Stucco Is Vulnerable to Damage

Stucco is a beautiful and durable choice for the exterior of your home or business. It can also be vulnerable to damage and must be repaired as soon as you see the warning signs. When repairing surface moisture, sanded acrylic caulk can help. Stucco Repair Philadelphia professionals will widen cracks larger than a quarter inch with a cold chisel before filling in.

damage stucco

Damaged Stucco

Using Portland cement, sand, and water, stucco has been used to protect buildings for centuries. It’s strong enough to support skyscrapers and provides insulation by preventing heat from escaping in the summer and cold air from seeping in during the winter. Unfortunately, over time stucco can experience a few common problems that can lead to expensive repairs.

Among the most common issues are cracking, dampness, and crumbling. Stucco cracks are often caused by vibrations or other external factors, such as pressure from wind or sun exposure. When they happen, it’s important to repair them as soon as possible, or else water may leak into the structure and cause even more damage.

Dampness is often caused by an insufficient gutter system that’s unable to direct rainwater away from the house. However, it’s also common for this issue to stem from interior leaks that are then trapped under the stucco. Either way, the best course of action is to have a professional investigate the problem and determine how to address it at its source.

Other common signs of moisture are stains, efflorescence, and blistering. These typically stem from a lack of weep screed during installation or improper stucco construction. The weep screed is a layer that’s positioned between the moisture barrier and the plaster, and it allows water to escape without causing deterioration of the wall.

Cracks in the stucco are another major sign of impending moisture intrusion, and these can include horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines. They can appear anywhere on the building’s exterior, but they’re especially prone to appearing near windows and doors or at the corners of walls.

In many cases, these cracks can be repaired with a premixed stucco patching material. You can mix it up yourself with a putty knife or scratch awl, but it’s best to hire a professional for larger cracks to avoid any further problems. A professional will be able to help you decide the best patching product for your home, and they’ll be able to use pigment to match the color of your existing stucco.

Water Damage

Stucco is an attractive and durable building material, but it’s not impervious to water damage. Moisture can seep into cracks in the stucco and cause problems like mold growth, wood rot, or even structural damage to your home or business. Fortunately, you can catch moisture problems before they become major issues by knowing what to look for and keeping up with regular inspections.

One of the first signs of water damage to your stucco is staining. This happens when the water soaks into the walls and causes them to turn dark. You can often identify this by looking for a white hazy streak or dark blotch in the color of the stucco. Staining is caused by water penetration, and it can lead to other problems, such as efflorescence or blistering.

Another way to spot moisture problems with your stucco is by checking for cracks and crumbling areas of the wall. If you see any areas that appear to be disintegrating, it’s important to contact a professional as soon as possible so they can perform a moisture test and determine the root cause of the problem. This is the only way to truly fix your stucco and prevent further damage.

If you see any cracks in your stucco, it’s important to contact a contractor right away. They can use a polyurethane sealant to help protect the cracks and keep moisture out. This will stop the damage from getting worse, and it can also be used to repair existing damage.

In addition to repairing damaged stucco, it’s also a good idea to have an expert perform a full moisture test on the entire wall system. They will check for underlying moisture problems, such as efflorescence or blistering, and recommend the best course of action to take.

Finally, it’s a good idea to inspect your stucco regularly and perform a thorough maintenance program. You can do this by performing a visual check around the house, especially on the areas closest to windows. Look for signs of moisture intrusion, such as wet spots that linger for long after it rains. Also, feel the drywall to see if it is soft to the touch. If it is, you may have a water leak that needs to be addressed immediately.

Mold and Mildew

Stucco offers excellent protection against moisture damage, but if it is not installed correctly or if the protective barriers are worn down, mold and mildew can form. These contaminants thrive on moisture and eat away at the stucco, leading to serious structural issues. If you notice black stains on your stucco, it may be time to call in a professional for mold remediation.

It is not uncommon for sprinklers to spray water on stucco walls near flower beds and trees. These waters soak into the stucco and can cause moisture problems in the wall cavity. This can result in blistering and discoloration. If left unchecked, this can lead to the development of mold and other fungi.

If the moisture problem is not addressed, it will continue to worsen and can eventually come through the walls of your home. This will result in costly repairs to your wood framing, windows and other parts of the house.

Moisture problems in stucco are hard to detect until the mold becomes severe, so it is important to watch for warning signs of moisture damage. If you notice cracking stucco, or if the water stains appear to be getting more intense, it is best to consult with a professional about remediation sooner rather than later.

Repairing your stucco to stop the damage before it gets worse is a bit like putting tape over a leaky pipe to keep the water from leaking out. You will need to have a full remediation done to stop the mold and other issues from continuing to grow.

Stucco remediation is a more involved service than simple repair, and it requires the services of a highly-skilled contractor. Remediation involves removing the damaged stucco and rebuilding and sealing the entire wall system to ensure that moisture does not penetrate the interior wall and damage the structure of your home. This is a more expensive service, but it is necessary to protect the value of your home and avoid major structural issues down the line. This type of work is often needed when a building was constructed using a subpar plastering job or is simply very old and worn down.

Wood Rot

Stucco walls can be more resilient than brick, but they can still be damaged. If not addressed immediately, water damage can lead to rotting wood behind the stucco and compromise the structural integrity of your home. Leaving rotting wood in your stucco walls unchecked can lead to a collapse of the wall or even your entire building. Fortunately, there are warning signs you can look out for that your stucco is in trouble.

The most common warning sign of water damage to your stucco is cracking. Stucco is a mixture of Portland cement, sand, and water, so any cracks are a clear indication of a moisture problem. Cracks may begin as static cracks that do not move, or they could become dynamic and begin to widen and grow. Static cracks are less severe than dynamic cracks, and can be repaired with the correct procedures.

Another warning sign of a moisture problem is the presence of mold or mildew. When mold or mildew start to appear on the surface of your stucco it is a clear sign that there is a problem underneath.

Other signs of a problem under your stucco include brittle stucco, and sticking windows or doors. If the stucco in these areas is brittle it is likely that the contractor who installed your stucco did not do a good job. The presence of a wood-framed chimney in a stucco house can also cause problems, as the two systems do not get along well together.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with water damage is that simple repairs are not enough to fix the underlying problem. If you are experiencing any of the issues listed above, or if your stucco is just getting old, then it is time to consider remediation services.

Remediation includes the use of a waterproof membrane in key areas around the doors, windows, and wall-roof intersections to prevent moisture intrusion. It also involves tear-out of the rotten sheathing and framing, as well as the application of new sheathing, tar paper, and stucco to the area. Once re-framed, the wall is then inspected with a video scope to make sure that everything is in order and that there are no further issues.