If you’re considering buying a stucco home, or even if you already live in one, you should consider a stucco inspection.
But My Stucco Looks Great!
Many people think that because their stucco doesn’t have any staining, discoloration, or other visible issues it must be in good condition. Some of the most “perfect” looking stucco we have seen has had the worst wood rot underneath.
Moisture behind your stucco can cause big issues. Mold can start to grow in 24-48 hours from exposure to water. Mold under your stucco isn’t just an exterior issue. It can invade the interior of your home and be in the air you breathe.
Does it Matter When My House Was Built?
Regardless of when your home was built, if you have a stucco exterior that was installed over wood, it’s always a good idea to get it inspected. Typically though, homes built from the mid 1990s to early 2010s are the most likely to have issues with the installation.
Older homes, particularly those built prior to 1950, may have stucco that is applied over masonry rather than wood. Stucco on masonry does not pose the same concerns as stucco over wood framing. It’s important to check if your stucco is on masonry and pay special attention to any newer areas of the home, such as an addition.
What’s the Worse That Could Happen?
Aside from the potential for mold, moisture build up behind stucco can cause structural damage over time. It can lead to wood rot, sagging, and structural failure if left unchecked. The longer the home is left without repairs, the more expensive it will be to deal with.
If you have testing performed and issues are caught early, the fix could be as simple as making sure areas around windows, doors, and exterior penetrations are properly sealed.
Stucco remediation, which is the removal and replacement of your stucco, typically costs around $40 to $50 per square foot. That means it can cost well into six figures to have to remediate the entire exterior of a home.
The sooner you catch issues with your stucco, the better off you’ll be.