Once moisture permeates stucco siding, trouble cascades. The sooner you face the cause of the damage, the better. If left unaddressed, stucco problems can go from cosmetic surface issues to deep trouble for your home’s structure.
Keep reading to discover the root cause of your exterior’s problems, and how stucco remediation can solve these issues once and for all.
The Trouble with Stucco
Improper installation is the primary reason for stucco failure. When contractors cut corners, homeowners pay in the long run.
When stucco isn’t installed correctly, water can creep into your home at transition points between stucco and other siding materials such as brick, stone, concrete or vinyl. If there has been improper sealing against moisture intrusion at entry points such as vents, electrical outlets and light fixtures, you’ll have stucco deterioration, and mold as a result.
How to Spot Stucco Problems
The problem with stucco is that damage can lurk beneath the surface and go undetected for years. Here are some things to look for that indicate you have stucco failure.
Stucco tears—caused by mold and mildew—appear as discoloration below your windows. If you detect the smell of wood rot, or notice water spots inside your home on the ceiling, wall, or floor, stucco failure may be the problem.
Additionally, if you see dry rot surrounding your windows, or have deteriorating caulking around your windows, it may be due to stucco problems. And if there are more obvious signs outside your home such as cracked or flaking stucco, contact a reliable stucco contractor and have your home inspected promptly to avoid additional damage.
Why Stucco Fails in the Philadelphia Climate
EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish System), widely used in the 1990s and early 2000s in Pennsylvania, was a source of major lawsuits over poor installation (failure to follow manufacturer’s instructions resulting in mold and mildew problems). Water intrusion is disastrous to stucco in wet climates, and the modern synthetic two-coat stucco products aren’t as durable as the traditional cement-based three-coat systems that were used successfully for many years.
The Difference between Stucco Repair and Remediation
The lingo of the construction industry can be confusing. If you have problems with your stucco, it’s important to understand the difference between stucco repair and remediation.
A Short-Term Temporary Fix for Minor Stucco Issues
Stucco repair is a less invasive remedy to stucco problems. It includes repairs focused on finding specific instances of stucco failure, and fixing them by replacing the destruction. It means you fix the damage but not the core defect. Stucco repair may miss moisture intrusion in parts of your home where stucco wasn’t replaced. It includes things like re-sealing the stucco around your windows and flashing, and simple sealing of cracks and tears.
If you repair your stucco once, you will likely need to repair it again in the future.
A Long-Term Reliable Solution to Your Stucco Problems
If moisture has invaded your stucco for a long period of time, a full stucco remediation may be needed. With stucco remediation, you fix the underlying defect in your stucco’s construction. It includes replacing your full stucco system to fix the root cause of the damage (which is usually poor installation).
Remediation requires an extensive inspection, removal, and replacement of moisture intrusion and mold saturated sheathing, framing, and insulation. Mold is super unhealthy, so for your health and the safety of your home, remediation is the best choice when moisture intrusion is extensive.
The good news is that you won’t have to remediate your home two times—particularly if you re-side with resilient James Hardie fiber cement siding.
Steps in the Stucco Remediation Process
1. Stucco is removed
All your stucco is removed, along with any nails and wires. Your walls are cleaned and prepared for the process.
2. Damaged plywood sheathing is removed
Any compromised sheathing and insulation is completely removed.
3. Structural repairs are made and mold is removed
If your home needs structural repairs due to moisture intrusion, we complete the repairs at this time. During this step, to ensure the health and safety of you and your family, all traces of mold are eliminated from your home.
4. Windows and doors are removed
Moisture intrusion in your stucco often occurs around your windows and doors, so we remove them. They are replaced back into your home with proper sill flashing to prevent any water intrusion in the future.
5. Housewrap is installed
This is one of the most important parts of the process because it will protect your home from water intrusion in the future. We install flashing tape on all your wall penetrations: windows, doors, pipes, step flashing, and more.
6. Home cladding is added
Next, your new home siding is installed. Because of its amazing durability, reliable water resistance, extremely low maintenance, and impeccable beauty, we install primarily James Hardie siding products (they make a product that mimics the look of stucco).
We use PVC trim products around your home’s windows and doors. We ensure that your siding and trim are installed with detailed precision and according to the manufacturer’s reliability standards.
7. We clean up thoroughly
For your safety, and the beauty of your home exterior, we take time to meticulously clean your yard and leave your property looking even more beautiful than when we arrived.
Note: Warranties are provided for all walls that have complete remediation.
Stucco Remediation You Can Count On
At Porter Family Exteriors we understand the frustrations of stucco failure, and we have extensive experience with stucco remediation and replacing stucco with durable James Hardie siding.
As James Hardie Elite Preferred contractors, you can rest assured your replacement siding will be installed with exactness, and give you the high performance you deserve for decades.
Take a moment to learn more about our stucco remediation services.