How To Identify Stucco Failure
By Anthony Chase
Stucco is valued as a siding material
for it's attractiveness, durability and as a relatively low-maintenance
exterior finish in many parts of the US. For many, stucco is a huge
upgrade from vinyl siding and yet is a less expensive option than brick
or stone siding. Stucco is a porous material which absorbs moisture,
making it an ideal choice for siding in parts of the country that
experience an abundance of dry weather.
In the Northeast however, stucco
failure is a growing problem since it is a region that experiences a
significant amount of yearly precipitation. This precipitation will
penetrate the stucco's porous surface and if the stucco was not
installed properly and the installer did not employ the use of moisture
barriers, weep screeds or flashing; the water will get trapped under the
stucco and will absorb into other materials. This could cause a wide
range of potential damages.
Aside from moisture problems; poor
craftsmanship, inferior aggregate products and failure to install
expansion joints are also common causes of stucco failure in our area.
Improperly installed stucco can lead to a number of cosmetic and
structural issues with your home and can also expose you and your family
to potential health hazards.
Below is a list of examples outlining what types of damages stucco failure can cause and the resulting health hazards.
- Wood Damage
- Moisture & Mold on Structural Columns
Health Hazards from Mold Exposure
- Respiratory Problems
- Nasal & Sinus Congestion
- Nose, Throat, Skin & Eye Irritation
- Central Nervous System Disorders
How to Identify Stucco Failure
There are several tell-tale signs of
stucco failure. Take a look at the exterior and interior of your home,
if you notice any of the signs listed below, your home may be
experiencing stucco failure.
- Cracking or Breaking
- Brown streaks appear below the corners of windows or where windows are joined
- Brown streaks appear at intersections of walls and roofs
- Leaking windows or doors
- Bottoms of windows are discolored
- Base trim is warped
- Wet carpet
- Moldy smell in the home