Over the years, Naples’s stucco homes have been a challenge with the issue of stucco rotting walls or damages. With billions of dollars affecting the Florida real estate industry, the stucco conundrum has been haunting both the residential and commercial sectors.
Stucco rotting wall is an alarming long-overlooked problem affecting many houses and businesses around the Sunshine State, costing thousands of dollars in repairs, decreasing the value of residences, and causing distress to Floridian homeowners.
What is Stucco?
Stucco is a construction material made up of combined cement, water, and sand, applied to an exterior or interior of a structure, particularly to walls. Popularly, these came about the term called Stucco walls, which provides several benefits from protecting against different weather conditions, wind, and debris, to offering great aesthetic looks for a residence or a business establishment.
Why is Stucco Wall Damages Important?
For years, residences and commercial establishments have suffered stucco damages. Stucco damage cause walls to rot and weaken the foundation of buildings or structures.
Moisture, the major culprit causing stucco wall damages can lead to:
- growth of molds and mildew that can cause serious health issues
- Infestation of termites and other creepy animals
- increase of humidity in a home which in some cases can damage property structures
How is Stucco Applied on Walls?
- Application of water-resistant barrier on the top of exterior sheathing.
- Additional trim accessories are applied on its corners.
- A metal screen is placed on top of the surface area of the wall.
- Stucco is applied in three coatings such as brown coat, scratch coat, and finish coat.
What Causes Stucco Walls to Rot?
Undeniably, Florida is rich in sunshine and moisture. Moisture can cause decay, rot the inside surfaces, and weakens the structural integrity of the foundation. Even for wooden products, they are the best breeding ground for fungus and molds.
2. Water Penetration
If you suspect water intrusion on your stucco walls, better check for signs such as:
- Chunks or missing chips of stucco – the major cause is moisture underneath
- Damp stucco- after raining days that if you observe the stucco is still wet, definitely there is moisture intrusion
3. Wrongly installed drainage system
Applying stucco with no air gap and drain plane, moisture penetrates the cladding and accumulates. Since it cannot get dry, the wood simply degrades. Over time, this can be seen on the surface of the stucco wall with rotting and damages taking their toll.
4. Applying Too Thin Stucco
Commonly, stucco is applied as 1/4″ thin, which is wrong. Because too much thin are prone to cracking and is highly permeable to water. To get the perfect result, proper application is 7/8″ thick.
Though climatic conditions are one of the reasons why stucco rot and damages occur, however it is a known fact that the majority of the blame should be on faulty installation, There is a lot of ‘wannabe-stucco specialist’ or inexperienced contractors who caused mostly this epidemic stucco wall damages or rot to spread.
What To Do If Having Stucco Wall Rot?
1. Identify Signs of Damages
Thoroughly check and inspect all wall surfaces of the house to ensure no moisture and other forms of wall damages are present.
Signs of Stucco Wall Damages
- Cracking or breaking of exterior surfaces
- Breaking off on walls
- Stains or dark streaks
- Moldy and foul smells
- Moss presence
- Indentations or Soft Spots
- Impact damages
Visually assess and investigate the sidings of the walls before greater damage can occur. However, if you are serious to find out for moisture on walls, hiring a professional or a contractor can do specialized and intrusive inspections such as:
Probe Test – This method is the most accurate testing for the level of moisture wall damage on stucco. Usually, it is performed by drilling a set of 3/16-inch holes at each testing area, then inserting a moisture meter to know the level of moisture.
Infrared Cameras – A high-end techy method that examines moisture using thermal imaging. It scans warmer and cooler areas to determine moisture wall damage. Usually, this is used during preliminary testing and not for accurate evaluation.
Video Scope – A stucco remediation professional may use a camera to look for signs of wall rot and damages. Though the video may produce clear and visible results with recorded data, considering the walls are filled with plumbing, electrical, and insulation, makes this method is less reliable and accurate.
Indirect measures – There are times a contractor may simply cut out or pull back sections of the wall sidings that would be however after confirming the target area is damaged.
2. Hire a Certified Stucco Expert
Probably, it is best to call in the professionals for they are highly trained, complete, and equipped with devices and tools, and long years of stucco experience. Doing-It-Yourself (DIY) as your project is not advisable, for possibly the cost to repair or fix the wall sidings that you cut out or damaged is the same cost as hiring the professionals.
When will you Consider Stucco Wall Remediation?
If you want to resolve the stucco wall rot issue, then what you need is a professional stucco wall remediation. Before calling in the experts, you must make sure to check for signs of stucco wall damages:
- Heavy staining
- Broken caulking
- Mold or mildew smells
- Flaking on walls
- Cracks of exterior surfaces
- Moss presence
While this option is a bit costly than repair, we suggest a routine setup on a long-term basis. Stucco repair may help temporarily, but after two years for certain you will be repairing again. However, with remediation not only do you get your home fixed up against re-occurring moisture, but you also have regular maintenance check-ups to prevent future stucco wall damages.
Naples Florida Most Trusted Stucco Contractor
Since 1997, Smith Plastering, Inc. is a locally managed and family-owned operated business specializing in interior and exterior stucco finishes for residences and commercial businesses around Naples and throughout Southwest Florida.
Our team of professional stucco specialists provides stucco wall repair and remediation services caused by moisture to your property or home. Our team of technicians can deliver the stucco job in no time with satisfaction guaranteed.