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Thread: Cracking stucco

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    Jon mackay's Avatar
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    Default Cracking stucco

    What would the best recommendation be for multiple cracks in stucco siding?

    Is there a repair? There were a few areas in the home that had interior water damage also.

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon mackay View Post
    What would the best recommendation be for multiple cracks in stucco siding?

    Is there a repair? There were a few areas in the home that had interior water damage also.
    Wow, that's a lotta cracks! If water is penetrating through the stucco, then there is a good chance that the building paper is worn/damaged. If that is the case, the only real repair is replacement of the stucco. Elastomeric paints can provide some short-term respite, but not something that would be a long-term repair.

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon mackay View Post
    What would the best recommendation be for multiple cracks in stucco siding?

    Is there a repair?

    Yes, re-side the house.

    That stucco has failed beyond repair by using coatings, or paint, elastomeric or otherwise.
    I'd bet the sheathing or substrate beneath that stucco is a mess; lots of concealed damage is likely present. And they should consider a siding material that better matches the local climate and weather conditions.


    Dom.


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    That stucco has failed beyond repair by using coatings, or paint, elastomeric or otherwise.
    I'd bet the sheathing or substrate beneath that stucco is a mess; lots of concealed damage is likely present. And they should consider a siding material that better matches the local climate and weather conditions.

    Agreed.

    My guess is that there is no lath behind that stucco, or was a flawed lath (such as not galvanized, etc., which allowed the lath to rust out all over) and is no longer holding the stucco together.

    I'll make a wild guess that the stucco may have been fiber reinforced and lath was not used, with the applicator thinking that the fiber reinforced stucco would hold it together and in place.

    How old is the house?

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Ditto what all others say. The only thing to do is to remove it, repair the substrate, and reapply new stucco properly.

    You show 2 elevations, but my guess is that the problem is on all sides. Regardless, it's likely that whatever was done wrong was done wrong all over, and I would plan on a total removal/reinstallation.

    I would love to take a core sample and see what is going on below.

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Is this EIFS or Hard Coat? I don't see any seams so I'm guessing it's EIFS. If it is Hard Coat I agree with Jerry that there is no metal Lath (no rust). I would start with a certified stucco inspector, he /she should be able to tell you what the next phase of this project will be. I would bet on complete removal.


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Agreed.

    How old is the house?
    The house was built in 1928


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by stanley frost View Post
    Is this EIFS or Hard Coat?
    Hard coat


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    As others have said, it needs to be removed and replaced. The stucco is just worn out and needs to be replaced not much more can be said or done with it.

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon mackay View Post
    The house was built in 1928
    I that case then I withdraw my wild guess about fiber reinforced stucco and go with simply that the stucco was applied directly to wood lath, possibly even split lath which was expanded and nailed in place. I've seen both types of lath on houses built around that time frame, some even older and some even slightly newer than then.

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Hi Jon, I agree with the rest about residing it. tearing it off and replacing it will be costly but you can do a better job of repairs that need to be attended to underneath as well as the home owner can consider other types of siding finishes other than stucco. Painting with the proper paint is just as short term bandaid as Gunnar has said. Just depends on how you spin it to them. Yes it can be expensive but after that fact a change for the better can be made as to what the new owners want to see for finishes and style. If your going to change, make it something they like not what the way it was. It is an opportunity for them to make some positive changes. )


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Hetner View Post
    Hi Jon, I agree with the rest about residing it. tearing it off and replacing it will be costly but you can do a better job of repairs that need to be attended to underneath as well as the home owner can consider other types of siding finishes other than stucco. Painting with the proper paint is just as short term bandaid as Gunnar has said. Just depends on how you spin it to them. Yes it can be expensive but after that fact a change for the better can be made as to what the new owners want to see for finishes and style. If your going to change, make it something they like not what the way it was. It is an opportunity for them to make some positive changes. )
    Very true. This is the worst stucco condition that I have seen and when I noticed the areas of water damage, it was looking as if there may be more to the condition than meets the eye.

    Really, all I can do is note what I see and recommend that the siding and wet wall areas be fully evaluated by an siding contractor that specializes in stucco. The contractor could possibly remove the damaged wall at the interior to see what is going on and present a handful of corrections along with the respective costs. I try not to speculate beyond what I can see.

