our reports state either the substrate density is "good" or "poor". (See actual report below)
We show on the report what stucco areas need to be removed for repair (if that is the case) - while the other guys state that a "core" sample is needed by a contractor - this is an unneeded step that usually negates the option period.
A NEW SERVICE WE OFFER - for a small fee, we can provide a legitimate bid within your option period, written so that you may also put it out to bid by other stucco repair companies.
We drill through the stucco AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, unlike other inspectors who think they must drill ALL areas on the outside! We drill cantilevered beams, balconies all from be to avoid drilling vertical surfaces- but other areas that are impossible to access, such as columns that are on grade must be drilled - then the holes are filled with specialized caulking.
Most windows and flashings can be tested from the inside. Others perform all testing from the outside. We are also hole repair experts - our specially formulated stucco caulk usually matches very well.
We can help find good contractors, and most importantly - Elissa, our stucco repair expert, can oversee and document a repair job for a fee - to make sure that the same problems WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN ! References available upon request.
Learn what stucco testing is all about
The videos below are taken an at actual job site to give you a good idea of the process used to invasively test stucco.
The goal ? To determine if water has bypassed moisture barriers, flashing and caulking. We do this by using BOTH interor and exterior testing methods, videos below:
How we probe and repair inside after testing (many home-owners worry about this)
How we drill outside #1
How we drill outside #2
Stucco Repair Inspection
Expert experiened oversight
Documentation pull off/put on
fMake sure your stucco is repaired properly! Elissa has years of experience to make sure that your contractor is doin the right job.
She can coordinate between the contractor repairs and city permitting.
She can be your extra set of expert eyes.
What type of stucco do you have? It is important for us to know what type of stucco you have because of the "rules" for each type of stucco. For example, "EIFS", Exterior Insulating Finish System" or "Stryo-foam" installations must use trade association or manufacturer's installation recommendations. During your inspection, we can determine for you what type of stucco you have. We are certified for EIFS system inspections.
What about stone? Cast stone is a man-made product that is installed on top of the first layer called "scratch coat". The stone is "buttered", then stuck to the wall. Sometimes it is grouted, most times not. We have found this product to leak extensively . During an inspection we will test cast stone the same way we test stucco.
Why do I need an invasive inspection?
Visual inspections alone do not tell you the condition of the wood sheathing and wall framing that holds the stucco system to the wall. Stucco must be probed and tested in order to know its condition.
Two methods to test stucco are:
1. Exterior drilling - the way to know is to drill the exterior walls in STRATEGIC locations (i.e., locations that are water penetration-prone) and are not reachable from the inside* .
2. Interior probing - We probe the walls on the inside at every window that is accessible and exposed instead of drilling because of the risk of breaking the moisture barriers.
* we refrain from drilling if possible and prefer probing from the inside, however, some areas are not reachable and must be drilled from the outside. To repair, we use a specially formulated caulking that is matched in color as close as possible. Many times it is almost a perfect match!
Using a specialized moisture detector with 8" probes, we can tell both by the feel of the wood density being probed - whether or not it is deteriorated - and the moisture readings** whether rainwater has been penetrating behind the moisture barrier - we can also tell you where and why.
** It is possible to sometimes have a low moisture reading coupled with deteriorated sheathing if the wood is overly deteriorated it cannot hold moisture. (note)
Our Delmhorst BD2100 is a state-of-the-art moisture detector that we use with 8" probes to reach deep into a wall cavity that can touch the wall sheathing without harming it. We regularly send the Delmhorst to the factory to be re-calibrated in order to keep it accurate and always at peak performance.
Read my blog on invasive testing! Button at the top right of this page.
To perform invasive testing, we require the owner of the property sign our "moisture waiver" and you to sign and return our "agreement to inspect" docs.
We desire your presence at the inspection so that you can experience the findings and understand their significance.
Why won't infra-red imaging work?
Fernando is FLIR certified to understand thermal photography. He understands that stucco has no emissivity and cannot reflect temperature differences, such as moisture.
With our professional grade FLIR infra-red camera the ONLY time were we able to use it to show a builder (who refused to allow us to perform invasive) and the buyer how every window was leaking. This was due to perfect conditions we set up hours in advance. (A very high indoor temperature of 90F with low outside temperature of 30F and a fresh heavy rainfall).
One of our main "rules" is that a moisture detector MUST confirm what the infra-red sees.
STUCCO CANNOT BE TESTED FROM THE OUTSIDE USING AN INFRA-RED.
Read actual report for invasive stucco here.
View another report here
Elissa Martinez - our stucco reconstruction expert can supervise a stucco job to ensure it will be done right and waterproofed. 713-248-6284