WHAT IS STUCCO?
Stucco is the more common name for Portland cement plaster. It can be applied to the surfaces of different materials and was frequently used as an outdoor finish on homes. It was a popular material used heavily in the early 20th century and up through the 80’s and 90’s because it created a tough and rigid exterior that was inexpensive, fire resistant and could be colored or fashioned to compliment many different architectural designs. Stucco is a versatile material that can give a home a unique look when being applied by the right person with years of experience.
Sadly, there are many times where stucco has not lived up to its reputation. Whether that is because it has simply been applied poorly to begin with, or issues arise from what is underneath, stucco can be a huge headache if it is not dealt with swiftly.
CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO VIEW A BEFORE & AFTER GALLERY OF STUCCO REMEDIATION PROJECTS WE HAVE COMPLETED
DRAWBACKS OF STUCCO
Stucco can have a variety of problems that range from small
annoyances to difficulties that can cause massive amounts of damage and be very
costly to repair. Moisture is the
biggest culprit of stucco homes and homes needing to be repaired. Stucco is rather porous and moisture from
being in a wet climate or snow can seep through the material. Many people will look at a home that has
stucco applied and see little to no issues when examining the exterior.
Upon inspection, the stucco will seem intact with no cracks or signs of damage and distress. To the untrained eye, it looks as if everything is fine, which is the inherent dilemma with stucco. If it is out of sight, it is out of mind. When given enough time, the moisture that gets into and through the stucco can create complications. It can start with minor cracks and fractures in the stucco and go as far as causing interior damage to walls and windows.
SIGNS YOU NEED TO REPLACE YOUR STUCCO
There are certain things to look out for should you be looking
at buying a home with stucco or you already own one. Some of them are easy to spot while others
are difficult to distinguish. Even when
stucco is installed correctly by a trained and experienced professional, other
factors may lead to stucco becoming damaged.
There are three signs of damage that you should be aware of when dealing
Cracking – Cracks are perhaps the most
common problem when it comes to stucco.
Cracks in the stucco of a home obviously do not look good but they also
could lead to structural damage. In some
cases, cracks in stucco arise from poor and improper installation. Less common are the times that cracks are
caused by a house settling or foundation being unsteady. Since stucco is a rigid material, should a
structure move even the slightest, stucco can crack or break. If a stucco home is in a climate that has
cold winters, cracks can form from moisture in the stucco freezing and
expanding. No matter what the cause of
cracks in stucco, they should be assessed as soon as possible to determine if
further damage is being done to the home.
If left untreated, cracks can go from hairline fractures to large
unsightly breaks that will give way to more issues in the future. Cracks can lead to issues like bugs or other
small creatures to have a point of ingress into the home or even pieces of
stucco falling off.
Staining – Blemishes and discoloration
of your stucco may seem like a problem that only affects the aesthetic look of
your stucco, but the problem could be much worse. While stucco that is stained is not pretty to
look at, the larger issue is that the discoloration could be a sign of mold. The mold could have developed from moisture
that has been hiding for a long period of time.
This mold can then cause issues with allergies, irritation, breathing
and a host of other health-related complications.
Moisture Penetration –
Moisture getting into and through your stucco is one of the worst problems when
dealing with stucco. It is also one of
the hardest to detect. Since stucco
might look ok on the outside, you might not know that you have an issue with
excessive moisture until it is too late.
In addition to the mold discussed in the last point, the bigger threat
with moisture is that it can lead to rot and deterioration of everything under
the stucco. Whether it be the framing of
your home or the interior walls, moisture that has gone unchecked can wreak
havoc when it is not taken care of properly.
STUCCO REMEDIATION & OTHER OPTIONS.
With stucco being such a popular material for many years,
there are now thousands of homes that need to be assessed for any current or
potential damage. Having the aid of an
experienced professional that deals specifically with stucco is key. Having a stucco inspection will allow you to
prepare for your next steps in dealing with the problem, or knowing that your
stucco was applied correctly and that there is nothing to worry about.
If you have completed an inspection and confirmed that
there is an issue with your stucco, dealing with it immediately before
additional damage can be done is recommended. Remediation is something that
becomes a necessity when problematic stucco is found. Stucco remediation fixes the underlying issue
with stucco construction. Removing the
stucco from the structure is the first step.
This is necessary to fully determine how extensive any damage may be and
to repair anything that may have been rotting underneath the stucco.
Once all of the damage under the stucco has been repaired,
the house would then be wrapped in a moisture barrier. Alternative options to stucco would then be
discussed to apply to your home. There
are many beautiful options now available, which include vinyl siding, wood siding,
James Hardie cement siding, or composite siding, along with many trim details
that greatly enhance the curb appeal of your home.
After a decision is made on what new material
to use, it is installed and your remediation is complete!
"I was impressed with everything from the day we met at the home show in Harrisburg. I have already begun recommending this company to everyone I talk to. Great professional people, I look forward to having them back for more."
– Steve & Lois L.
"Ray and his crew have been very professional, personable, and easy to work with. We feel communication has been exceptional. The work is excellent."
– Dennis & Elaine D.
Pleased by the way we were treated. Best helped us in every way possible. We would recommend Best Contracting to everyone."
– Michael L.
"Excellent customer service and communication from Dave B. and Ray. The people who came to make the storm repairs were very courteous. In this day and age, it is very difficult to find a contracting company to work hard for you, but we found it with Best Contracting."
– Patti & Mike S.