    I also do not like to get involved in determining the best course of action unless all of the conditions are known.

    Thoughts?


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon mackay View Post
    Very true. This is the worst stucco condition that I have seen and when I noticed the areas of water damage, it was looking as if there may be more to the condition than meets the eye.

    Really, all I can do is note what I see and recommend that the siding and wet wall areas be fully evaluated by an siding contractor that specializes in stucco. The contractor could possibly remove the damaged wall at the interior to see what is going on and present a handful of corrections along with the respective costs. I try not to speculate beyond what I can see.

    I also do not like to get involved in determining the best course of action unless all of the conditions are known.

    Thoughts?
    I agree to a point. I think you would do your client a disservice not to at least let them know that in your opinion this is an issue that is going to cost alot to fix and could require removal and replacement of the stucco. You don't want them buying the house because the painter told them he could fix it.

    I have a local contractor who is sending me nasty emails saying I have no business saying such things, I'm just supposed to report what I see and defer to a contractor. I haven't had a client complain yet about giving my opinion so will continue to do so.


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon mackay View Post
    This is the worst stucco condition that I have seen and when I noticed the areas of water damage, it was looking as if there may be more to the condition than meets the eye.
    Keep that in mind.

    Really, all I can do is note what I see and recommend that the siding and wet wall areas be fully evaluated by an siding contractor that specializes in stucco.
    I disagree.

    You can, and should, tell your client just what you said "This is the worst stucco condition that I have seen and when I noticed the areas of water damage, ", then recommend the stucco and whatever is beneath it be removed to the wall framing, and that all damaged wall framing and sheathing (if any sheathing is even installed) be replaced.

    You have then advised your buyer of what you think is needed. Also advise your client that the seller will try to get a contractor to say that painting it with elastomeric paint will 'solve the problem' - make sure your client understands that elastomeric pain will "solve nothing', that applying elastomeric paint to that "This is the worst stucco condition that I have seen" is nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig - it may look pretty, but it's still a pig.

    It is then up to the seller to have someone come in and say that they can salvage what is there by ... (whatever they can dream up) ... and your client has been educated to not accept it as though it is correct because 'a contractor' said 'it would be okay that way'.

    There is nothing wrong when a home inspector states the truth and their opinion: "Rip all that stucco, and whatever is behind it, off the wall down to the studs, find out what is wrong and why, then install proper sheathing and new siding of your choice."

    In fact, this is something wrong when a home inspector DOES NOT state the truth and their opinion ... for whatever reasons they do not state the truth and their opinion. The home inspector has but one client - the buyer, and the home inspector is hired by the client to tell them what they found ... and you found "This is the worst stucco condition that I have seen".

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I disagree.

    You can, and should, tell your client just what you said "This is the worst stucco condition that I have seen and when I noticed the areas of water damage, ", then recommend the stucco and whatever is beneath it be removed to the wall framing, and that all damaged wall framing and sheathing (if any sheathing is even installed) be replaced.

    You have then advised your buyer of what you think is needed. Also advise your client that the seller will try to get a contractor to say that painting it with elastomeric paint will 'solve the problem' - make sure your client understands that elastomeric pain will "solve nothing', that applying elastomeric paint to that "This is the worst stucco condition that I have seen" is nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig - it may look pretty, but it's still a pig.

    It is then up to the seller to have someone come in and say that they can salvage what is there by ... (whatever they can dream up) ... and your client has been educated to not accept it as though it is correct because 'a contractor' said 'it would be okay that way'.

    There is nothing wrong when a home inspector states the truth and their opinion: "Rip all that stucco, and whatever is behind it, off the wall down to the studs, find out what is wrong and why, then install proper sheathing and new siding of your choice."

    In fact, this is something wrong when a home inspector DOES NOT state the truth and their opinion ... for whatever reasons they do not state the truth and their opinion. The home inspector has but one client - the buyer, and the home inspector is hired by the client to tell them what they found ... and you found "This is the worst stucco condition that I have seen".
    All good information although one persons worst stucco will differ from another persons and in essence does not really have a place in a professional report.

    It is going to be an expensive correction that is for sure. I will be taking all of the useful information and writing it up in a professional manner that gives my client the facts and the best recommendation possible in my opinion.


