Stucco is a warm, inviting exterior material that adds beauty and curb appeal to your home. It’s no surprise that homeowners with stucco exteriors are dismayed when they discover this gorgeous material can harbor underlying problems—including moisture damage, mold, and structural deterioration.
If you suspect your home’s exterior is suffering from poor installation or extreme weather conditions, look for the following tell-all signs of stucco damage and see if replacing your stucco with siding is the right solution.
How Can I Identify Stucco Damage?
Whether your stucco damage is from shoddy handiwork or inclement weather, you can usually expect to see the following signs of exterior deterioration:
1. Cracking Stucco
Stucco can crack due to thermal expansion, heavy impacts, installation problems, or old age. When stucco becomes cracked, the fractures create a passageway for water to enter your home and penetrate the waterproof layer beneath the stucco. The moisture beneath your siding causes tons of troublesome problems, like mold growth, rotting, and dangerous structural damage to your home’s interior.
If you notice cracks in your stucco, it’s important to contact a contractor to evaluate the extent of the damage. It may be tempting to fix small cracks yourself, but even the tiniest crack can signify substantial underlying damage.
As we mentioned, mold growth is a common problem that occurs when moisture seeps beneath your home’s stucco exterior. Though you likely won’t be able to see mold from your home’s exterior, you can usually identify the presence of mold if you notice staining or discoloration on the stucco’s surface.
Discolored streaks or stains around your windows, doors, and the crevices where the roof meets your interior walls may signify stucco damage too.
3. Rotting Stucco
Rotting wood smells damp, musty, and earthy. If you’re able to detect a whiff of those scents when you get close to your stucco siding, there’s likely water damage underneath.
Although every sign of stucco damage on this list should be a cause for concern, rotting wood underneath your stucco is especially problematic. This means your home’s structural framing is slowly rotting away, and without acting quickly, your home may experience significant structural damage that puts your family’s safety at risk.
When you gently touch your stucco, does it appear to crumble or break off underneath your fingertips? If so, this is not a good sign. Brittle stucco may signify your previous contractor installed your stucco exterior improperly, or there is moisture penetration, rotting, or other underlying damage beneath.
5. Damaged Caulking
Caulking is applied to vulnerable areas of your home, like doors and windows, to seal against moisture penetration and leaks. If your caulking is damaged, missing, or dried out, this can signify that water has already found its way beneath your stucco.
Contact a professional contractor to check your stucco for damage before re-caulking. You may need to invest in stucco remediation, which means you won’t need to fix the damaged caulking.
What’s the Difference Between Stucco Repair and Stucco Remediation?
The difference between stucco repair and stucco remediation is simple—stucco repair is a temporary fix, whereas stucco remediation is a long-term solution.
- Stucco repair fixes damaged areas of your exterior by applying more stucco. While this may improve your home’s appearance, it doesn’t solve problems like moisture intrusion and mold, and the same issues you’re currently experiencing with your stucco exterior will likely manifest themselves in the future.
- Stucco remediation is an in-depth process that includes removing your damaged stucco, fixing the underlying damage, repairing doors and windows, and adding brand-new, waterproof fiber cement siding to your home’s exterior. If you’re dealing with stucco damage now, this is the route you should take!
Stucco’s Superior Alternative: James Hardie Siding
Stucco primarily suffers damage from poor workmanship and weather damage (as you now know!). So, why not eliminate both these problems with a trusted solution?
When you replace your faulty stucco with James Hardie® siding from a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor, you can enjoy the many benefits of this popular brand of fiber cement siding. Homeowners love Hardie siding’s water-resistant strength, unmatched durability, low-maintenance upkeep, and long-lasting warranties.
Invest in Stucco Remediation for Your Pennsylvania Home
If your home is suffering from stucco damage, it’s essential to act quickly, so you can fix the damage underneath and save your home from costly structural repairs.
Porter Family Exteriors offers expert stucco remediation services for homeowners in Greater Philadelphia. We have plenty of experience replacing failing stucco with siding that lasts—and as a part of the James Hardie Contractor Alliance™ Program, we can offer you the best deals and warranties during the process!
Learn about our stucco remediation service to discover how we can end your stucco problems and transform your home’s exterior with beautiful, durable fiber cement siding.