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  1. #1
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    Default Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Hello Everyone,

    I have a 5 year old home that had a few hair line cracks the first year. They ranged any where from 4-5 feet long to the length of my garage wall 16 plus feet between the front windows. As shown in the attached pics.

    Now in the winter I am seeing more and more hairline cracks and some spider cracks but still hairline. I put the builder on notice and of course the warranty has expired. Even so they are still going to look at it but may not do anything. The neighbor across the street has the same home but its 1-2 years older and his stucco is buckling to the point its going to fall off. The same crew applied the stucco to his home as mine but they did other homes here and they dont' have any issues. As a result Im starting to get nervous as to what expense I may run into if I dont do anything about it at all. The neighbor had water issues but I dont know if that is the cause of why his stucco is much worse shape then mine.

    Ive attached some pictures of the worst problems but basically the entire front of my home has cracks around windows, light fixtures between windows running diagonal and horizontal and some intersecting.

    Anyone have thoughts or concerns please comment I'm interested in hearing what you would do If you had these issues. I've had contractors come over and give me there opinion as well.

    Thanks in advance.
    Pete

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    That's quite a bit of cracking. My recommendation would be get it evaluated by a stucco professional. You mentioned you've already had some contractors come look at it and render their opinions. What did they say and do any of them specialize in stucco?

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    I had one gentleman come out and has being doing Stucco and Dryvit for 25 years. His opinion was that there was multiple possibilities for all the cracking.

    The material may not have been mixed properly.
    The wire mesh may not have bee secured properly in the areas where it overlaps.
    The thickness of the scratch coat may not have been adequate
    The scratch coat may have dried to quickly.

    Its really not clear as to an exact reason.
    He said it can be painted with elastomeric paint or use a E Finish made by Dryvit that is made to go over existing stucco that has elastic properties that would allow it to flex. I believe the application would include some sort of fiber that would be attached to the existing stucco to give it more bonding.

    Another gentleman say not to worry about it as its hairline cracks and patching would make it look worse.

    It just seems excessive and something else is going on under neath that is causing all the cracks.

    I'm still talking with folks about it but and not clear as of yet what if anything I should do.

    The builder is going to sender there stucco guy and we shall see what his observations are. They basically allow for 1/8" cracks before they would do anything but I'm hopeful it turns out in my favor.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Up to 1/8" is plenty wide enough to allow wind driven rain to get into cracks and behind the stucco.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    I agree 1/8" is there way out of not dealing with hairline cracks.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete S View Post
    I agree 1/8" is there way out of not dealing with hairline cracks.
    These cracks were no where near 1/8".... hardwood floor measured 22% and rim joist had some moisture damage.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Hey Vern,

    Thats what Im afraid of. How did you get the stucco repaired ? How did you get the moisture rating?


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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Yeah Vern, there also does not appear to be any kick-out flashing there.
    Stucco is concrete. Concrete cracks.
    Caulk and repaint.

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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    I just report the condition. I did a re-inspect on the house about a week ago. The contractor sealed and painted the cracks and a kick-out flashing was installed. There was no evidence of any type of invasive inspection into the wall cavity as I had recommended, which was noted in my re-inspection letter. The wood rim joist and CMU foundation wall had dried with only a small amount of moisture remaining after several rainy days. Moisture in the hardwood flooring was measured with a Ryobi pin less moisture meter.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete S View Post
    I had one gentleman come out and has being doing Stucco and Dryvit for 25 years. His opinion was that there was multiple possibilities for all the cracking.

    The material may not have been mixed properly.
    The wire mesh may not have bee secured properly in the areas where it overlaps.
    The thickness of the scratch coat may not have been adequate
    The scratch coat may have dried to quickly.

    Its really not clear as to an exact reason.
    He said it can be painted with elastomeric paint or use a E Finish made by Dryvit that is made to go over existing stucco that has elastic properties that would allow it to flex. I believe the application would include some sort of fiber that would be attached to the existing stucco to give it more bonding.

    Another gentleman say not to worry about it as its hairline cracks and patching would make it look worse.

    It just seems excessive and something else is going on under neath that is causing all the cracks.

    I'm still talking with folks about it but and not clear as of yet what if anything I should do.

    The builder is going to sender there stucco guy and we shall see what his observations are. They basically allow for 1/8" cracks before they would do anything but I'm hopeful it turns out in my favor.
    I think the cracks are way too excessive for a home of that age, perhaps even for a home of any age.....

    I'd go with your first professional and dismiss the "Another gentleman." The first gentleman is on top of it.

    Of the four possible reasons he gave, here in San Diego they are most common in this order:

    1. The material may not have been mixed properly.
    2. The thickness of the scratch coat may not have been adequate
    3. The scratch coat may have dried to quickly.
    4. The wire mesh may not have bee secured properly in the areas where it overlaps.

    I find lots of stucco "professionals" mixing 1 & 2 in that the builder wants (and gets) them to mix it thin and apply it thin, which is just a house full of cracks waiting to happen, and sooner rather than later.

    I honestly believe there are some builders here in San Diego who know exactly how thin the stucco can be mixed and applied in order not to crack until the day after the home warranty has expired.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Pete,

    It's difficult to see with your pictures, but here's a PART of WHAT'S required:

    1) Stucco thickness should be at least 7/8" (after 3 coats) (the thickness was changed from 3/4" in 2003)
    2) A drainage plane. This is required in many locations, including 2" off the roof, at windows, at the base of the stucco.
    3) Casing/termination beads are required at ALL intersections of dissimilar materials (this included where the stucco meets the underside of the soffit, windows, doors, etc).
    4) Expansion/control joints are required so any section of wall stucco does not exceed 144 sq ft. It is also required at floor level (if you have a 2-story house, there better be a control joint at the top of the first & second floor levels). By the way, this control joist has to go thru the mesh (in other words if the mesh wasn't installed with a joint, cutting one in now is useless).

    There are other requirements, but you get the picture. You really do need to get a competent installer or inspector who knows the code and the installation process to review and report on your installation.

    Here's another tid-bit you probably have no way of knowing if it was done right.
    Time between 1st and 2nd coat of stucco is minimum of 48 hours. Time between 2nd & 3rd coat is a minimum of 7 DAYS.