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon mackay View Post
    All good information although one persons worst stucco will differ from another persons ...
    That is quite true, but ... YOU are the one writing the report, NOT "another" persons.

    ... and in essence does not really have a place in a professional report.
    I totally disagree because YOU are writing the report and YOU said "This is the worst stucco condition that I have seen and when I noticed the areas of water damage, ", as such there is nothing wrong with having that in a professional report, in fact, it should be in there are it is relating YOUR experience, knowledge and historical observations in YOUR report.

    You are giving your client the benefit or your experiences over the years, and you are telling them that it is the worst you have seen, which is making a knowledgeable statement with regard to what you have seen and experienced and know about.

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    I would have no concern what so ever about outright telling the folks that the siding needs to be removed and the home sided with what ever new material they wish.

    There is no fixing it. There is no deferring it to a contractor for further eval even though that is by belief on most concerns I write up. There is only one reason to refer or defer to anyone else. That is to get a price for removal and replacement.

    As far as someone telling you that you can only write what you see? What you see is stucco about to hit the ground all over the home. What you see is entry points for water and insects all around the home. What you see is one hell of an expensive removal and replacement job so just write away and do not listen to the fools saying "You cannot write it up like that.

    Home inspection is looking out for your clients....... period. As long as you are doing that you can write up any darn thing you want. They are counting on you to help them in being aware of the expenses involved in that home purchase that are immediately noticable and or what you test. You are also writing from experience not just from an SOP. Your experience and possible past knowledge from your previous working life is what they are paying you for.

    Deal killer, whistle blower, bad boy, Mr black ball, what ever they want to throw at you. Your job is to look out for YOUR clients best interests in the home

    "Does not really have a place in a *professional* report." Was that a serious statement? What kind of professional are you? A procrastinator, flim flam man, in and out boy, bag em and wrap em inspector (absolutely no personal insult intended no matter how it looked). You are the professional. Anything you see in and around the home that will protect your clients interests in the home can and should go into a report. (no, i am not getting in to the planes, trains, gun shots) We will leave it at .... inside the property line of the home for now. That is what your client is interested in ..... write it up. (and for most, outside the property line as well but again, i will not get into that)

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 07-09-2011 at 11:58 AM.

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Hi (ALL) &

    Ditto, Dotto & Ditto again...

    2 words = 'ROTTEN STUCCO' & even a single penny spent would be wasted, other than full replacement...

    The 'silver lining', however, is that the client has so many options !


    CHEERS

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Duxbury View Post
    2 words = 'ROTTEN STUCCO' & even a single penny spent would be wasted, other than full replacement...
    Glenn,

    I understand what you are saying, but ... ... it is not "rotten stucco" as the stucco is not rotten or rotted - the 'installation' may have been 'rotten' as in 'man, they did a rotten job installing that stucco'.

    Remember, though, this is a 1928 house and things were done differently back then, and the old saying of 'they sure don't build houses the way they used to' sometimes refers to a good thing.

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Alot of back and forth going on about symantics.

    Say whatever you like, every body has a different flavor, pick your favorite.

    Just make it clear that the stucco is finished, done, kaput. Anybody that tells them different is a liar or a fool. This you can see with your eyes... and so can they.

    What I would add, that can not be seen... but can be proven, is that in addition to the stucco needing to be replaced, they should be prepared to find quite a bit of rotten wood beneath the surface, sheathing and possibly, or even probably, framing too.

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Even the most naive or inexperienced client can see that there is a problem with the stucco but for them that's where it may end...a few??? cracks which they think can be filled. It's your experience. expertise and understanding of what is causing or likely to be causing the problem and the underlying damage which in all liklihood is present, which is key to the report. That's where your professional experience kicks in. It's a cause and effect issue. Obviously you describe what you see (effect) but also explain the underlying issues (cause) as you believe or suspect them to be.

    I would defer a remedy to a qualified contractor to make appropriate repairs or alternative installation and the cost(s) thereof, though clearly a complete tear-off is probably warranted.

    Last edited by Ian Page; 07-10-2011 at 01:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    All good points! Sounds like you may be trying to appease the Buyer's Agent to some degree. A good Realtor will be able to see the damage and potential costs involved with the required repairs / replacement and will side with your findings and recommendations. If not, then you will always will be walking on eggshells with that particular Realtor who may be more interested in closing the deal than their client's interests. Like Jerry, Ted and Steve have said, tell it like it is.


