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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
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    CA
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    Default Minor Stucco Discoloration/Staining

    Hello, my wife and I recently purchased a home in Northern CA that was built in 2004. I'd like to get opinions from experts on if they think the stucco staining towards the bottom of our exterior wall facing the backyard is worrisome or the product of something more benign. The inspector stated "there is some staining noted to the exterior. This is typical for the age of the home. Having a qualified contractor maintain the exterior with cleaning or painting as needed. Previous repairs or cracking noted on various sides of the house. No corresponding damage or leaks found inside the house." Thank you!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Garland, TX
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    638

    Default Re: Minor Stucco Discoloration/Staining

    based on your pix
    what you have is typical for improperly installed stucco i've seen across the country
    there is not a 2" minimum wall termination from the hard-scape
    fenestration's do not appear to have expansion/control joints w/sealant
    there are no vert/horiz expansion/control joints
    the splashing that occurs during precip will lift/deposit organics on the stucco & exacerbate staining
    there may/may not be moisture intrusion issues that i advise an on-site stucco specialist's evaluation
    depending on your nocal coastal/inland climate the min. i've stated may be minor/major...ymmv
    sf haight kid '65~'71

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Stucco-ACMV-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    CA
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    3

    Default Re: Minor Stucco Discoloration/Staining

    Quote Originally Posted by BARRY ADAIR View Post
    based on your pix
    what you have is typical for improperly installed stucco i've seen across the country
    there is not a 2" minimum wall termination from the hard-scape
    fenestration's do not appear to have expansion/control joints w/sealant
    there are no vert/horiz expansion/control joints
    the splashing that occurs during precip will lift/deposit organics on the stucco & exacerbate staining
    there may/may not be moisture intrusion issues that i advise an on-site stucco specialist's evaluation
    depending on your nocal coastal/inland climate the min. i've stated may be minor/major...ymmv
    sf haight kid '65~'71
    Thank you for providing that information, Barry. In your opinion, does this look like EIFS? Inspector said hard coat stucco but I did notice some form of foam insulation where I was able to pull back some of the weep screed at the corners. Inspector did his best to check for any water damage or intrustion and said he found none. Also I want to mention I measured from the exterior wall where the weep screed ends and where it terminates at the hard-scape and most areas are at least 2" if not 2.5-3". Will likely need a licensed stucco specialist to come out and evaluate.

    Last edited by Ben Laidlaw; 04-29-2021 at 01:32 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,528

    Default Re: Minor Stucco Discoloration/Staining

    It does look pretty normal. Knock on the wall and you will probably be able to tell if its hard coat stucco, or EIFS. Hard coat conventional stucco will be very hard where EIFS has a slightly more "hollow" sound.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    CA
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    Default Re: Minor Stucco Discoloration/Staining

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    It does look pretty normal. Knock on the wall and you will probably be able to tell if its hard coat stucco, or EIFS. Hard coat conventional stucco will be very hard where EIFS has a slightly more "hollow" sound.
    Thanks, Jack. I have performed a few of the tests that I've read could help determine hard coat stucco or EIFS. When I knock on the walls in various places they do sound a bit hollow, but there is zero give and it feels very hard after trying to push the butt-end of a screwdriver into the facade. I also noticed there is only about 1/2" - 3/4" of stucco on top of the insulation.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Minor Stucco Discoloration/Staining

    If it is real stucco, use a welder's chipping hammer with a coil handle (the coil handle helps isolate the dampening effect of your hand on the hammer: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Firepower-0...mer/1000973724 ).

    Lay the head flat against the stucco and slide the hammer up and down over the surface of the stucco.

    When the hammer slides over a loose/unbonded area of stucco, you will hear a distinctly different sound, best described as a 'singing sound for lack of a better description of it.

    Small areas, while there shouldn't be any areas, are not as great of a concern as large areas. And some large areas are very large (much/most of the wall area).