    Good luck and let us know the outcome!

    Last edited by Darren Miller; 02-11-2013 at 06:53 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    I wouldn't attempt to diagnose the cause of these cracks without being there and testing the system, as you have already been told there are a number of possibilities or combination of possibilities that could be underlying causes. But there is more.

    I think the wisest thing to do is to call in (your own) stucco inspector/moisture analyst, that will strip portions in order to confirm the mesh alignment, overlap, etc. There are other things like control and expansion joints, drainage, etc that I don't/can't see. Equally ( or more) important is that you determine if there is any damage to the structure from water intrusion. I would test under each and every window, floor lines. doors, etc., and at other pertinent architectural features.

    It's one thing to cover some ugly cracks that ultimately are cosmetic, but before I would do that; I would want to know how stable the system is and the extent of the damage, or you may end up with bigger problems.

    Whatever the cause(s) may be, I believe you are looking at an expensive mitigation. I am not so sure that it will be as easy as a simple paint job. I suggest you speak to an attorney even though the warrenty is over, especially since you say that this anomoly has occurred on multiple homes by the same builder.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Russel Ray View Post
    I think the cracks are way too excessive for a home of that age, perhaps even for a home of any age.....

    I'd go with your first professional and dismiss the "Another gentleman." The first gentleman is on top of it.

    Of the four possible reasons he gave, here in San Diego they are most common in this order:

    1. The material may not have been mixed properly.
    2. The thickness of the scratch coat may not have been adequate
    3. The scratch coat may have dried to quickly.
    4. The wire mesh may not have bee secured properly in the areas where it overlaps.

    I find lots of stucco "professionals" mixing 1 & 2 in that the builder wants (and gets) them to mix it thin and apply it thin, which is just a house full of cracks waiting to happen, and sooner rather than later.

    I honestly believe there are some builders here in San Diego who know exactly how thin the stucco can be mixed and applied in order not to crack until the day after the home warranty has expired.
    I concur. Most likely the stucco was improperly mixed and/or applied. My neighbor had the exact same problem and after several years, they finally bit the bullet and took my advise, and brought in a good company that re-stuccoed the house and now it looks great.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Steve has it right. The only way to determine what is going on is with exploratory surgery. Find someone who has experience with stucco and as an expert witness.

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  15. #15

    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    It may not be under warranty,BUT If found and is under time of discovery it will still be covered in Calif. Call the stucco manufacture as an expert witness and get a constrution attorney as soon as possible, he may also know a expert witness. Time is very important.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    First things first: an average human hair is about 0.003" thick. Doing the arithmetic, that means that laying 20 of them tightly together would yield a total of 20 x 0.003 = 0.060", which is very close to 1/16" (0.0625") in round numbers. Meaning that what the OP is calling "hairline cracking" is actually considerably wider than "hairline." Probably much closer to 1/16" and wider.

    The heavy, uniform black lines that were superimposed on the photos were put there to show the approximate locations of the actual cracks, which are visible very faintly, roughly parallel to the black lines but a few inches away.

    I agree with previous comments calling for someone with stucco expertise (but having no involvement with the application) being brought in for an independent evaluation.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    The problem like others have stated is that you weren't there when the stucco was applied so you have no idea if the contractor took shotcuts or not. A lot of the prblems have to do with the how the flashing was applied and there is no way to see it. I would get someone out there that has a good moisture meter with pins that will reach sheathing (especially around windows) and do some thermography to see if there is any moisture problems. If there are no moisture issues behind the stucco a paint job may be sufficient but be sure and use the right type of paint that will still let the stucco breathe (permeable).

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Hello Everyone,

    I appreciate your comments, based on your collective responses this is clear.

    1. Get a stucco inspector that can do an moisture analysis.
    2. Consult with a construction attorney, why not just my regular attorney?
    3. Put the builder on notice

    If the results of the moisture analysis show no moisture intrusion then my options are:

    1. Do nothing live with the hairline cracks. Although at some point they may get larger and may make it tougher to sell my home when viewed in the cold weather. Because by the time it warms most of these cracks vanish.

    2. Get the exterior stucco painted with an elastomeric based paint or similar material.

    3. Another contractor recommended a Drvit E-Finish made to go over stucco that has elastic properties.

    As stated this home was built in 2007 following the 2007 building codes. Its hard to say but it looks like I may only have 1 application of black paper and then the wire message and then the scratch code. If that's the case and if 2 layers of paper were required per 2007 building codes then the builder could be held responsible. Anyone comment on that?

    I have attached 2 pics showing the exterior in the pre-stucco stage.

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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Here is the other pic

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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    It is hard to tell from the photos but I don't see expansion/control joints or flashing at the roof and windows.
    Those things say the stucco was not installed properly without any exploratory surgery. You are lucky if you have no moisture intrusion yet.

    why not just my regular attorney?
    You would not get heart surgery from your dentist.

    Consult your attorney and he may be able to recommend a construction litigation expert who may know a stucco expert who can also act as an expert witness if the need arises.

    Jim Luttrall
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Hello Pete,

    I see you have already received some excellent replies, so I will add just a few comments.

    First, i see you're from the "USA", but it doesn't say where. You might consider updating your location so we can see what climate you live in. In looking through your photos it looks like like you may have more than a stucco cracking problem; you more likely have a defective stucco problem. There are several indicators that appear to suggest this:

    Absence of control joints and expansion joints.

    No apparent head flashings over windows.

    Only a narrow strip of Tyvek, and possibly Tyvek tape around windows as some sort of homemade window flashing.

    The homemade Tyvek flashing is not lapped over the felt below windows. As installed, water running down the Tyvek at the sides of windows will flow behind the felt and likely into the exterior wall.

    No apparent flashing over the top of the stone masonry (manufactured stone veneer?). Attempts to rely on caulking at this juncture will not work in the long run.

    It's important to know that it is the underlayment and flashing system that makes a stucco wall watertight, not the stucco. The wall should be completely watertight even with no stucco in place. However, long-term water infiltration through stucco cracks can eventually damage the underlayment and allow leakage, and it can cause corrosion of the stucco lath and the fasteners that hold it and the stucco in place. This may explain why your neighbor's stucco began bucking.

