What's Happening Behind Your Stucco?

An example of leaking windows.

An example of excessive stucco cracking.

An example of water staining caused to stucco.

An example of dry rot and mold on stucco.

Stucco Inspection

Professional Property Inspection provides inspection and evaluation of residential and commercial stucco systems. We place particular emphasis on vulnerabilities in the stucco system, construction details, and the presence/absence of water damage.

Inspection with moisture testing and infrared analysis

Visual inspection coupled with moisture survey provides a good indication of water damage to perimeter wall sheathing framing and windows. Visual inspection and infrared analysis evaluates subtle signs of water damage, including the appearance of the stucco itself as well as visible characteristics of flashing, grading and stucco installation. The infrared analysis offers a non-destructive means for assessing the entire building envelope. Moisture surveys are then performed using electronic meters that probe interior or exterior surfaces of wall sheathing. Visual inspection with a moisture survey is the most common approach to stucco inspection. Still, when water damage is confirmed, the precise mechanisms for intrusion must be determined by more invasive procedures.

Improper Installation of Windows

The improper installation of windows is the most common cause of water leakage into the stucco. The installation of window flashings correctly integrated with the water-resistive barrier is critical for the prevention of water intrusion into the wall assembly.

The Builder Says to Caulk the Windows

Many times it is suggested that water leakage at windows and flashings is the fault of the homeowner. It is suggested that the windows must be caulked regularly to prevent water infiltration. Unfortunately, caulking is a "band-aid" approach to repairs. The problem often is the improper installation of windows. Caulking may temporarily stop visible problems but in reality, water may become trapped in the wall assembly. All caulking fails over time and it is unrealistic to expect a homeowner to have to annually caulk to prevent rot and mold from occurring due to other defects such as improper flashings.

Is it a Stucco Problem?

Increasing awareness of water-damaged stucco buildings has led many to assume that stucco is an inferior cladding system, which is not the case. Damages within the stucco and other cladding systems are often the results of other construction deficiencies such as window installation, window failure, grading and flashing details. While an inferior stucco system can certainly exacerbate the problem, it is only one of the several issues to consider when evaluating construction defects and water intrusion.

What can Professional Property Inspection do for me?

We can provide evaluation and testing which can be customized for the nature of the problem. Whether it is a pre-purchase inspection, builder warranty evaluation or legal consultation Professional Property Inspection can investigate the nature of the problems.