Cladding your house with stucco is a great choice. It offers a durable, solid, and effortless siding and some advantages including natural fire resistance, easy maintenance and, durability.
Stucco can also resist fungi and flaws. The layer also keeps the house cool during summer and warm in winter. Stucco is moisture resistant. However, this is not absolute; there is a possibility that stucco can be vulnerable to water damage. It absorbs water in the alveolar and dries simply over time.
How to Detect Stucco Water Damage?
There are a few universal signs that there is moisture beneath the stucco.
• Signs of stains on stucco that are noticeable
• Signs of cracks along the surface of the stucco
• Visible dark spots on the corners in between the roof and the wall
• Growing mold and mildew
The first step in these cases is to determine what type of water damage you are having. Yu can call for an expert to run a moisture test to determine the source of the water damaging the stucco. Detecting the root cause will enable the stucco expert to reach a better solution to the problem.
What causes Stucco Water Damage?
An Improper mixture of ingredients
A cement-based mixture is used in creating stucco to cover both the interior and the supporting walls. During the process, cement is mixed with water and materials like lime and sand. Standards are to be followed set out by the National Institute of Standards and Technology of the Department of Commerce. The mixture should be cured before applying.
Earthquakes, heavy impact, strong wind, or expansion can cause cracks in the stucco. The type of crack is not important. Water can ooze through any kind of crack.
Flashing is regarded as a barrier between the water and the ledge of the house. In this case, aluminum is preferred because it’s lightweight and cheap. If it decays over time, then water will drip through the holes.
If stucco is installed in the wrong way then the outcome can be hazardous for the stucco. Among the three coats of a stucco application (scratch, brown, finish) there can be a break or leakage if not installed properly, the same thing goes for applying it on wooden skin.
Around the windows and doors, stucco should be sealed strongly and efficiently. Otherwise, improper sealing will cause moisture damage.
Stucco Water Damage Solutions
Before reaching out to any solutions, you should make sure the reason for the water damage is fixed. Check for leakage in your air conditioner, burst pipe, or air purifier. Priority must be given in fixing the root cause of water damage. To prevent water damage these following steps are a must:
1. The consistency of the mixture should be correct.
2. Trowel the specific mix on the wall. The first coat that you apply is the “scratch coat”.
3. When the specific mix is applied on the wall, use a notched trowel to “scratch” grooves in the mud.
4. After your scratch coat has set for at least 24 hours and is dry, soak the area with water to help the second coat adhere.
5. Try to mix the more specific mixture maintaining the correct consistency for the second coat.
6. Trowel the specific mix on the wall. This is called the “brown coat”. You have to make sure that the spread of the mix is even.
7. Mix the stucco to the right consistency for the final coat.
8. Trowel the stucco on the wall. Make sure it is approximately ¼ inches thick and evenly applied.
9. Use a wet, sponge trowel to apply the finished texture.
The Danger of Ignoring Stucco Water Damages
Whether it is a risk to buy a stucco home is risky or not is a great question. Though it is not a risk to choose stucco but ignoring the warning signs is a massive risk.
If you think that the problem will be solved over time, then you are wrong. Given the time it can destroy the integrity of your house. Some major risks of leaking stucco walls are the following:
• There is a possibility that your house will rot from outside to inside. In that case, the exterior portion of your house will completely need to be rebuilt. It is very expensive and repairs are nothing compared to the cost.
• The infestation on the mold will get out of your control with time. The wet stucco walls will become a fertile ground for breeding mold. If the majority of the stucco is covered by mold, then it will cost five times more the price to repair stucco.
• There will be difficulty in selling your house if you overlook water damages on your stucco. Nowadays the home agents are agile to detect any kind of stucco leakage before they proceed.
Prevention and Remediation
To prevent and remedy the possibility of water damaging your stucco. Here are some measures that can be taken:
• To make the stucco waterproof and to avoid the possibility of water leakage precautions must be taken before installing the stucco. The water-resistive materials have to be properly installed.
• Silicate mineral paints that, can be used with the stucco that absorb water but help the vapor to escape. They are very effective, though you should redo it in 4-5 years.
• The moisture integrity should be critically measured and then stucco should be applied.
• By applying a vapor barrier migration of vapor can be prevented.
• Manual patching of the wall can prevent water damage.
• Sealants should be improved to have a durable stucco.
• Moreover, ongoing maintenance and inspections are necessary for stucco siding. If after re-sealing or painting the leakage is still existing, then the entire wall should be removed. New windows should be installed and premium flashing should be used.
Therefore, expedient care and maintenance of the stucco is a must to keep them from any type of water damage. Or regular inspection by an expert would be adequate.