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Garland, TX
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: Minor Stucco Discoloration/Staining

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Laidlaw View Post
    Thank you for providing that information, 1) Barry. In your opinion, does this look like EIFS? Inspector said hard coat stucco but 2) I did notice some form of foam insulation where 3) I was able to pull back some of the weep screed at the corners. Inspector did his best to check for any water damage or intrustion and said he found none. 4) Also I want to mention I measured from the exterior wall where the weep screed ends and where it terminates at the hard-scape and most areas are at least 2" if not 2.5-3". 5) Will likely need a licensed stucco specialist to come out and evaluate.[/B]
    1) thanks for the vote of confidence but i can't determine a wall cladding system from my dell
    2 & 3) can you take a mirror & post an image view of what you describe
    4) my bad, don't tell my Bride, she loves to rub it in, it does not appear that way in your prior images from my dell
    5) money well spent for system type identification & y/n moisture intrusion plus they should be able to better advise than i can by keyboard, if not don't pay ;~}

    you may have what i term a "hybrid system: insulated conventional stucco"
    nothing wrong with it when as with any other wall cladding system it's properly applied
    more steps/materials = harder to get right when many can't get the simple systems right

    if you want to take this offline my email is adairinspex at hotmail.com
    i'll request general city location, property age or when the stucco was applied this should be available from appraisal or building dept
    not much more i could possibly do from here except send you a bill for my time j;~}

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Stucco-ACMV-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,328

    Default Re: Minor Stucco Discoloration/Staining

    Looks very typical for what I see all the time. I call it splash back staining from rain coming off the roof or just falling next to the house. Synthetic has a pretty high market share vs traditional stucco. If it is a production build high probability it is synthetic like El Rey or Sto. It may or may not be insulated behind it. Again, for a production build probably no foam in 2004, but it's possible for sure. If it was a custom house, then it would be up to the owner. With an overhang at the eaves, kick out flashing and properly designed windows you can usually avoid problems. Without them, then the problems start.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    27,579

    Default Re: Minor Stucco Discoloration/Staining

    I know it is 'off subject', but it is 'in the photo', so ...

    Anyone else notice that non-compliant receptacle cover? Noncompliant with the NEC, not sure if CA adopted the NEC in full, adopted parts of the NEC, or altered what was the NEC beyond recognition?

    Or maybe I'm just remembering the NEC dates of that requirement incorrectly?

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    3,008

    Default Re: Minor Stucco Discoloration/Staining

    Hi Jerry,

    In CA, it kind of depends on several factors. First, CA can be anywhere from 2-5 years behind the NEC. For example, the current NEC is the 2020. But, the California Electric Code that is currently being enforced is the 2019, which is based (somewhat edited from) the 2017 NEC, but wasn't actually enforced until the beginning of 2020. The upcoming 2022 California codes will be enforced as of January 2023.

    Then, which code is enforced is based on what date is on the permit. So, a home that was completed in 2004 could easily have had a permit that was pulled in 2003 and the code that was in use in 2003 would be enforced. Or maybe not. At one point in the not-too-distant past, CA was switching the codes in the spring rather than at the turn of the new year. I don't recall when that changed.

    If I remember correctly, the 1999 NEC required protection from water entering. In 2002, the NEC began requiring covers that would work with a plug attached.

    The farthest back that I have in the CEC is 2007 (2005 NEC), which indicates the 2004 CEC would have been the previous, presumably based on the 2002 NEC. But, since there is a year from publish date on the CEC (2004), the 2004 wouldn't have been enforced until 2005. <whew>

    But, again, if the permit was pulled before January 2004, then the CA modified 1999 NEC (presumably 2001 CEC) would have been enforced.

    Clear as mud? California likes to make things simple.

    I'm not entirely sure that I got all of that right, so none of the above really matters.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: Minor Stucco Discoloration/Staining

    Looks like proximity to material or component staining.
    Good clearance!
    Poured concrete walkway. Stucco wall.
    Hypotheses. Atmospheric grim is splashed back onto the stucco wall. The layer prevents UV rays from degrading the paint.
    No worries. Wash every spring. Light detergent in mild water. Bristle broom. Scrub gently. Hose off with fresh water. Start at the bottom in sections and work upwards.

    My 2 cents.

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