Stucco has been a popular material to build new homes with, it is sleek and versatile and has been known to be a protective material for a homes exterior.
However, about two years ago homes in Kansas with stucco began to discover major problems with moisture.
If you have a stucco home or are looking at buying a stucco home, here are the things you should know.
Moisture has always been a problem for homes; mold can grow, wood can rot and it can cause a lot of other damage. Stucco homes in particular have been affected by moisture, because they have not been regulated when being built.
Overland Park, Kansas was the first area that homeowners began to notice their homes were having moisture problems, especially because they found significant damage in homes that were no more than ten years old.
Stucco that has been installed improperly retains moisture instead of releasing or blocking it. The biggest reason that this happens is because of the use of synthetic stucco instead of the traditional cement stucco.
- Synthetic stucco is an exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) and is used with a foam insulation board.
- However, this foam board can be a sponge for moisture if it is not sealed properly, causing the wood framing to rot.
- The problem with this is that it is hard to catch early, especially if you don’t know what to look for, because the rot doesn’t affect the outside appearance of the home.
While synthetic stucco being installed improperly is a major cause of problems, traditional concrete stucco can be just as much of a problem.
Concrete stucco can crack, allowing moisture to seep in as well. There are currently no regulations about how stucco should be installed, leaving a lot of room for error if the builders are not trained properly.
Most insurance companies don’t cover problems related to water damage that aren’t caused by some sort of disaster, like a flood or burst pipe.
Making sure to get a potential home inspected for moisture when it has stucco is really important because of the lack of coverage. Especially because you could buy a home and not know about the damage for years, and at that point it could be irreversible.
We at Hoffman Home Inspections have realized that moisture in stucco homes is becoming an increasing problem, and we want to help you avoid purchasing a home that could cost you a lot in repairs or be potentially unsafe to live in.
Moisture in a stucco home can produce dangerous molds, crack drywall the drywall and lead to rotting of wood frames. Damage to the structural frame and foundation of your home can result from moisture creeping in, and that is hard to fix in the future.
How to Spot a Moisture Problem
There a few tell-tale signs that your home or potential home is accumulating moisture beneath the stucco, and that you need to call an inspector to assess the damage.
- Stains around window corners
- Dark spots at the meeting point of the roof and the wall
- Cracks along the stucco itself
- Stains or watermarks on stucco – only a following professional inspection can decide if these marks are a result of interior damage – however it is likely
- Mold and mildew growth
Ultimately, it is a good idea to have your home inspected for moisture if you have stucco on your home and notice any of these warning signs. While not every home is affected, it will give you peace of mind and you can catch early damage if your home does have any.
It is also a good idea for new homebuyers so you can avoid a home that will have a lot of repairs in the future.
Hoffman Home Inspections
Mon-Fri: 8am – 5pm
*Last inspections start no later than 4:30pm
Sat: 8am – 1pm
*Last inspections start no later than 12:30pm
Home inspection areas (but not limited to): Andover, Arkansas City, Augusta, Bel Aire, Derby, El Dorado, Emporia, Goddard, Haysville, Hesston, Hutchinson, Kingman, McPherson, Mulvane, Newton, Park City, Pratt, Rose Hill, Valley Center, Wellington, Wichita, and Winfield. *Distance Fees Apply for Areas Outside of Sedgwick County
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