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  1. #1
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    Default repairable stucco?

    This is a 110 year old 5 bed 3 story house I inspected a couple of days ago. The entire house has cracks in the stucco like the ones in the photos. Most of the places where I thumped the stucco, it felt or sounded loose, not surprisingly. I said I thought it all needed to come off and the house completely resided.
    The selling realtor is one I've worked with a lot. She's one of the good ones, and I trust her. Today she told me a stucco contractor came out to look at it, and said it could all be repaired, by a painter, no less, with a "special caulk", for around $1,100. The buyers and their realtor are skeptical, so they're going to get another opinion. By the way, the sellers have only lived there for 9 months and are only moving because one of them got a job somewhere else. Presumably it looked like this when they bought it and had it inspected. Personally I think they should go after their inspector. In PA, they have one year from the inspection.
    What do ya'll think?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    ----What do ya'll think?

    The Windows and Trim are rotten an leaks.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    The Windows and Trim are rotten an leaks.
    No doubt that was once the case. The windows have been replaced and the trim and sills capped. The question is, what to do about the stucco?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    I'd recommend they save the money on the caulking and consider vinyl siding.

    Those walls look horrible.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    BTW, what's this?

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    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    BTW, what's this?
    Attachment point for shutters that are long gone, I believe.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    This is a 110 year old 5 bed 3 story house I inspected a couple of days ago. The entire house has cracks in the stucco like the ones in the photos. Most of the places where I thumped the stucco, it felt or sounded loose, not surprisingly. I said I thought it all needed to come off and the house completely resided.
    The selling realtor is one I've worked with a lot. She's one of the good ones, and I trust her. Today she told me a stucco contractor came out to look at it, and said it could all be repaired, by a painter, no less, with a "special caulk", for around $1,100. The buyers and their realtor are skeptical, so they're going to get another opinion. By the way, the sellers have only lived there for 9 months and are only moving because one of them got a job somewhere else. Presumably it looked like this when they bought it and had it inspected. Personally I think they should go after their inspector. In PA, they have one year from the inspection.
    What do ya'll think?
    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    No doubt that was once the case. The windows have been replaced and the trim and sills capped. The question is, what to do about the stucco?
    John,

    If the Client is not conformable with the purposed FIX. Yes get a second or third Opinion.

    You gave them your opinion and I would add "Whatever the chosen solution that a Written Warranty be provided."

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Well, any loose and hollow stucco needs to come off so that all the damaged lath and structure can be repaired.

    No caulk in the work is going to fix that mess, and I'm sure you already knew that.

    Personally I think they should go after their inspector. In PA, they have one year from the inspection.

    I don't know what the previous inspection report listed for the stucco's condition, so I can't say what to do about pursuing that avenue.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    don't know what the previous inspection report listed for the stucco's condition, so I can't say what to do about pursuing that avenue.
    I was 'gonna say "If the inspector missed that, they must be from BRAILLE HOME INSPECTIONS".

    But then I realized a "Braille" inspection would have caught it!

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    This is a 110 year old
    2008
    -110
    1898

    1898 = wood lath

    My guess, based on the above, is that either (or both) the wood lath is rotted out due to the leaks, or just plain duration as 'back then' I doubt there was a drainage plane installed behind the stucco, or / and, the nails holding the lath have rusted out, allowing the lath to come loose.

    EITHER of those has the same net effect: ALL the stucco and lath needs to be removed, repair any damaged structural items behind it, then re-sheath the house, building wrap, paper backed metal lath, then 3 coat stucco.

    Result: $MEGA$

    "What is this?"

    1) Kinda looks like a porcelain knob for old knob and tube.

    2) Water entry point into structure.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    May not have been stucco originally. Probably brick or stone in PA that long ago. That doesn't rule out wood lath, only that it could have been stuccoed much later.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  12. #12
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    May not have been stucco originally. Probably brick or stone in PA that long ago. That doesn't rule out wood lath, only that it could have been stuccoed much later.
    Jim,

    Could be, I had not considered that, but, for loose stucco, as Dom said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    Well, any loose and hollow stucco needs to come off ...

    No caulk in the work is going to fix that mess, ...


