Stucco and Synthetic Stucco Siding Issues

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In the previous blog, we took a look at moisture problems that can occur when stone siding applications are either installed improperly, or through weathering develop cracks in the mortar around the stone which allow moisture penetration inside the wall cavity behind. These photographs taken during a home inspection I made in Aurora Colorado, demonstrate problems with stucco, or with synthetic stucco siding known as EIFS. EIFS is short for Exterior Insulating Finish Systems. These systems are typically applied in coats known as the base coat, scratch or brown coat, and finish coat. For some exterior wall applications, lath, mesh or netting may be installed with the stucco masonry material. Often there is a weather resistant barrier applied first, under the stucco. As you can see from these pictures, cracking may occur in the finish which allows water penetration inside the wall. The last photo was taken over an exterior door where the stucco had cracked, and leaked, allowing moisture into the home damaging drywall. It is very important to inspect the stucco regularly and make sure to keep it maintained. Areas to check where cracking is often likely to occur are around doors and windows, corners and along the bottom of walls where the stucco ends. Left unrepaired, a home may develop serious problems with wet rot and even mold if moisture penetration occurs repeatedly over time.