    Many of us in the building envelope consulting business consider the Minnesota Lath and Plaster Bureau one of the most definitive sources of good information on anything to do with stucco. They have some excellent info regarding all of the issues discussed in this thread. See:http://www.mnlath-plaster.com/librar...Update2009.pdf

    Whereas the builder's warranty for correction of punch list items may only be one or two years, in Texas the builder's statute of limitations for CONSTRUCTION DEFECTS is ten years. It may be similar in your state.

    Investigation of the items discussed here will require making test cuts through the stucco. You may also want to first have some diagnostic water intrusion testing and moisture metering performed by a qualified building envelope expert. Your attorney's fees may be recoverable, but expert fees are usually not, so finding a good expert locally will help keep costs under control. I recommend questioning in advance everything the expert suggests and the related costs. Some experts like nothing better than conducting a lot of testing with a full staff on site, water spray racks, etc. - all on your nickel. Consider the cost vs anticipated use/benefit of any procedure before agreeing to it. A local expert with a helper and a very targeted water testing and test cutting plan can produce the analysis and report you need at the most reasonable cost.

    Selecting an attorney who specializes in construction defect litigation is the right thing to do if you decide to proceed with filing a lawsuit. Also, deal with the attorney just like you would the expert. Question everything and make a cost/benefit decision at each step. Also, ask that the attorney's paralegal handle as much of the work as possible-at the paralegal's much lower hourly rate.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Don Putnam
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    Austin, Texas


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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    The Lath PDF is a great resource. Thanks Don

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    I would not advise anything but removal and replacement of this siding. There is no investigative work that will lead to anything else. Obviously serious problems with the installation/product application and there is no fix to it. It cracked that bad everywhere already and it is going to crack that bad everywhere again.

    For any fool to come in and say there is no problem with these cracks is, well, a fool.

    You can tear sections away and do what ever you wish. Again I would advise nothing but a professional in the trade to quote pricing for removal and replacement. Am I a pro at this type of product? No. Have I built long enough and or installed this type of product over the decades on both commercial and residential structures? Yes. Do I know enough to tell someone that there is no permanent fix to the product already on the home? Absolutely.

    Just my early morning 2 cents worth


  24. #24

    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Hello Ted,

    I agree that the stucco should be replaced, and if the builder agrees to do that it will save Pete the expense of having to build a case. In my experience, the builder's most likely response is to point to the fact that the warranty period is expired, but out of the goodness of his heart he might make a few cosmetic repairs. This will not solve the problem.

    Pete,

    If that's paper-backed lath and a stucco scratch coat were seeing in the last photo you posted the installers also failed to install a 'weep screed' at the base of the exterior walls. A weep screed allows water that enters the stucco layer to drain back out at the base of the wall. Without it, the water is more likely to be forced into the interior of the wall.

    Don Putnam
    www.roofconsulting.com


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    You may be very right, and there certainly is a possibility that total removal may be the answer; but it is at the very least, equally possible that total removal is not necessary.

    This man already owns this property; he needs a solution (even if it were a new buyer). When a system fails it is rarely the entire system that fails. So it may be a $60,000.00 repair or it may be a $10,000.00 repair, or anything in between.

    Imagine doing and total removal and finding a few areas that could have been repaired/corrected and everything else is fine. Or a LWRB, a layer of mesh, base, and finish coat will make it efficient, or LWRB and EIFS... I can keep going but I won't.

    The only way to responsibly determine the course of action is to completely evaluate what is there and understand what it is doing and know of any internal damage (if any).

    In my opinion; To arbitrarily throw up my one's and declare remove everything, without knowing what is going on is a disservice to one's clients and anyone else involved.

    If the existing system is stable; there is the probability that is can be salvaged or utilized (one way or another), without sacrificing efficiency and quality, and certainly save a small fortune.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 02-15-2013 at 02:50 PM.
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    You may be very right, and there certainly is a possibility that total removal may be the answer; but it is at the very least, equally possible that total removal is not necessary.

    This man already owns this property; he needs a solution (even if it were a new buyer). When a system fails it is rarely the entire system that fails. So it may be a $60,000.00 repair or it may be a $10,000.00 repair, or anything in between.

    Imagine doing and total removal and finding a few areas that could have been repaired/corrected and everything else is fine. Or a LWRB, a layer of mesh, base, and finish coat will make it efficient, or LWRB and EIFS... I can keep going but I won't.

    The only way to responsibly determine the course of action is to completely evaluate what is there and understand what it is doing and know of any internal damage (if any).

    In my opinion; To arbitrarily throw up my one's and declare remove everything, without knowing what is going on is a disservice to one's clients and anyone else involved.

    If the existing system is stable; there is the probability that is can be salvaged or utilized (one way or another), without sacrificing efficiency and quality, and certainly save a small fortune.
    So basically you are saying that you would put a layer/system over another system and fully expect no matter how well don there will be n concerns in the future.

    I am not one for putting a siding material over wood siding or Hardi plank over exterior plywood siding. To each his own but no matter what I would not recommend to put any siding material over any siding material....especially any form of plaster exterior.

    Lets just throw a third layer of shingles on a deteriorated leaking roof that has two layers on it already. You could not say with any certainty that just because you peal the cover off of a couple areas on this home and found no concerns that there would be none under the rest.

    Anywho. Owner or buyer of a property my answer would still be rip it off and start over.

    A 60,000.00 repair? Not in my lifetime. A ten thousand dollar repair of a crappy system covered with a second layer? Not me.

    Just sayin


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    So basically you are saying that you would put a layer/system over another system and fully expect no matter how well don there will be n concerns in the future.
    No I am not saying that. I am saying before I make ANY recommendations I would have to understand what is going on, why did it happen, and what effect if any has there been on the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I am not one for putting a siding material over wood siding or Hardi plank over exterior plywood siding. To each his own but no matter what I would not recommend to put any siding material over any siding material....especially any form of plaster exterior.

    Lets just throw a third layer of shingles on a deteriorated leaking roof that has two layers on it already. You could not say with any certainty that just because you peal the cover off of a couple areas on this home and found no concerns that there would be none under the rest.
    I am not for applying anything over anything that is not properly prepared or not suitable. If you read up, I clearly stated that I would test under each and every window... etc. The purpse of the core samples is to help understand what is there and how it was installed, and if there is damage and to what extent the damage is.