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    My feeling, and it is mainly just a feeling, is that the stucco that is on the house now is not original. To me it doesn't matter, though. When the entire house is covered with cracks and loose stucco, I can't imagine why a stucco contractor would claim it's only a caulk repair job for a painter. I guess the guy has too much work.
    I can't wait to hear the second opinion.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    John, I agree with you. The windows were all removed and replaced after which a contractor came in and applied some type of stucco surface which did not cure properly and cracked. Possibly, no mesh below but just troweled onto the existing. Really poor finish all around and unfortunately the only way to do anything aside from repairs would be to remove it all and start over again.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph P. Hagarty View Post
    Seems to be an ASHI, NAHI, PHIC phenomena where Inspector's recommend that the Home Owner sue a Home Inspector.
    I didn't make any recommendation to the home owner, but if I was him, and my inspector made an egregious error that's going to cost me $20K or so, I'm going to go after him, absolutely. You actually think that no matter how bad a job an inspector, even an InterNachi inspector, does, we should all stick together and never suggest a HI should be held responsible?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    There is always some jack-azz who wants to make this or any-other thread about association bashing even when it isn't... why is that?

    Did your mama not give the proper attention needed and there is an inferior complex?

    Common guys grow up!!

    Let the thread go it's course insead of hi-jacking it into the same ole non-sense.

    Rich


  17. #17
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    That had better be some strong caulk to hold that stucco in place. Are you sure that house was inspected before? Did you see the previous report? It's very hard to imagine someone not mentioning it. Was that previous inspector licensed or at the very least trained which I know you would not know anyway. Just thinking out loud.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    I did not see the previous report, but I was told there was one. Waiting now for a second opinion - just for my own interest - I'm not involved in negotiations.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Amen to that Richard.

    John,

    It looks like some of those cracks have already been repaired using the caulk fix ... and those repairs have failed.

    I doubt that anyone who took the time to caulk the cracks would only caulk a few of them and leave the majority of them untouched. This is telling me that the cracking is an ongoing problem, and that a better use for that $1,100 would be to burn it for its BTU content as a supplemental heat source.

    It sure looks like a substrate problem that needs to have the stucco torn off to properly fix. When it's torn off, as Jerry pointed out, damage to the rest of the wall assembly will likely be discovered and which will need repair before a new exterior cladding can be applied. Big $$$ fix. If there is any doubt about tearing it off, I'd recommend some small scale invasive inspection be performed of the stucco, lath, water resistant barrier and substrate.

    As for suggesting that the current owner go after their inspector, I wouldn't make any suggestion like that without first looking at the inspector's report. If, after reviewing what the prior inspector reported about this problem, I felt the inspector blew it, I wouldn't hesitate to say so. I wouldn't put much weight on unsubstantiated statements by sellers or real estate agents that "it was like this when we bought the house and our inspector didn't see it as a problem". They could just be putting lipstick on a pig at that inspector's expense.

    Regarding the "what is this?" ... it looks like something that should have been removed before the stucco was applied, which says a lot about the skills of the people who did the stucco job.

    Brandon


  20. #20
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Seems to be an ASHI, NAHI, PHIC phenomena where Inspector's recommend that the Home Owner sue a Home Inspector.
    __________________
    Joseph P. Hagarty
    joseph.hagarty@housemaster.com
    HouseMaster Inspection / Main Line, PA
    Now Joe,

    If the inspector failed to mention the issues with the stucco or if he whitewashed the situation so that he might more effectively bring the realtor to an orgasm, then he deserves to be sued.

    I've suggested to a client that they sue an inspector and I don't belong to any of those associations. I've done it twice.

    Once was for a forty foot long horizontal crack on a foundation wall that was 2 and 1/2 inches out of plumb over four feet. He (I can't really call him an inspector so I defaulted to a pronoun) mentioned the crack but called it normal shrinkage from concrete curing. That was particularly incredible because it was a CMU wall.



    The young couple that had been duped had no technical knowledge, no family to look out for them. They had been screwed.

    There shouldn't be any good old boy loyalty that screws the person who paid us to be trustworthy, ethical and competent.

    .


  21. #21
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    It's funny how there's just the assumption that if A) the house was inspected and B) there is a problem that the inspector MISSED it.

    I expect this assumption from a buyer but it's kind of surprising coming from other people in the field.

    We all know what % of 'problems' actually get fixed... The path more often travelled is to put a $ amount on it, negotiate it off the price and never fix it until it actually all falls off the house. I would have to think that 99.99% of inspetors would have said something about the cracks in a previous report.


  22. #22
    Chad Fabry's Avatar
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    I'm sorry...did I assume something?


  23. #23
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    from John's post: "Presumably it looked like this when they bought it and had it inspected."
    Not sure you missed anything...

