For stucco homeowners, wall rot is a common issue but without the expertise to spot the problem, it can easily be overlooked and lead to severe damage to your homes foundational structure. However, if the problem is discovered in time, stucco remediation can be performed to repair your home. The key to stucco remediation is making sure it is done right. If even one step of the remediation process is done incorrectly, your stucco problems will just keep coming back. Here, we’ll explain how when stucco remediation is done correctly, it can prevent future occurrences of wall rot and mold.
Stucco remediation starts with removing the exterior stucco and identifying the source of the problem. It could be as simple as removing the sheathing or, if the problem has started to spread to the foundation, it could mean removing the support materials as well. As all of the affected areas are removed, your stucco contractor will identify problem areas underneath the stucco. Rotted wall materials must be removed and replaced along with new sheathing, insulation, and waterproof barriers to prevent future damage.
In order to keep a watertight seal throughout the exterior stucco, all doors and windows must be reinstalled with metal flashing. Tar paper should be used, along with caulk, under the bottom window flanges and sides to help seal the openings even more. If your roof doesn’t extend over the stucco wall or if your roof intersects with the stucco wall, kick-out flashing will need to be used. Kick-out flashing diverts rainwater into the gutter, keeping it away from the cladding on your home. Additional tar paper will need to be installed at the top of the stucco walls. All of this, along with the waterproof barriers being installed, will help to prevent moisture from penetrating your stucco walls in the future.
For additional protection, make sure your gutters are in good condition and are functioning properly. When done correctly, flashing and waterproof barriers should prevent future water damage underneath the stucco surface. However, if installed incorrectly, mold is bound to return and you’ll have to start the remediation process all over again.
Once all the underlying materials have been installed correctly, it is time to apply the layers of stucco. Using multiple layers of stucco is a common practice for a traditional hard coat stucco system. The first layer is a weather resistant asphalt paper barrier that is installed over the sheathing. Next comes the 3D plastic drainage matrix. The drainage matrix allows any moisture that is trapped underneath the stucco to evaporate or escape by draining out from beneath the walls. This is a huge part in preventing future wall rot. Along with a drainage matrix, weep screeds should be used at the bottom of your stucco walls to prevent damage to your home’s foundation.
Once the 3D drainage matrix and weep screeds are installed then another layer of weather resistant barrier is applied followed by lathe, a metal or fiberglass mat. Finally, multiple layers of stucco are applied. Typically, three layers of stucco are applied including the scratch coat, a brown coat and last but not least, an elastomeric colored finish coat.
Preventing Future Stucco Problems
Preventing future stucco problems does not stop with once your new stucco walls have been installed. There are a few things you need to know to keep your stucco walls intact. Always keep an eye out for discoloration or cracks in your stucco walls. Discoloration is a huge sign that mold has begun to form underneath the surface. Once you see any discoloration, call your stucco contractor immediately to prevent further damage.
If you notice any cracks in your stucco, big or small, they should be fixed immediately. A small crack can be repaired rather easily but, if left alone, can turn into a big crack that allows moisture to penetrate your walls. When trying to maintain the appearance of your stucco walls, never use a power or pressure washer to clean it. The intense pressure can cause cracks in your stucco and lead to water penetration.
At Royal State Construction, we specialize in stucco remediation. If you spot any problems with your stucco walls, call us immediately. Our stucco experts will inspect your home to identify the source of your problem and come up with the best plan for your stucco remediation. Don’t wait until the damage has gone too far, contact us today to get your remediation started!