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon mackay View Post
    All good information although one persons worst stucco will differ from another persons and in essence does not really have a place in a professional report.

    It is going to be an expensive correction that is for sure. I will be taking all of the useful information and writing it up in a professional manner that gives my client the facts and the best recommendation possible in my opinion.
    I agree with you when you say that the phrase "worst stucco" should not be in a report. It is a phrase that can not be proven and is show-off talk that some inspectors like to use to impress their client. The point that the stucco is in poor condition can be conveyed in a professional manner without all of the chest-beating some inspectors like to do. Of course this is just my opinion and could be wrong!


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I agree with you when you say that the phrase "worst stucco" should not be in a report. It is a phrase that can not be proven and is show-off talk that some inspectors like to use to impress their client.
    He did not say "worst stucco" - which, by the way, in and of itself means nothing as there is nothing to compare "worst" to.

    What he said was; "This is the worst stucco condition that I have seen", and THAT has a comparative value, and not putting that in the report is not in the clients best interests.

    Some inspectors, though, seem to want to protect the deal, the agent, the seller, etc., more than their client ... for everyone else (those protecting their clients interests) - putting that in the report offers a very good observation for the client to compare what they are buying to as related to the inspector PROFESSIONAL past knowledge, training, and experience. Now THAT is cool .

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Wow, that's a lotta cracks! If water is penetrating through the stucco, then there is a good chance that the building paper is worn/damaged. If that is the case, the only real repair is replacement of the stucco. Elastomeric paints can provide some short-term respite, but not something that would be a long-term repair.

    Gunnar I'm stealing some of your wording for future reports, (short-term respite)....I like it but isn't respite the same thing as Short-term so saying both in a sentence is not needed?

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Gunnar I'm stealing some of your wording for future reports, (short-term respite)....I like it but isn't respite the same thing as Short-term so saying both in a sentence is not needed?
    Wouldn't that be kinda like saying "very slowly", using "short-term" to modify "respite" to mean even less time?

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Wisnewski View Post
    All good points! Sounds like you may be trying to appease the Buyer's Agent to some degree. A good Realtor will be able to see the damage and potential costs involved with the required repairs / replacement and will side with your findings and recommendations. If not, then you will always will be walking on eggshells with that particular Realtor who may be more interested in closing the deal than their client's interests. Like Jerry, Ted and Steve have said, tell it like it is.
    No Realtor involved and if there were, there would not be any eggshells, just the facts as always.


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Hi, Jerry (& ALL)

    That was why the quotation marks were used 'Rotten Stucco'...

    That's a term used (up here in British Columbia, Canada = WET West Coast), so often - FYI.

    Think rotten wood (totally shot & needs to be replaced), which can no longer do what it was installed to do - same idea...

    I believe many others 'got it'.

    Have a GREAT Summer &

    CHEERS !

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    I have cracking stucco on this inspection. It's bulging and buckeling. It has me stumped. Please see the attached photos. Any comments would be helpful.


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Nineteen twenty-eight. I'm going to state that again just in case anyone missed it-NINETEEN TWENTY-EIGHT. Got that?
    This house is over 90 years old and is still standing. Granted the stucco may not be that old, but it is remarkable nonetheless. You do not say what the substrate is, may be field stone for all we know. There are ways to restucco this that will be MUCH less costly than removal and replacement. Using an acrylic base coat and fiberglass mesh springs to mind. Europe has been resurfacing these types of buildings for decades with very good results. Try and refrain from the "OH MY GOD!! It all all to go!!" mentality for a nano-second, will ya?

    I try, and I try....

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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by John Carroll View Post
    Nineteen twenty-eight. I'm going to state that again just in case anyone missed it-NINETEEN TWENTY-EIGHT. Got that?
    This house is over 90 years old and is still standing. Granted the stucco may not be that old, but it is remarkable nonetheless. You do not say what the substrate is, may be field stone for all we know. There are ways to restucco this that will be MUCH less costly than removal and replacement. Using an acrylic base coat and fiberglass mesh springs to mind. Europe has been resurfacing these types of buildings for decades with very good results. Try and refrain from the "OH MY GOD!! It all all to go!!" mentality for a nano-second, will ya?

    I try, and I try....
    John

    Oh my God. It has to go.