    Rich


  24. #24
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Presumably it looked like this when they bought it and had it inspected. Personally I think they should go after their inspector. In PA, they have one year from the inspection.
    John presumed, others assumed he was right.
    But no one said they saw the original report or talked to the original inspector.
    THAT is jumping to conclusions from facts not in evidence.
    IF the inspector missed it, then he needs a seeing-eye dog and should not be inspecting.
    But I have been within ear shot while realtors and buyers "restate" what I said and have been totally amazed how people totally gloss over what was said in favor of what they wanted to hear.
    That is why we make written reports and why I put lots of photos in the report, so things don't get lost between my mouth and the clients brain.
    I would not want anyone to form an opinion of my inspecting skills based on what a realtor said that I said, would anyone else?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  25. #25
    Chad Fabry's Avatar
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    John presumed, others assumed he was right.
    But no one said they saw the original report or talked to the original inspector.
    THAT is jumping to conclusions from facts not in evidence.
    I didn't assume anything. Please forgive me for quoting my own post:

    If the inspector failed to mention the issues with the stucco or if he whitewashed the situation so that he might more effectively bring the realtor to an orgasm, then he deserves to be sued.
    Of course that wasn't even the point I was trying to make. I was addressing Mr Hagarty's observation that only PHIC, NAHI and ASHI members will eat their own...or at least what he suggested to be their own.

    If another home inspector screwed the client, just because you share a profession doesn't obligate you to protect the incompetent, or worse, unethical and incompetent home inspector that ripped off the client.

    Did we join some brotherhood where we just turn a blind eye? It's that attitude that has filled our ranks with stuffed shirts. The fact is some of the sleaziest, lyingist people I've ever met are home inspectors... am I supposed to sleep with them just because I'm a home inspector too?

    I found Joe's remarks particularly amusing since one association he didn't mention as being turncoats is known for malicious personal attacks. Not a day goes by where there isn't someone being digested by vicious bites and acidic bile spewed forth by a "brother".

    It boils down to one thing and it doesn't matter which affiliations one has: Do the right thing. That was my only point.

    I apologize for not having made it clear.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    It boils down to one thing and it doesn't matter which affiliations one has: Do the right thing.
    Agreed!!!

    In fact, I consider it my OBLIGATION to take action to report unethical actions by those in the inspection industry.

    IF the inspector missed it, then he needs a seeing-eye dog and should not be inspecting.

    My only point was that no one provided any facts to support the theory that the first inspector missed anything. The only statement was the cracks existed when the owners bought the property and had it inspected.
    I just don't subscribe to the "blame the previous inspector" mindset that seems to be prevalent with some clients, realtors, tradesmen and yes other inspectors. It is just too easy to jump on that band wagon.

    (Notice how I have avoided mentioning the organizations?)

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  27. #27
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    I really wasn't trying to call out any single post or person... it's just something that I've heard so many times in this line of work, usually from non-inspectors.

    There's this mis-belief that once we look at a house we're responsible for everything, whether it was visible at the time of the inspection or not. And whether it was on the report or not.


  28. #28
    Chad Fabry's Avatar
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Oh.

    Then never mind.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Chew View Post
    They could just be putting lipstick on a pig at that inspector's expense.
    .
    Brandon
    Or the Brother In-law Inspected it, ( He's Pretty Handy you know.)

    The Seller's Agent told me:

    It was Inspected.

    Every thing was just fine.

    It was redone.

    Everything in here is NEW.

    Did you get that in writing? No She but thats what She Told me!

    The water heater was made in April 1983. ( Oh No Everything is New.) ????

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Looks like 'typical' ROTTEN stucco to me.

    "Remove & replace" (Client's choice)...

    "What is this" -- Looks like a typical 'old house' porcelain anchor knob, for attaching service entrance cable for telehone wire (my own house had 'em & my neighbour still has one, although no longer in-use).


    CHEERS, all & Happy Inspecting !

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI (Certified Home Inspector - 1 of only 50 or so in all of B.C., Canada)
    Glenn Duxbury & Associates-Building Inspection and Consulting


  31. #31
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    Default Re: repairable stucco?

    Second opinion by stucco contractor:

    recaulk and seal, with several year guarantee: $ 7,800

    or

    rip off and re-stucco: $ 52,000

    I'm still surprised a (second) stucco contractor would contemplate re-caulking/sealing stucco that looks like this.


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