    I will make any decision at that point, when I have information to base my decision upon. .

    As we stated above, there are a number of possibilities why the system is cracking. If the system is stable, it may not have to be totally removed.

    I can substanciate any of my decisions, and tell you specifically why I made the choice I did; based upon science and facts. Even if my choice is to remove, I can tell you specifically why I belive it should be removed. I may even provide alternative recommendations that may (or may not work), but if they do, it may be worth the chance to save a bundle. If my recommendation is to make certain repairs or modification; I will explain them also.





    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post

    Anywho. Owner or buyer of a property my answer would still be rip it off and start over.

    A 60,000.00 repair? Not in my lifetime. A ten thousand dollar repair of a crappy system covered with a second layer? Not me.

    Just sayin
    So if not $ 60,000.. how much? 50K, 40K . How much do you think it will cost to remove everything and PROPERLY prepare the building, and apply whatever refinish?

    If the system is stable, and taking into consideration that the building shrinkgae period has passed, and other; what is wrong with applying a LWRB (and other preps), and applying a suitable finish, with mesh or EIFS? This is precisly what EIFS was originally designed for.

    Are you telling me that ANY home you see with a building envelope problem gets the automatic boilerplate "TOTAL REMOVAL" recommendation without any thought as to the actual deficiency or what it needs to be corrected?

    Kinda like a one size fits all?

    I evaluate each system... one system at a time.

    But we each ride our horses differently... ride 'em cowboy!

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 02-15-2013 at 06:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    It's also possible it that framing issues are contributing to the cracking.

    1. Sheathing nails driven too deep, allowing sheathing to move,
    2. Sheathing run horizontal and no blocking missing at joints.
    3. 3/8th sheathing was installed with no blocking and improperly nailed?
    4. Gable end could be not braed properly allowing movement of walls in windy conditions.
    5. Vaulted ceinlings.
    6. Lack of expansion joints.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    No I am not saying that. I am saying before I make ANY recommendations I would have to understand what is going on, why did it happen, and what effect if any has there been on the system.



    I am not for applying anything over anything that is not properly prepared or not suitable. If you read up, I clearly stated that I would test under each and every window... etc. The purpse of the core samples is to help understand what is there and how it was installed, and if there is damage and to what extent the damage is.

    I will make any decision at that point, when I have information to base my decision upon. .

    As we stated above, there are a number of possibilities why the system is cracking. If the system is stable, it may not have to be totally removed.

    I can substanciate any of my decisions, and tell you specifically why I made the choice I did; based upon science and facts. Even if my choice is to remove, I can tell you specifically why I belive it should be removed. I may even provide alternative recommendations that may (or may not work), but if they do, it may be worth the chance to save a bundle. If my recommendation is to make certain repairs or modification; I will explain them also.







    So if not $ 60,000.. how much? 50K, 40K . How much do you think it will cost to remove everything and PROPERLY prepare the building, and apply whatever refinish?

    If the system is stable, and taking into consideration that the building shrinkgae period has passed, and other; what is wrong with applying a LWRB (and other preps), and applying a suitable finish, with mesh or EIFS? This is precisly what EIFS was originally designed for.

    Are you telling me that ANY home you see with a building envelope problem gets the automatic boilerplate "TOTAL REMOVAL" recommendation without any thought as to the actual deficiency or what it needs to be corrected?

    Kinda like a one size fits all?

    I evaluate each system... one system at a time.

    But we each ride our horses differently... ride 'em cowboy!
    Not getting on you in the slightest Steven. In this case I see multiple pictures where there are already patched cracks inches away from new cracks. There is obviously way to much movement to this product application and or way to much movement in the home. I seriously doubt that even if they had control joints that this would not have still happened.

    I have said before that I hate any form of exterior plaster. There has been troubles with every home that has it that I have ever inspected. If one were to do anything to that home where there are movement cracks over the entire surface of the building I am simply stating it is time to start over. Yes, in this case I would highly recommend with no reservations to tare this product off and either put a new product of similar nature or an entirely different siding on the home. This is not just a mixing of the plaster problem as far as I see it but of course we can scrub all that because I do not see anything but pictures.

    What do they say about pictures?

    One more note. No, I do not recommend a complete tare off on every home I see siding problems. But, when it is time to go it is time to go.

    Again, just my 2 cents worth. By the way I have not ridden a horse in maybe 35 years and I am certainly not a cowboy


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    No bad intent taken or intended.

    When I look at the pictures, I really don't see it looking as bad as you portray. There is no crack there that surprises me, and I see nothing that appears to be flapping in the breeze.

    So just looking at the lamina, I see no indication that everything has to be removed. To be quite frank, based upon the photos alone;I see nothing that convinces me that anything has to be removed.

    I am surely convinced that the entire system should be thoroughly tested and evaluated.

    The only way I can decide what needs to be removed is by getting close and personal with the individual system. And then the only time I recommend total removal is when the repairs are so wide spread that saving a few sporadic areas just doesn't make sense.

    One plausible explanation for this system's failure is that because their are no expansion, control or isolation joints; during the first approx two years when the new materials shrunk/equalized; there was nowhere to go but to crack.

    If all it is are the cracks, and if the stucco is stable to the building, I repeat stable to the building: I really don't care about them. They can be covered, and that surface could be a great substrate for a liquid applied moisture barrier... if you were worried you could easily tape the cracks with troweled on LMB.

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    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 03-08-2013 at 06:53 PM.
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete S View Post
    I agree 1/8" is there way out of not dealing with hairline cracks.
    I've seen where builders use the 1/8" measurement to decide when to act. However, it was in cases of cracks in concrete foundation walls and slabs.

    When you're talking exposed exterior envelope, 1/8" is way to wide. Any cracks that will let water in is not acceptable in my opinion.


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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    That is more than normal cracking. Since it is rare to find stucco that is properly installed I would recommend that you have a detailed inspection, including moisture testing.

    It looks like most of the cracks are relatively straight horizontal lines, which would likely correspond to joints in the lathe. Lathe attachment, excessive shrinkage, or stucco thickness (i.e. too thin) are some possible options, but there are other possibilities.