    To many cracks john. Way to many cracks. It is obvious that this stucco , as you say , is not that old, has a serious problem and the most obvious problemn was either its application or the sub-structure.

    You can screw what ever you want to that building and throw mesh all over it. With out fixing the base/structure, it is a very foolish temporary fix that is going to bite someone in the ass in the near future.

    Leaving bits of original plaster that is still holding to the wall and then redoing everything around it. The time involved is insane "for the preservation of as much as they could". This is not a preservation job. This is a get rid of it and put either a stucco, done right, or some other siding on the building. There is nothing to preserve here and absolutely no money savings in the slightest.

    Scaffolding, man power, materials .......... for what? A temporary fix? Sorry John but

    Oh my God, it has to come down.


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Time for Ted to take a road trip. I suggest italy for a start. Much repair work done there without tearing down the history. Works well also, not what I would classify as a temporary fix at all...

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon mackay View Post
    What would the best recommendation be for multiple cracks in stucco siding?

    Is there a repair? There were a few areas in the home that had interior water damage also.
    i'd state what was seen, include this and refer to a historic stucco restoration firm to put the death nail in or include a doable bid that the client could live with

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by John Carroll View Post
    Time for Ted to take a road trip. I suggest italy for a start. Much repair work done there without tearing down the history. Works well also, not what I would classify as a temporary fix at all...
    John, please.

    I have seen so much absolute crap that every way possible was undertaken to ...... do something wrong.

    Italy, France, where should I start with you. Been everywhere, seen it. Still all temp fixes that someone later on has to deal with.

    First off this is not an Historic restoration/preservation in the slightest. It is an old home with a new, quite crapy job of stuccoing done to it.

    Like I said. No reason to even try to defend this crap for a fix/coverup/redue. Crap is crap. Take it down and start over. I have mixed and applied all the synthetics and even done preservation work trying to replicate the original work with the original/like materials over crap jobs. Do it if you want you are just ripping off the client. Either talk some sencse into them or move on to the next job and let someone else do the temp fix write off.

    New crappy job, old crappy job. Crap is crap. Cover it up and it still stinks.

    One of the ends of my business in Mass was plastering including all the synthetics ..... for years. In charge of plasterers, actual application, reps on site, tare down redue, contract large projects, worked for others at times, etc etc etc etc, cover up ...... crap is crap. Snow someone else but you don't have it in you to snow me. Been there, done that.

    Also on another thread about some, what did you call him,? Bozo or something like that. He has more time in and classes behind him in the inspection of, you won't catch up.


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Yes, Ted, I'm sure you have seen it all. My initial comment was about cost. I said there are ways to repair this WITHOUT complete teardown. I'm sure in your perfect world, there is an endless supply of cash to throw away trying to achieve the perfect fix. But out here in the real world, people have limited budgets and resources. My only comment was, let's try and be sympathetic to those concerns before we recommend tearing it all down as the first and only option.

    I'm a dyslexic agnostic-Don't believe there is a dog...

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    When considering refinishing (only), I agree that if all you are concerned with is the cosmetics and efficiency of the external moisture barrier, then exactly as stated there are coatings and mesh that may do just fine (dependant on what you are putting them on top of).

    My thinking is that because of the construction of the building, what is going on beneath the surface is crucial, to both the structure itself and to anybody with and/or considering financial interest in the property.

    Looking at the photos, and considering the age of the house, I am going to assume that there is rotten wood behind the stucco. To what extent and how well the system is attached (or whatever else) is a mystery, without testing. What if there is extensive rot... what are you trying to save… what are you not fixing?

    If salvaging the system is a consideration, an expert who can offer precise information should inspect everything. This way educated and intelligent decisions can be made.

    When you offer either option to your client, make sure you fully explain all of the ramifications. Anything less would be a dis-service to your client.

    I know people that would select either option, and others that would do nothing. Although few that would not want it fixed properly, in a home they are planning a future in.

    Simple test: If one of us had a daughter that was buying this house; what would you recommend? Do your client's deserve any less?I know people that would select either option, and others that would do nothing. Although few that would not want it fixed properly, in a home they are planning a future in.

    Simple test; If one of us had a daughter that was buying this house; what would you recommend? Do your client's deserve any less?

