Stucco siding is a common choice for many homeowners as it offers protection against the elements as well as providing a decorative element. However, it has become commonplace to see improperly installed stucco in the last few decades. Leaks, mold, and various structural damages are usually the result of poorly installed stucco. Since many of the damages are inside the wall until it’s too late to repair, most of these issues may go undetected, unfortunately. These issues can be detected early enough to avoid stucco removal with the help of a professional stucco inspector, luckily. The surface may require being taken off or a part of the house may even need to be torn down if left unattended for a long time. With this in mind, we at Stucco Siding Inspection Solutions would like to discuss inspection services to help you better understand them.
Why Does Stucco Need to Be Inspected?
A type of exterior plaster applied as a coating directly onto masonry or wood frame structure is what stucco refers to. Aggregate, a binder, as well as water are the ingredients contained in stucco. Stucco is applied wet and gradually toughens to a very dense solid state. To determine moisture levels, stucco inspection is a series of tests and analyses performed on your home’s interior and exterior surfaces. The use of moisture reading and special equipment for use on your home’s surfaces are often included in these tests.
Importance of Proper Stucco Siding Installation
Proper installation is very important due to stucco’s permeability. Some details like weep screeds, head flashings, expansion joints, joints around windows and doors and kick out flashings can be visually inspected as part of your home inspection. Additionally, the assessment also includes the fine details like window and door flashings, drainage planes, and moisture barriers that are behind the stucco. The wall’s interior wood behind the stucco/veneer stone and brick must be tested as well by a certified home inspector comprehensively assess the performance of the system.
Stucco Siding Inspection Levels
Usually, the stucco inspection process is divided into three distinguishing levels.
1st Level: Siding Identification. The type of stucco siding in your home as well as any condition that may appear in the inspection process is included in this phase. Considerations are typically concerning siding installation faults or issues that can present problems like conditions that create moisture intrusion. Any improperly installed siding or moisture penetration is not dwelled on too much in this phase.
2nd Level: Non-Invasive Inspection. To identify physically damaged spots and any improper installation and physically damaged spots, this phase focuses on performing a comprehensive visual inspection on the exterior siding. This inspection entails:
– Door and window frames
– Visible edges and flashings
– Siding penetrations such as utility systems, wires, electrical, hose bibs, plumbing fixtures, and other areas of concern.
In addition to the extent of damage to the stucco sidings, this inspection is aimed at detailing the deficiencies detected regarding the installation. Infrared technology, which helps detect temperature variations on the surface as a result of trapped moisture beneath the stucco cladding are used for a more non-invasive assessment for moisture penetration.
3rd Level: Invasive Inspection. In areas identified as having moisture using specialized probes to contact the substrate, this phase includes visual assessment and penetration of the siding. To authenticate information collected in the two previous steps, recording moisture meter readings is critical. Two-quarter inches holes are drilled in the stucco finish in spots suspected of having elevated moisture levels in order to properly and precisely obtain moisture meter readings. The holes are then sealed using a caulking material to protect holes from further damage once the readings and photographs are taken.