    Don't worry about being out of warranty. That's a typical builder excuse for everything. If you have real problems its important to find that out asap and then deal with any lawsuits within the applicable time limits.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Hello Everyone,

    Its been a few weeks since Ive posted here, the builder at first shoved me off and said the cracks are normal. I told them I would erect a sign up expressing my disatisfaction with the work. They are finishing the final phase 16 lots to build, 6-8 homes are sold and constructed and the rest of the lots are sold off possibly 2 left.

    The sign was not erected but the builder responded with there current contractor to evaluate the problems. Nothing is formalized as of yet but what I heard from the contractor was that they would adding a fiberglass mesh/brown coat then finish coat. Adding controls joints and window bead. Nothing in writing as of yet. A sign will go up if they don't respond within the next week.

    I agree with some of your responses but to tear down without knowing the stability of the stucco isn't my first option. My plan is to get a stucco inspector to probe for moisture and then with that I'm hoping I will know what steps will need to be taken.

    Thanks for all your responses


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Hello Everyone,

    I started this thread in February 2013 although depressing I listened to your advice and took the step to hire a moisture inspector from Exterior Design Institute - The absolute best in EIFS Inspector training..

    The results were sickening. In various areas the stone knee wall had 23%, 25%, 26% moisture content. The stucco ranged from 22-23% moisture content. Basically enough moisture to grow mold and start OSB decay.

    Its crazy to think that in 2007 builders/contractors are building these kind of structures.

    The recommendation is to tear it down and reconstruct the stucco. In 2007 there was 1 layer of felt paper per 2006 International Building Codes. Now in 2012 code requires 2 layers of paper or equivalent. Codes are just a guideline, unfortunately builders use them to their advantage some go above and beyond codes to build a home,

    The builders position remains evasive and they continue to drag their feet in this matter. At this point its probably going to be handled with legal representation. I will remain relentless and do everything that I can to alert the public.

    As far as repair goes, I had one stucco remediation company recommend a stucco drainage mat to handle the drainage of water trapped behind stucco. 2012 codes only require 2 layers of paper, seems to me like the drainage mat will provide an advantage. Anyone have thoughts on that?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hello Everyone,

    I started this thread in February 2013 although depressing I listened to your advice and took the step to hire a moisture inspector from http://www.exterior-design-inst.com/.

    The results were sickening. In various areas the stone knee wall had 23%, 25%, 26% moisture content. The stucco ranged from 22-23% moisture content. Basically enough moisture to grow mold and start OSB decay.

    Its crazy to think that in 2007 builders/contractors are building these kind of structures.

    The recommendation is to tear it down and reconstruct the stucco. In 2007 there was 1 layer of felt paper per 2006 International Building Codes. Now in 2012 code requires 2 layers of paper or equivalent. Codes are just a guideline, unfortunately builders use them to their advantage some go above and beyond codes to build a home,

    The builders position remains evasive and they continue to drag their feet in this matter. At this point its probably going to be handled with legal representation. I will remain relentless and do everything that I can to alert the public.

    As far as repair goes, I had one stucco remediation company recommend a stucco drainage mat to handle the drainage of water trapped behind stucco. 2012 codes only require 2 layers of paper, seems to me like the drainage mat will provide an advantage. Anyone have thoughts on that?


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Pete,

    Sorry that things are as serious as they are, I'm sure you can understand why I (and others) insist that simply looking at the surface really provides no useful information (other than cosmetics).

    The mat serves the same purpose as the double tar paper, but is a step better. I know of instances where a mat AND a layer of tarpaper was utilized. Protecting against water intrusion is an art of redundancy.

    Personally, in addition to a mat (or dbl tarpaper), I am an advocate of a liguid applied moisture barrier. I profess that if you want your building not to leak, you make it water proof before any finished are applied (or begin to be applied). The liquid applied barrier (in addition to the drainage mat or dbl paper) provides seamless protection to the structure. At this point I recommend that you discuss this with your inspector. he is more familiar with the structure than any of us.

    Good luck to you and thank you for the update. Future updates are always appreciated.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
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  36. #36
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete S View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    I started this thread in February 2013 although depressing I listened to your advice and took the step to hire a moisture inspector from Exterior Design Institute - The absolute best in EIFS Inspector training..

    The results were sickening. In various areas the stone knee wall had 23%, 25%, 26% moisture content. The stucco ranged from 22-23% moisture content. Basically enough moisture to grow mold and start OSB decay.

    Its crazy to think that in 2007 builders/contractors are building these kind of structures.

    The recommendation is to tear it down and reconstruct the stucco. In 2007 there was 1 layer of felt paper per 2006 International Building Codes. Now in 2012 code requires 2 layers of paper or equivalent. Codes are just a guideline, unfortunately builders use them to their advantage some go above and beyond codes to build a home,

    The builders position remains evasive and they continue to drag their feet in this matter. At this point its probably going to be handled with legal representation. I will remain relentless and do everything that I can to alert the public.

    As far as repair goes, I had one stucco remediation company recommend a stucco drainage mat to handle the drainage of water trapped behind stucco. 2012 codes only require 2 layers of paper, seems to me like the drainage mat will provide an advantage. Anyone have thoughts on that?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hello Everyone,

    I started this thread in February 2013 although depressing I listened to your advice and took the step to hire a moisture inspector from Exterior Design Institute - The absolute best in EIFS Inspector training..

    The results were sickening. In various areas the stone knee wall had 23%, 25%, 26% moisture content. The stucco ranged from 22-23% moisture content. Basically enough moisture to grow mold and start OSB decay.

    Its crazy to think that in 2007 builders/contractors are building these kind of structures.

    The recommendation is to tear it down and reconstruct the stucco. In 2007 there was 1 layer of felt paper per 2006 International Building Codes. Now in 2012 code requires 2 layers of paper or equivalent. Codes are just a guideline, unfortunately builders use them to their advantage some go above and beyond codes to build a home,

    The builders position remains evasive and they continue to drag their feet in this matter. At this point its probably going to be handled with legal representation. I will remain relentless and do everything that I can to alert the public.