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 08-08-2011 at 03:08 PM. Reason: typo
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  37. #37
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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    These houses that you speak of in France and Italy, are they wooden houses?

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Just like here, Steven, it varies. We do not have any indication what the substrate is on this house, if it is damaged, then a cosmetic repair is not the way to go. BUT WE DON'T KNOW THAT. That's my beef- recommending complete teardown as the first (and only) tool out of the box is inappropriate. Seems to be what most of the "hobbits" on this board like to do tho...just sayin'.

    I'm a dyslexic agnostic-Don't believe there is a dog...

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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by John Carroll View Post
    That's my beef- recommending complete teardown as the first (and only) tool out of the box is inappropriate. Seems to be what most of the "hobbits" on this board like to do tho...just sayin'.
    Seems to me that someone has apparently NOT READ the posts to which he refers to.

    To wit:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    If water is penetrating through the stucco, then there is a good chance that the building paper is worn/damaged. If that is the case, the only real repair is replacement of the stucco. Elastomeric paints can provide some short-term respite, but not something that would be a long-term repair.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    I'd bet the sheathing or substrate beneath that stucco is a mess; lots of concealed damage is likely present. And they should consider a siding material that better matches the local climate and weather conditions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My guess is that there is no lath behind that stucco, or was a flawed lath (such as not galvanized, etc., which allowed the lath to rust out all over) and is no longer holding the stucco together.

    I'll make a wild guess that the stucco may have been fiber reinforced and lath was not used, with the applicator thinking that the fiber reinforced stucco would hold it together and in place.

    How old is the house?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    You show 2 elevations, but my guess is that the problem is on all sides. Regardless, it's likely that whatever was done wrong was done wrong all over, and I would plan on a total removal/reinstallation.

    I would love to take a core sample and see what is going on below.
    All of the above posts are qualifying their statements and begging for more information ... and you condemn the posters for that?

    Oh, and you said:
    Quote Originally Posted by John Carroll View Post
    There are ways to restucco this that will be MUCH less costly than removal and replacement. Using an acrylic base coat and fiberglass mesh springs to mind.
    And you said that WITHOUT KNOWING ANY MORE ABOUT IT THAN WE DID, yet WE took the cautious approach for a change in ownership, YOU stepped in it and said that there are less costly ways to correct it - without even knowing if those method are suitable for use on that house.

    Now THAT is the scary part ... YOU ... always deferring to the no cost or lesser cost options without knowing if they will work or not, but because the seller will save money.

    I hate to be the one to tell you this, John, but the seller is not the client, so any error in supposition until further knowledge is obtained should be made with what could be worst case, NOT what could be best case. It is not the job of home inspectors to sell houses, it is the job of home inspectors to point potentially expensive this to the client, and that stucco is POTENTIALLY EXPENSIVE, so it needs to be pointed out.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  40. #40
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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    I think the below link, especially the last part regarding determining deterioration and info on the service life expectancies.

    Stucco Inspection | U.S. Inspect


  41. #41
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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by peter legeros View Post
    I think the below link, especially the last part regarding determining deterioration and info on the service life expectancies.

    Stucco Inspection | U.S. Inspect
    Peter,

    While I didn't read all the way through that linked material, or even very far through that linked material, I did read far enough to recommend discarding that link and looking elsewhere.

    The underlined and bold part is incorrect and indicated to me that there was no reason to keep reading:
    Stucco is an exterior masonry product made from sand, Portland cement and water. It is generally applied over metal lath or masonry in two or three coats. The first coat is approximately 3/8 inch thick, and is called the “ground” coat. The second coat is also approximately 3/8 inch thick, and is called the “scratch” coat. The third coat is the finish coat and is approximately 1/8 inch thick. The total thickness should range from 3/4 inch to 1 inch.
    The FIRST coast is the "scratch" coat as it is "scratched" or "scored" horizontally to allow for the second coat to adhere better.

    The SECOND coat is the "brown" coat.

    Yes, the third coat is the "finish" coat, but by then I'm not trusting what they are telling me.

    I just did a quick Google search for a diagram to show you and this was the first link: stucco - three coat stucco

    I've also attached the ASTM C 926 Standard Specification for Application of Portland Cement-Based Plaster for your reading, start at 7.2 for a shortened reading.

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  42. #42
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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Hi Jerry, "Ground" coat...good catch. It's kinda like watching a Dirty Harry wanna be chase scene in a movie only the guy shoots nine times without reloading his six chamber revolver...the nine shots kind of wrecks the scene. However, I wouldn't dismiss the whole movie because of a faux paux in an over exhuberate gun fight.

    The info at the end of the article is worth a look see. It has an informative as well as a practical spin to it.

    Remember what they said about climate change. "You don't have to believe everything you read, but you need to read everything to believe." whatever the heck that means.


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    I've attached this diagram of sand based stucco on wood. If you notice, it shows the creation of a drainage plane by installing a bond breaker and moisture barrier.

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    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 08-21-2011 at 05:23 AM.
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  44. #44

    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Peter,

    While I didn't read all the way through that linked material, or even very far through that linked material, I did read far enough to recommend discarding that link and looking elsewhere.

    The underlined and bold part is incorrect and indicated to me that there was no reason to keep reading:


    The FIRST coast is the "scratch" coat as it is "scratched" or "scored" horizontally to allow for the second coat to adhere better.

    The SECOND coat is the "brown" coat.

    Yes, the third coat is the "finish" coat, but by then I'm not trusting what they are telling me.

    I just did a quick Google search for a diagram to show you and this was the first link: stucco - three coat stucco

    I've also attached the ASTM C 926 Standard Specification for Application of Portland Cement-Based Plaster for your reading, start at 7.2 for a shortened reading.
    I thought you might like to read a part of section 2205 of the 1927 edition of the Uniform Building code:

    "The first or scratch coat of stucco shall be shoved thoroughly through the metal reinforcing until all space between the metal and the backing is filled solidly and such coat shall be kept thoroughly moist during the first twenty-four hours after being applied. At least seven days shall elapse between the application of the scratch coat and the application of the brown coat." So even back then, they were talking about a backing material but I could not locate a definition of the backing material (i.e. whether it was required to be weather-resistant or not).


  45. #45
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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Buckwell View Post
    I thought you might like to read a part of section 2205 of the 1927 edition of the Uniform Building code:

    "The first or scratch coat of stucco shall be shoved thoroughly through the metal reinforcing until all space between the metal and the backing is filled solidly and such coat shall be kept thoroughly moist during the first twenty-four hours after being applied. At least seven days shall elapse between the application of the scratch coat and the application of the brown coat." So even back then, they were talking about a backing material but I could not locate a definition of the backing material (i.e. whether it was required to be weather-resistant or not).
    The "backing material" was likely 30 pound felt and simply served two main purposes: a) kept the stucco applicator from continually shoving more and more stucco through the metal lath; b) served as a bond breaker to keep the stucco from adhering to whatever was behind the "backing material" (probably another layer of 30 pound felt).

    They were also talking about proper curing too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  46. #46
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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Some more questions for Jon.

    Where was the water on the interior and where was it coming from?

    Is all of the exterior surface intact (not falling off)?

    Have you tested to see if the stucco is tight or loose?

    Is this house brick with stucco surface ?

    Reason being is that in Baltimore Maryland many homes have had stucco/cement troweled over the brick. Reason being was that the brick was soft and the mortar was soft. Stucco was applied right over the brick to seal the brick from deterioration and to resolve the need for re-pointing the entire house. Stucco was a cheap alternative.

    There was no screening or lathing used, just applied directly to the brick surface.

    Experience has shown that water penetrating the cracks will cause the surface to start flaking and separating. If the stucco is solid and tight, one option is sealing the surface another is acid etching and skim coating, a short term solution. It is a role of the dice. but not a long term solution by any stretch of the imagination.

    Sooner or later the surface will need to be stripped and redone.


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    Default Re: Cracking stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    I've attached this diagram of sand based stucco on wood. If you notice, it shows the creation of a drainage plane by installing a bond breaker and moisture barrier.
    Finally a picture showing 2 layers of paper underneath the stucco as a vapor barrier and bonding break. Most builders are lucky if they only install one. The next thing is that there are NO expansion joints anywhere in the wall. There probably aren't any weep screeds or other flashings around the windows. Water gets in, expands the stucco, freezes in the winter and destroys the stucco. Going over this old wall makes as much sense as spray painting rust on a bridge or plastering drywall that active termites are eating. You have to fix the source.


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