    As far as repair goes, I had one stucco remediation company recommend a stucco drainage mat to handle the drainage of water trapped behind stucco. 2012 codes only require 2 layers of paper, seems to me like the drainage mat will provide an advantage. Anyone have thoughts on that?
    At this point my . still, firm belief is to have it removed and start over. I truly believe that covering over stucco with more goods and stucco when the stucco and most likely structure underneath is already wet and you have no idea what damage has already been done?????? is absolutely not the way to go. If it becomes legal then it is time to bring your expert recommendation to tear down and start over with you to the lawyers office.

    I am truly sorry that you are having these concerns and I wish you the best in your resolve.

    If you have rotted sheathing and or framework and you just cover it up with new pretty drywall inside with a great finish and trim job......you still have rotted sheathing and framework underneath.

    Just saying! upwards of 20% or better moisture reading is an active leak. And how long has it been active???? Probably for a great while.


  37. #37

    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete S View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    I started this thread in February 2013 although depressing I listened to your advice and took the step to hire a moisture inspector from Exterior Design Institute - The absolute best in EIFS Inspector training..

    The results were sickening. In various areas the stone knee wall had 23%, 25%, 26% moisture content. The stucco ranged from 22-23% moisture content. Basically enough moisture to grow mold and start OSB decay.

    Its crazy to think that in 2007 builders/contractors are building these kind of structures.

    The recommendation is to tear it down and reconstruct the stucco. In 2007 there was 1 layer of felt paper per 2006 International Building Codes. Now in 2012 code requires 2 layers of paper or equivalent. Codes are just a guideline, unfortunately builders use them to their advantage some go above and beyond codes to build a home,

    The builders position remains evasive and they continue to drag their feet in this matter. At this point its probably going to be handled with legal representation. I will remain relentless and do everything that I can to alert the public.

    As far as repair goes, I had one stucco remediation company recommend a stucco drainage mat to handle the drainage of water trapped behind stucco. 2012 codes only require 2 layers of paper, seems to me like the drainage mat will provide an advantage. Anyone have thoughts on that?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hello Everyone,

    I started this thread in February 2013 although depressing I listened to your advice and took the step to hire a moisture inspector from http://www.exterior-design-inst.com/.

    The results were sickening. In various areas the stone knee wall had 23%, 25%, 26% moisture content. The stucco ranged from 22-23% moisture content. Basically enough moisture to grow mold and start OSB decay.

    Its crazy to think that in 2007 builders/contractors are building these kind of structures.

    The recommendation is to tear it down and reconstruct the stucco. In 2007 there was 1 layer of felt paper per 2006 International Building Codes. Now in 2012 code requires 2 layers of paper or equivalent. Codes are just a guideline, unfortunately builders use them to their advantage some go above and beyond codes to build a home,

    The builders position remains evasive and they continue to drag their feet in this matter. At this point its probably going to be handled with legal representation. I will remain relentless and do everything that I can to alert the public.

    As far as repair goes, I had one stucco remediation company recommend a stucco drainage mat to handle the drainage of water trapped behind stucco. 2012 codes only require 2 layers of paper, seems to me like the drainage mat will provide an advantage. Anyone have thoughts on that?
    Pete,

    From the photos you posted originally it was obvious that your builder/stucco sub made some significant errors, one of the most serious being the absence of a weep screed along the base of the walls.

    If you decide to pursue the matter through litigation be sure to understand that the builder's insurance covers DAMAGE resulting from the defective construction, not the defective construction itself, so when building a case it is imperative to prove-up the damage. Note that, while moisture content of various materials can be an indicator of the potential for damage, meter readings are not damage. The resultant damage must be uncovered and documented.

    In your post you refer to moisture percentages at stucco and a stone knee wall, but you don't say whether the readings are of the masonry or other wall materials. 100% moisture saturation of any exterior masonry material would not concern me in the least. However, high moisture readings at the interior sheetrock, wall insulation, or wood framing members is of concern.

    Almost any water intrusion into an exterior wall will settle and be most detectable along the base of the wall. You will almost always find mold and high moisture evident at the back side of the baseboard trim if there is water intrusion and mold anywhere in a nearby wall cavity. If there is no mold or high moisture reading at the back of the baseboard, there is very little chance of mold or high moisture higher in that wall.

    In water intrusion investigations the baseboards should be checked first. The baseboards can usually be removed without damaging them, or the wall, if the painters caulk along the top of the baseboard is first sliced with a sharp utility blade. Once removed, a faint indication of mold on the now exposed sheetrock, or the back of the baseboard is not necessarily an indicator of water intrusion. In fact, in Texas it's quite common. However, water stains or significant mold growth indicates the need for further probing in those areas. The inside of the wall cavity in a suspect area can be viewed by cutting the sheetrock out along the base of the wall, keeping the top edge of the cut just below the paint line of the now-removed baseboard. That way, the test cut can be covered when the baseboard is put back and there is no repair of the interior finish required.

    The attached photos show a cut made adjacent to a suspected water leak at an exterior door installed with no threshold flashing pan. The baseboard was removed and the sheetrock was cut out by the client. We would normally do this a little neater. The amount of mold present here indicates water intrusion.

    This process provides a low-cost and simple method of determining where you may have water damage in the exterior walls. I hope it is helpful.

    Don Putnam
    Austin, Texas
    www.roofconsulting.com

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  38. #38
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    I truely do hate to carry this on but I feel it a must.

    This Gentleman bought a home several years agiio and quite literally had problems with the exterior application and finish from the get go.

    For the life of me I just cannot wrap my head around why everyone is talking repair as if he bought an older existing home that already had concern and you folks are talking remedies for repairing the structure

    There should not be a repair considered in the slightest. There should be a removal and ne application of exterior siding with the utmost care for detail. NOT covering up some existing problem and finish with new finish.

    The builder,subcontractor, clearly screwed up and did nothing in the way of proper application and or supervision of his employees to ensure the job was done properly. The result is water intrusion from the get go. Who cares how little or how much damage there is to the substructure as to have the material torn off, as it was a complete screw up since the beginning as in when this man bought the home, new.

    New home! Contractors screwed up! Needs to be corrected as in starting over. My personal and professional opinion is stucco should be avoided at all costs as there are few companies on the planet that do it properly.

    Do you folks want to buy a new care that literally rolled of the delivery truck and had body work from top to bottom and and to end and side to side????????

    Of course not. You bought a new car, you should have gotten a new car! Not a complete screw up no matter how pretty the exterior finish looked like after all the body work was done.......

    Sorry Pete but seriously. There is only one course for you to follow and that is to get what you thought you bought in the beginning. A new home. No a make over on a new home.

    As far as the folks pushing repair? Why??? When you inspect new homes do you or do you not expect and report, for your client, that they are getting everything a new home should be?


    A new home. With everything in place, built properly and up to code and professionalism honored from the start of the build to the end.

    Anyway. Good mrning gentleman. I hope you all have a wonderful afternoon.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete S View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    I appreciate your comments, based on your collective responses this is clear.

    1. Get a stucco inspector that can do an moisture analysis.
    2. Consult with a construction attorney, why not just my regular attorney?
    3. Put the builder on notice

    If the results of the moisture analysis show no moisture intrusion then my options are:

    1. Do nothing live with the hairline cracks. Although at some point they may get larger and may make it tougher to sell my home when viewed in the cold weather. Because by the time it warms most of these cracks vanish.

    2. Get the exterior stucco painted with an elastomeric based paint or similar material.

    3. Another contractor recommended a Drvit E-Finish made to go over stucco that has elastic properties.

    As stated this home was built in 2007 following the 2007 building codes. Its hard to say but it looks like I may only have 1 application of black paper and then the wire message and then the scratch code. If that's the case and if 2 layers of paper were required per 2007 building codes then the builder could be held responsible. Anyone comment on that?

    I have attached 2 pics showing the exterior in the pre-stucco stage.
    I have evaluated many stucco failures. I have not seen one yet where the builder followed codes or standards. If you have a house built in 2007 that has significant damage, in my opinion, the builder should be responsible. Of course, that may involve expensive litigation. Typically you have two years from the date of discovery of the problem to file a lawsuit. Now that you know about the problem the clock is ticking.

    You local municipality can tell you what version of the code they were following. If the house was built in 2007 it was most likely a 2003 or 2006 code. Dwelling are usually constructed using the International Residential Code, which required 2 layers of underlayment in the 2006 code. The International Building Code is typically used for commercial construction.

    As a side note, when builders tell you something was not in the code, its typically an excuse. Most have not idea what is in the code. The code also references ASTM standards, which are then part of the code. Many of the provisions for stucco installation are not listed in the IRC, but in the ASTM standards. In addition, even if something is not specifically listed in the code, the code has several general requirements (e.g. the wall shall be constructed in a weather-proof manner, or similar wording). In short, the building/contractor is supposed to know how to install stucco. The code is not a step by step all inclusive instruction manual.

    Because of a PA Supreme Court ruling many builder's general liability insurers have been forced to pay for stucco remediation, even though the policies were not intended to cover errors and omissions.

    I suggest you talk to a good lawyer who has handled stucco cases in the past. There are quite a few in eastern PA.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Thanks to everyone that has responded. I appreciate all your responses.

    To Don,
    To answer your question:
    The moisture analysis was done by a moisture inspector. He performed both non evasive tests where he used thermal camera and a exterior moisture meter to give him a guide as to where to perform evasive tests. All moisture readings where done with a meter where he actually drilled into the stone wall and stucco reaching the OSB. Then he inserted two probes and tested the moisture content of the OSB and not the exterior stucco or stone wall.

    To Mark
    The house was constructed via 2006 building code:

    Water-resistive barriers shall be installed as required in
    Section 1404.2 and, where applied over wood-based sheathing, shall include a water-resistive vapor-permeable barrier with a performance at least equivalent to two layers of Grade D paper.
    I only have 1 layer of what is likely 15 lb felt paper. Which is likely equal to the performance of two layers of Grade D paper. Unfortunately 2006 code gives you the option to install 1 layer of paper which differs todays code where two layers are required. Anyway the thickness of the paper probably doesn't matter that much because I have evidence of moisture content in the OSB.

    Regarding: "Because of a PA Supreme Court ruling many builder's general liability insurers have been forced to pay for stucco remediation, even though the policies were not intended to cover errors and omissions." I'd be interested in finding out more about this if you can provide me with more details I can also ask my attorney about it.


  41. #41
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete S View Post
    Thanks to everyone that has responded. I appreciate all your responses.

    To Don,
    To answer your question:
    The moisture analysis was done by a moisture inspector. He performed both non evasive tests where he used thermal camera and a exterior moisture meter to give him a guide as to where to perform evasive tests. All moisture readings where done with a meter where he actually drilled into the stone wall and stucco reaching the OSB. Then he inserted two probes and tested the moisture content of the OSB and not the exterior stucco or stone wall.

    To Mark
    The house was constructed via 2006 building code:

    Water-resistive barriers shall be installed as required in
    Section 1404.2 and, where applied over wood-based sheathing, shall include a water-resistive vapor-permeable barrier with a performance at least equivalent to two layers of Grade D paper.
    I only have 1 layer of what is likely 15 lb felt paper. Which is likely equal to the performance of two layers of Grade D paper. Unfortunately 2006 code gives you the option to install 1 layer of paper which differs todays code where two layers are required. Anyway the thickness of the paper probably doesn't matter that much because I have evidence of moisture content in the OSB.

    Regarding: "Because of a PA Supreme Court ruling many builder's general liability insurers have been forced to pay for stucco remediation, even though the policies were not intended to cover errors and omissions." I'd be interested in finding out more about this if you can provide me with more details I can also ask my attorney about it.
    First, make sure you are using the applicable code. Chapter 14 is from the IBC, not the IRC. Municipalities typical adopt the IRC for dwellings. Also, the requirement for stucco is to have two layers to promote drainage between the layers. One layer of No. 15 felt (not 15# felt) is not equal to two layers of Grade D paper.

    Regarding PA, I was not remembering this correctly. In many other states the wording in general liability policies was ruled to include leaking stucco. In PA so far the opposite is true. However, I have been involved in a number of projects where builder's insurance companies have ended up paying these claims. Possibly it has just to avoid expensive litigation. Nevertheless, many people have recovered some money (sometimes large sums) for these cases, but the litigation is typically expensive.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete S View Post
    Thanks to everyone that has responded. I appreciate all your responses.

    To Don,
    To answer your question:
    The moisture analysis was done by a moisture inspector. He performed both non evasive tests where he used thermal camera and a exterior moisture meter to give him a guide as to where to perform evasive tests. All moisture readings where done with a meter where he actually drilled into the stone wall and stucco reaching the OSB. Then he inserted two probes and tested the moisture content of the OSB and not the exterior stucco or stone wall.

    To Mark
    The house was constructed via 2006 building code:

    Water-resistive barriers shall be installed as required in
    Section 1404.2 and, where applied over wood-based sheathing, shall include a water-resistive vapor-permeable barrier with a performance at least equivalent to two layers of Grade D paper.
    I only have 1 layer of what is likely 15 lb felt paper. Which is likely equal to the performance of two layers of Grade D paper. Unfortunately 2006 code gives you the option to install 1 layer of paper which differs todays code where two layers are required. Anyway the thickness of the paper probably doesn't matter that much because I have evidence of moisture content in the OSB.

    Regarding: "Because of a PA Supreme Court ruling many builder's general liability insurers have been forced to pay for stucco remediation, even though the policies were not intended to cover errors and omissions." I'd be interested in finding out more about this if you can provide me with more details I can also ask my attorney about it.
    First, make sure you are using the applicable code. Chapter 14 is from the IBC, not the IRC. Municipalities typical adopt the IRC for dwellings. Also, the requirement for stucco is to have two layers to promote drainage between the layers. One layer of No. 15 felt (not 15# felt) is not equal to two layers of Grade D paper.

    Regarding PA, I was not remembering this correctly. In many other states the wording in general liability policies was ruled to include leaking stucco. In PA so far the opposite is true. However, I have been involved in a number of projects where builder's insurance companies have ended up paying these claims. Possibly it has just to avoid expensive litigation. Nevertheless, many people have recovered some money (sometimes large sums) for these cases, but the litigation is typically expensive.


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    First, make sure you are using the applicable code. Chapter 14 is from the IBC, not the IRC. Municipalities typical adopt the IRC for dwellings. Also, the requirement for stucco is to have two layers to promote drainage between the layers. One layer of No. 15 felt (not 15# felt) is not equal to two layers of Grade D paper.

    Regarding PA, I was not remembering this correctly. In many other states the wording in general liability policies was ruled to include leaking stucco. In PA so far the opposite is true. However, I have been involved in a number of projects where builder's insurance companies have ended up paying these claims. Possibly it has just to avoid expensive litigation. Nevertheless, many people have recovered some money (sometimes large sums) for these cases, but the litigation is typically expensive.

    - - - Updated - - -



    First, make sure you are using the applicable code. Chapter 14 is from the IBC, not the IRC. Municipalities typical adopt the IRC for dwellings. Also, the requirement for stucco is to have two layers to promote drainage between the layers. One layer of No. 15 felt (not 15# felt) is not equal to two layers of Grade D paper.

    Regarding PA, I was not remembering this correctly. In many other states the wording in general liability policies was ruled to include leaking stucco. In PA so far the opposite is true. However, I have been involved in a number of projects where builder's insurance companies have ended up paying these claims. Possibly it has just to avoid expensive litigation. Nevertheless, many people have recovered some money (sometimes large sums) for these cases, but the litigation is typically expensive.
    Hello Mark,

    Thats for correcting me. I was looking a the IBC and not IRC. That makes a difference. I will check with the township to see which version of IRC was used. The builder put in the contract that it will follow 2006 ICC PA building codes. Only 1 layer of what looks like 15 lb tar paper was used and no weep screeds. Plus the tyvek under the windows did not lap over top of the 15lb paper. The 15lb paper was applied over the top of the tyvek wrapping under the windows.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    First, make sure you are using the applicable code. Chapter 14 is from the IBC, not the IRC. Municipalities typical adopt the IRC for dwellings. Also, the requirement for stucco is to have two layers to promote drainage between the layers. One layer of No. 15 felt (not 15# felt) is not equal to two layers of Grade D paper.

    Regarding PA, I was not remembering this correctly. In many other states the wording in general liability policies was ruled to include leaking stucco. In PA so far the opposite is true. However, I have been involved in a number of projects where builder's insurance companies have ended up paying these claims. Possibly it has just to avoid expensive litigation. Nevertheless, many people have recovered some money (sometimes large sums) for these cases, but the litigation is typically expensive.

    - - - Updated - - -



    First, make sure you are using the applicable code. Chapter 14 is from the IBC, not the IRC. Municipalities typical adopt the IRC for dwellings. Also, the requirement for stucco is to have two layers to promote drainage between the layers. One layer of No. 15 felt (not 15# felt) is not equal to two layers of Grade D paper.

    Regarding PA, I was not remembering this correctly. In many other states the wording in general liability policies was ruled to include leaking stucco. In PA so far the opposite is true. However, I have been involved in a number of projects where builder's insurance companies have ended up paying these claims. Possibly it has just to avoid expensive litigation. Nevertheless, many people have recovered some money (sometimes large sums) for these cases, but the litigation is typically expensive.
    Hello Mark,

    Thats for correcting me. I was looking a the IBC and not IRC. That makes a difference. I will check with the township to see which version of IRC was used. The builder put in the contract that it will follow 2006 ICC PA building codes. Only 1 layer of what looks like 15 lb tar paper was used and no weep screeds. Plus the tyvek under the windows did not lap over top of the 15lb paper. The 15lb paper was applied over the top of the tyvek wrapping under the windows.


  43. #43
    daniel spencer's Avatar
    daniel spencer Guest

    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    ...Codes are just a guideline, unfortunately builders use them to their advantage some go above and beyond codes to build a home,...

    Just for the record. The codes are minimum standards, NOT guidelines. If you do less than the minimum, its substandard.


  44. #44
    Russel Ray's Avatar
    Russel Ray Guest

    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Quote Originally Posted by daniel spencer View Post
    ...Codes are just a guideline, unfortunately builders use them to their advantage some go above and beyond codes to build a home,...

    Just for the record. The codes are minimum standards, NOT guidelines. If you do less than the minimum, its substandard.
    Not only is it substandard, but in most locales, it's illegal!


  45. #45
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    Default Re: Multiple Hairline Cracks in Stucco

    Pete,
    sent you info see Notifications top of this page

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